A recent study in the Netherlands suggests that gardening can fight stress even better than other relaxing leisure activities. After completing a stressful task, two groups of people were instructed to either read indoors or garden for 30 minutes. Studies have found gardening and horticultural therapy can: reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improves attention, and can interrupt harmful ruminations that are a symptom of anxiety. Spending time in green spaces helps people to de-stress and relax, and also helps people to feel more at one with the world, and overcome feelings of self-absorption that can worsen mental health issues. Gardening helps to keep one’s mind sharp in multiple ways.
Gardening is known to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, but evidence points toward it also strengthening the brain and reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s to a degree that cannot be ignored. Most people can benefit from creating a garden – it is an enjoyable activity that maintains mobility and flexibility. It also encourages the use of all motor skills through walking, reaching, bending, digging, planting seeds and taking cuttings. Its benefits include: Gardening brings a sense of accomplishment as well.
- Gardening for Heart Health.
- Gardening Reduces Stress.
- Happiness in the Dirt.
- You’ll Sleep Better.
- Improved Hand Strength.
- Gardening for Family Health.
- Growing Vegetables for Financial Health.
1. Why should you consider gardening?
According to the World Health Organization, good health means more than just the absence of bad health symptoms. It means the presence of positive emotions, quality of life, sense of community and happiness. (WHO 1948) Plenty of your friends and neighbors have probably mentioned what a “lift” they get from a morning’s sweat amongst the lettuces and radishes. To add professional legitimacy to anecdotal claims, the growing field of “horticultural therapy” is giving proven results for patients with depression and other mental illnesses.
The benefits appear to spring from a combination of physical activity, awareness of natural surroundings, cognitive stimulation and the satisfaction of the work. To build the therapeutic properties of your own garden, aim for a combination of food-producing, scented, and flowering plants to nourish all the senses. Add a comfortable seat so you can continue to bask in the garden while you rest from your labors and contributes to your overall well-being.