Gardening is one of the most relaxing hobbies you can enjoy, particularly if you’re living a stressful lifestyle. While working in your garden, you can connect with nature, breathe in fresh air, and grow your food.
Gardening is not only good for you physically but also mentally. Here’s how.
Gardening Makes You Happy
There is a scientific reason your garden is your happy place. When working in your garden, your body releases the hormone serotonin.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that relays signals throughout your body. It is a mood stabilizer, regulating feelings like happiness, anxiety, and sadness. Antidepressants target serotonin, making sure you have enough to elevate your mood.
Gardening and Serotonin
Working in your garden can boost your serotonin levels as well as medications can BUT without the side effects. Furthermore, sunshine raises your serotonin and Vitamin D levels, both of which can help relieve depression.
Even more interesting, the soil contains Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacterium that may raise serotonin levels. Studies have found that this bacterium has the same effect on brain neurons, as does the prescription medication Prozac.
And there may be even more health benefits to gardening. Scientists are studying Mycobacterium as a way to raise cognitive functioning, and relieve rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
Gardening Promotes Mindfulness
Gardening allows us to practice mindfulness, or the ability to be able to focus our minds on the moment.
Being able to focus in the moment can help you in all facets of life. While you garden, pay attention to the task at hand, each shovelful or handful of dirt, each plant.
The better you get at mindfulness, the better you will be able to focus on other tasks. Mindfulness, while gardening will teach you how to get negative thoughts out of your mind. Additionally, mindfulness and gardening have been compared to meditation, it calms your mind. It can slow your breathing and relieve anxious thoughts.
Gardening Helps Us Become Creative
Creativity is a great way to boost your mental health. It also helps release anxiety, anger, and worries. When someone is going through a difficult time, experts recommend writing or painting. Gardening is just as helpful when it comes to being creative.
You can be as creative as you like when gardening. Arranging a flower garden, designing a butterfly garden, or planning out a vegetable garden, are all great ways to be creative while gardening.
Connecting With The Earth
Growing and tending to plants is the perfect way to remind us that we are not everything. It helps us get rid of that overly self-important attitude that can sometimes affect us.
One cause of depression is being self-absorbed. Getting out in nature is one of the best ways to get over this type of thinking and getting us back to simpler thoughts, even if nature is your backyard garden.
Feeling of Accomplishment
Starting plants from seeds or seedlings and taking care of them through the seasons will give you a sense of accomplishment. If you grow vegetables, you can enjoy them throughout the growing season and even into the winter if you freeze a portion of what you grow.
Flowers and herbs are no different since you can enjoy them all year long. You will feel a sense of accomplishment as you get your plants through the hot, dry spells, and help them survive summer thunderstorms.
The beauty of gardening is that it combines improving physical health with boosting mental health. Getting out in the sun increases vitamin D while lowering blood pressure. And the vegetables that you grow in your garden nourishes your body.
Planting and tending to a garden all season is hard work and great for fitness. The fun part is picking your vegetables, which is where the sense of accomplishment and hard work all come together.
Gardening and Socialization
If you don’t have space for a garden of your own, look for a community garden you can join. A community garden is great for boosting your mental health. It takes cooperation, and you get to socialize while gardening.
Gardening is Good for Mental Health
By boosting your mental health, you could be adding productive years to your life. Since gardening is good for boosting mental health, it can prevent the onset of dementia.