Benefits of Gardening for Your Mental Health
Spending time outside is good for our bodies and our minds. If we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, stepping outside can lift your spirits and mood significantly. Those that love to garden, know that spending time amongst the petals provides numerous mental health benefits such as reducing stress, becoming closer to nature and enjoying peaceful, alone time. Here are some of the benefits of gardening for our mental health.
Gardening is a great way to get exercise. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins into your brain. Endorphins are chemicals produced by your body to relieve stress and pain. Even though gardening sometimes feels more like a chore than a fun activity, gardening has a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.
Let’s face it- we spend too much time on our cellphones, in front of the TV or computer. Activities such as gardening is a great escape from constant screen time. There’s nothing quite like checking an item off your to-do list to make you feel accomplished.
Encourages healthy eating
Those who grow their own food are more aware of the health benefits of eating from their own gardens, research has shown. Growing your own produce is a healthy way of living life. Food grown in our own backyards encourages us to eat better because it’s fresh and we know that a lot of TLC went into producing what’s on our plates.
Improves mood and decreases stress
It’s a proven fact that sunlight improves our mood. Working productively in the garden increases serotonin levels, causing you to be happier throughout the day and improving your mental health overall. Gardening also can improve your mood, bring out your creativity and spark innovation. Getting your hands dirty in the soil, specifically soil bacterium, mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of serotonin, a natural antidepressant.
People who garden tend to have longer attention spans. Gardening can have long-lasting impacts on our mood in a positive way. If you’re the type of person who has anxiety or depression, research shows that working in your garden on a regular basis can reduce triggers, as the activity leads to fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment.
Fresh air, exercise, sunshine, creativity and peaceful time alone — and more! So what are you waiting for? – make gardening a fun hobby that also improves your mental health and overall health.
Go out and enjoy!
Mental Health Student Intern