Gardening offers a number of benefits. It is a way to grow and harvest your own food. It can create a nice landscape for your yard. It’s also a pleasant and low stress way to spend some time outside. You might be surprised to know that gardening can also improve your emotional healthy. Here’s how.
Gardening requires focus. Gardening is a task, like many creative tasks, that requires focus. Digging, planting, and caring for the flowers, fruits and vegetables in your garden help you turn off an overactive mind. You’re able to instead focus on one thing – gardening. It helps you tune out the rest of the world for a while.
Gardening can actually help you find a meditative state. When you’re in this state your body and mind both relax. You’re able to find calm and awareness. It quiets the mind so those thoughts that have been plaguing you are sent away for a while.
It’s so effective at calming the mind and body that gardening programs are often used as therapy. People who are in mental health facilities and even prisons have been shown to receive tremendous benefit from gardening.
Gardening Stimulates the Mind
Gardening also provides you with a creative outlet. It stimulates your mind and requires you to solve problems too. In addition to planning a garden you also need to pay attention to the logistics.
You want to make sure your garden ahs all the nutrients it needs. Pest control, insect control, disease management and nutrition are all required for healthy plants. Additionally, you probably want to grow an aesthetically pleasing garden. That means spending time planning not only the location of various plants but how plants work together and fit to create a visually appealing garden.
Gardening also appeals to your senses which stimulate your mind. Your hands are digging in the dirt. You’re surrounded by life and you’re playing an active role in creating it. You can smell the flowers, touch the soft leaves of your plant and see the vibrant colors.
When your mind is stimulated creatively and is involved in problem solving, it can help you learn to manage other things. If you’re dealing with fears, depression, anxiety and stress, gardening can help you learn to manage those emotions.
Gardening provides a purpose.
There are many reasons to have a garden. The most basic is for beauty. A Zen garden for example can provide a tranquil escape. A wildflower garden can provide unfettered beauty. A vegetable garden can provide sustenance. When you have a purpose and can follow through on that purpose, it helps build self esteem and confidence. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning. You can watch your efforts pay off by creating the garden you desire.
Good for the Body is Good for the Mind
Finally, gardening is good for you physically. You’re moving your muscles and spending time outside. Time in the sun produces vitamin D which has been shown to be essential for mental health. Fresh air and sunshine is always good to help you relax and alleviate stress. And when your body is moving and active it produces endorphins. They are the feel good hormones produced by exercise. They help provide emotional well being.
Gardening provides an abundance of benefits for emotional well being. If you need to relax, ease depression or find a little joy consider gardening. Take great care of yourself, both body and mind.