Are you searching for a holistic way to improve your mental health and well-being? You have many options, including outdoor activities like gardening.
People often think of gardens as a place to grow plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Research suggests gardens also provide health benefits related to mood, focus, and self-esteem.
Even just being around the green plants can have a calming effect on you. If you are looking for a way to destress, why not try breathing practices and meditation? Visit Motherhoodcommunity.com for meditation guides to help manage mental health and various parenting issues and concerns.
Benefit #1: Gardening Helps Boost Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is the personal value and worthiness a person thinks they have. Gardening can help you feel at peace and content. The activity lets you focus on positive thoughts and feelings to live in the present.
Several clinical trials suggest that observing nature or images of nature improves an individual’s mood. One Japanese study suggested that viewing nature helped reduce stress, anger, fear, and sadness.
At first, gardening may feel unrelated to how you perceive yourself. However, helping a plant grow can be a really rewarding job. You can feel pride and higher self-esteem when your garden is full of healthy, lovely plants.
Benefit #2: Gardening Improves Attention Span
Research hypothesizes that the average human attention span is eight seconds. That’s one second less than a goldfish’s average! Gardening allows you to give 100% of your attention to one activity
effectively. If you have problems focusing on particular tasks or conversations, then gardening can help.
Research suggests that outdoor gardening, in particular, helps you concentrate better. Hence, if you have problems focusing at school or work, you should consider gardening to boost your focus.
In addition, research suggests that spending time outdoors relieves the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Benefit #3: Gardening Provides Mental Benefits Through Physical Exercise
Gardening includes activities like weeding, raking, and digging. These exercises can provide several physical benefits as well as help with the symptoms of mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
A study suggests that physical exercise provides various benefits related to mental health, including:
- Improved sleep
- Stress relief
- More alertness through decreased tiredness
Benefit #4: Gardening Helps Reduce Stress Levels
A recent stress survey showed that nearly three-quarters of the U.K. felt overwhelmed with stress during the past year, and it’s easy to see why.
Stress can cause various adverse effects on your mental health related to conditions like depression and anxiety.
Hence, finding effective methods to manage your mental state is essential. Activities like planting seeds, watering plants, cutting bouquets, and pulling weeds may help reduce stress levels.
The time can pass quickly when you are doing hobbies like gardening. Working in the garden also reduces your body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol is a chemical human bodies produce as a response to stress.
You can alleviate your stress levels by sitting in a garden. Meditation and yoga are optional.
Today, more hospitals are adding gardening to their facilities. The goals include helping patients recover faster, and staff members experience lower stress levels.
Benefit #5: Gardening Promotes Relaxation
This benefit of gardening is surprising. How can doing physical work be relaxing? Here are some of the essential ways you can experience relaxation when gardening at home:
Looking at a Green Garden
One of the easiest ways to relax in a garden is to simply look around at the greenery. Green is among the “cool” colours, which also include blue and violet. These shades are supposed to aid relaxation.
Why is green so calming to look at? It is easy on the eyes. Green is the most “restful” colour. The reason is the eye’s retina does not make any adjustments to focus on green.
Researchers conducted a 2001 study on the effect of green on children with attention deficit disorder (ADD). The researchers learned that kids with ADD had improved attention span after playing in green environments.
The key is to fill your mind with what is happening around you in the present.