5 Ways Gardening Can Help Your Mental Health
Gardening can be a great benefit to your mental health. Many aspects of gardening help alleviate stress and provide the grower with a tangible way to cope with depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. Below are five ways gardening can help mental health:
Gardening Provides a Distraction
Gardening requires a lot of attention. Seeds must be planted, watered, weeded. Sometimes dirt may need tilled. These small, repetitive actions can be a great distraction to those with troubled minds. Focusing one’s attention onto a garden project provides an outlet for frustration, worries, or stress.
Being Responsible for Something
Being responsible for another living thing is a powerful mental health tool. When taking on a gardening project, you are responsible for helping a seedling grow into a flower or plant. The act of nurturing the seed and helping it grow can be very useful for those struggling through grief or loss.
Physical Labor and Endorphins
Gardening is hard work. Physical labor is almost always involved; this includes digging, pulling, shoveling, burying, and carrying tools or equipment. Physical labor and exercise releases endorphins, which have long been prescribed as an effective way to combat negative mental health symptoms. Endorphins are the hormones your body releases to make you feel happier, meaning the physical labor in gardening can very literally help boost your mood.
Exposure to Sunlight
Most of the time, gardening involves being exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Sunlight is great for your body and mind. Sunlight allows you to absorb more Vitamin D, which can help you fight side effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or other types of depression and anxiety.
Satisfaction and Self Esteem
After a while, the hard work you put into your garden will pay off. As you begin to see plants sprouting and new life taking root, it’s difficult not to feel proud of your accomplishments. The satisfaction of watching a project succeed is enormously beneficial to one’s self esteem and mental health.
As you can see, gardening can really help mental health. If you find yourself struggling, consider starting your own gardening project and see what it can do you for you.