You may have heard the saying that gardening is good for the soul. What you might not have heard before is that it’s good for your mind and body too. Whether it’s at home or in the community, gardening can improve your wellbeing. If you’ve been thinking about getting your hands dirty or are simply curious about the benefits of gardening – keep reading.
It’s a natural stress reliever
One of the greatest benefits of gardening in our busy and increasingly-digital lives is that it gives you the chance to step away from everything for a short while and absorb yourself in nature. There have also been numerous studies that show surrounding yourself in greenery reduces stress and anxiety. Time outside decreases our cortisol or ‘stress hormone’ levels which can lead to a better memory, mood and even self-esteem. Not bad for a little fresh air, right?
It’ll get you moving
One of the more obvious benefits to gardening is that it gets you up and about. Something particularly important for those of us spending the majority of our days in front of a computer or hunched over a phone. The simple act of digging, lifting and walking around the garden offers a great way to get some exercise – boosting your physical health as well as your mental wellbeing.
It can help you grow
You’ll experience growth along with your garden. Taking the time to raise plants has many therapeutic aspects that can improve your life. If you’re post-surgery, gardening can offer practise for motor function. For those dealing with mental health issues like depression or anxiety, there is evidence to suggest it can ease symptoms by helping you relax and calm the mind. Gardening helps you develop important skills for your wellbeing too. Trimming, watering or checking on each plant is an exercise in mindfulness. Repetitive tasks like weeding offer a chance to meditate. Waiting for plants to grow can even encourage patience.
It’s also a great way to get into a ‘growth’ mindset. There are many factors that come into play in gardening, so taking the time to learn from your successes and especially your failures is a valuable skill to develop.
It provides a bounty
Arguably the best part of gardening – harvesting your bounty! If you’re growing fruit or veg, the final step is also one of the most fulfilling. All the time and energy you’ve put in is rewarded with a tasty haul, packed full of flavours and nutrients. Over time, with skill and more mature plants, you’ll probably produce more too. This can help cut down on your food bills and even offer an opportunity to share with others. Which brings us to our next point…
It comes with a community
From sharing the harvest with friends and neighbours to exchanging tips, seeds and clippings, one thing is certain – gardening is a great way to find a sense of community. Belonging to a community can have positive effects on your mental and emotional wellbeing. It can make us feel valued and connected, which can help prevent things like isolation, anxiety and depression. You can find your people by joining forums online, community groups in your area or even simply chatting with your neighbours about your experience.
With so many benefits to getting into the garden, why not take some time to pick up a plant and begin your growing journey today? If you need some help getting started, check out our tips for beginners.