12 Oct Here’s How Gardening Can Improve Your Mental Health
We all know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and anxious. The pressures of life can seem crushing at times, but there are some things you can do for yourself that have been proven to improve your mental health, including gardening. This article will focus on the benefits of gardening for your mental health and how you can use gardening as a coping strategy for anxiety, stress, or depression.
Different Forms of Gardening That Can Help Improve Mental Wellness
Gardening is an excellent way to get in touch with yourself and your body. It’s a chance for you to reflect, meditate, and recharge while producing something beautiful. Many forms of gardening can help improve your mental health, including:
1. Companion Planting
Companion planting is the practice of growing two or more plants together that benefit each other. For example, companion planting can protect against insects by using flowers that attract beneficial bugs to eat the nasty bugs or rotating crops, so one crop benefits another.
2. Gardening Therapy
This form of gardening is often used in therapy sessions to help individuals express themselves through their work, understand their thoughts and feelings, and communicate more effectively. Many times it’s also a form of self-care. Examples of gardening therapies include:
- Potted plants placed in offices for stress relief
- Gardening with children who have been diagnosed with autism or other social disabilities
- Gardening lessons conducted by psychologists at schools or group homes
For all types of gardening therapy, it’s essential to work with a licensed professional to get the most out of it.
3. Community Gardening
Community gardens unite individuals who share the same interests and goals. It brings people together through their love of plants and flowers and helps them form lasting friendships and learn new skills they can use for a lifetime. Local governments, churches, schools, non-profit groups, or community organizations often manage community gardens.
What Are The Benefits of Gardening For Your Mental Health?
Gardening has many benefits to your mental well-being. Here are just some of the ways it can make you feel like a million bucks!
1. Improves your mood
Spending time in nature has been shown to relieve depression, anxiety, and stress. Because gardening is so accessible and inexpensive, it can be brought into any environment, including your home, office, school, or community.
2. Encourages mindfulness
Working on a garden forces you to focus on the task at hand while tuning out distractions. You can’t think about what you have to do tomorrow or the meeting you forgot about. All your focus is right there on the present moment and this task at hand.
3. Increases energy levels
All that fresh air, sunshine (or moonlight if you’re a night owl), and physical activity will increase your levels of serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins which can help you feel more energized.
4. Boosts self-esteem
Gardening is a form of self-care that’s not about buying expensive lotions or products to make you “more beautiful.” It’s about working with the soil, harvesting your vegetables, creating something for yourself or others to enjoy. You are building something from the ground up, and it’s a rewarding experience!
5. Increases socialization
Gardening is a great way to meet your neighbours and bond with others. As mentioned before, community gardens are where you can get to know like-minded people who share the same values and goals as you. New friendships will be made through this shared interest, and it’s important to note that friendships have been shown to have many benefits too!
Why You Should Start Gardening Now!
Life has a funny way of making things more complicated when sometimes they don’t need to be. By growing your veggies, fruits and flowers you eliminate the middleman, saving money, creating a healthier diet and cultivating a more beautiful environment for yourself and others around you. Take a look at what you can do now to get started with your gardening adventures!
- Check if there’s a community garden in your area that you or anyone else could join. Most charge low membership fees and the benefits will outweigh the costs.
- If it doesn’t look like there are any nearby, consider putting a garden in at home or doing container gardening if living in an apartment.
- Check out your local library’s upcoming events for gardening workshops. Many libraries provide classes in urban farming, container gardening, and composting, which could be valuable in growing your garden.
- Contact a local community or city hall to see if there’s any land available for gardening plots. In some cases, they may even provide the tools and seeds you need to get started!
- Check out social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Many individuals share their gardens on these websites. They may even have tips about local gardening that could be very useful to you.
- Ask family, friends, or your neighbours if they garden. You never know who may just invite you over to get started with some seeds, plants, tools, etc., for free!
Take Advantage Of All The Benefits That Gardening Has To Offer
Gardening is a great way to spend time outside. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can be one of the best things for your mental health. Kel Lake Garden Center has everything you need to get started on any gardening project! Visit us at our local garden center today or contact us with questions about what we offer.