Why Gardening is Great for Your Mental Health
Keeping your mental health in check in this busy, fast-moving world can be pretty tough, but it’s important to find the time to dedicate to your mind. Not everyone is going to suffer from issues like anxiety or depression, but they could creep up on you over time.
You don’t always have to resort to medication or to therapy for mental health issues. If you have particularly serious symptoms then you should consider it of course but sometimes, a hobby is all you need to help yourself feel better.
And one particular hobby that has a ton of benefits for your mental health is gardening. Gardening is a great for a number of reasons, you can grow your own food, it can be social if you find other gardeners and it keeps you in touch with nature, which we think is very important.
For now though, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why gardening can be very helpful for your mind:
Having a sense of responsibility is something that can be helpful if you are dealing with a lot of anxiety about your own life. You can redirect all of that energy onto something else that is actually in need of your attention.
The thing about anxiety is that people who suffer from it will often find themselves worrying about things that they don’t need to be concerned about at all. It’s your mind making problems out of things that are not irrational thoughts.
Anxiety will build up when your mind is inactive and unfocused. These thoughts and minor concerns can turn into bigger concerns if you give you brain the chance to overthink them. When you’re taking care of something, you have an outlet for your worries.
You go out and you water your plants, you make some mulch or you tend to some soil, and while all of your care is going into that, the anxious thoughts you’re having will seem so irrelevant.
We all become a little frustrated and disillusioned if we don’t achieve anything in our lives. Feeling like you don’t have anything to be proud of or that you’re not making a difference can be very disheartening.
Especially if you’re employed in a job that you don’t actually have any passion for. You could feel like all of your hard work is not amounting to anything significant and that you’re just going through the motions.
This sort of thinking is a breeding ground for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. But if you take up gardening in your spare time, you’ll be working on something that you can be proud of.
Everytime you look out into your garden you will see the fruits of your labour, which is literally sometimes fruit, and you can also watch as it grows from a small sprout into something elegant and impressive.
And if you do grow your own fruit or vegetables, you’ll feel that pride every time you take a bite of something that you personally raised from the seed.
Your mental state is directly influenced by how much exercise you do. We all know that exercise is good for our bones, our muscles, our skin and pretty much just every physical aspect of our bodies, but it all applies to your brain too.
It influences your neural growth, which allows for increased brainpower in regards to things like focus and concentration. This can help you to overcome the negative thoughts that are annoying you.
It also reduces inflammation in your brain. In case you didn’t know, inflammation is one of the primary causes of a ton of different health problems. An inflamed bowel for example, can lead to your digestive ability being inhibited.
So naturally, it makes sense that your brains function will be negatively affected by inflammation there. Gardening is a great way to exercise because it’s a productive activity. While running or swimming is great for a lot of people, others will find them monotonous.
You are kind of just exercising to get exercise. But with gardening, you are tending to your plants and getting exercise in the process. It can help you work a lot of different muscle groups as well as getting your heart rate up.
If you want to learn a little bit more about the relationship between exercise and stress, we have a more in-depth discussion of it right here.
So in short, if you are suffering from any kind of mental health issues, you needn’t look any further than your own garden to get the help that you need.
Gardening is a fun, active and rewarding way to keep your mental health in check and it’s also a pretty cost effective one too.
And if gardening doesn’t seem like your thing, well that doesn’t mean that you can’t reap the benefits of plants at all. Check out this guide from Complete Home Spa to learn about some of the best indoor plants for your mental health.