There has been an overwhelming number of studies confirming that gardening is immensely beneficial to our mental and physical health. The calming effect of spending time in a quiet space like your garden can work wonders for your psyche. Being away from hustle and bustle of everyday life can relieve you of constant stress and pressure, while at the same time bringing you some peace of mind. Perhaps you can’t see how pulling up weeds can make you feel good? Keep reading.
Stress is being marked as the number one source for almost all deadly diseases of the 21st century. It’s the invisible enemy that was considered for a long time to be a simple side effect of our daily lives. Slowly, it took over, and today is viewed as the cause of heart disease, some forms of cancer, and various mental health issues, like depression and anxiety.
Therefore, finding your happy place in this world might be the only remedy you need, and the serenity of the garden spaces could bring you that. Maybe you don’t think that you were born with a green thumb, or just don’t like to get some dirt under your perfect manicure, but we urge you to reconsider. At the end of the day, breathing in all that oxygen from your garden can help you de-compress. Just relaxing and staring at the greens is proven to be beneficial to your mental state of mind.
If you prefer a more active break from everyday life, dig in! The physical task, like weeding, chopping, and planting, can surely get your mind off of unpaid bills. It’s also a great exercise for your whole body, burning off calories and inducing a “happy hormone” – endorphin, as well as boosting your self-esteem. It’s also a good way to vent frustration after a bad day at work with chopping and cutting branches. Releasing the fury can actually be a good thing, for you, and for your garden, keeping those overgrown plants in check.
People suffering from paranoia and high levels of anxiety going into public can feel like going to the minefield. Tending for a garden gives them peace without being judged about their every move. And as a bonus, caring for plants can give them a sense of purpose and increase their self-worth.
Getting back to nature
Nothing can reconnect you to the Mother Earth like tending to your flowers and veggies, to the point of almost giving you that parental feeling about your garden. Needless to say, this should be one place in your home that’s technology-free. Do not bring your tablet or phone to your garden, since that, in part, beats the purpose of having one. This should be your time to relax and connect with nature, not with other people. Start slow, maybe with a smaller patch of soil, and grow as you go. If you’re in doubt about where to start check out gardeningstuffs.com, where you can find a step-by-step guide to set you on the right path.
Speaking of this, there is a term in psychology – mindful presence, or simply put just “being present” in the moment. People tend to increase their stress and anxiety levels when they start focusing on the future or analyzing the past too much. All those “what ifs” will raise your blood pressure through the roof, leaving your thoughts racing. When you enter your little piece of heaven, like your garden, your mind is forced to be present. You focus on the “now” instead of worrying about what could happen in the future. Watching bees and butterflies visiting your beloved petunia can put your mind at ease, and forget about the past. So, living here and now, is something that gardening work can help you achieve mindful presence, which in return leads to more emotional and psychological stability.
As a side effect, it can also give you a sense of control over your life. Truth is, your life is probably always going to be hectic, more or less, but for that brief moment you get to decide what goes where giving you a feeling of satisfaction. At least that part of your life is in order, and that in itself can be therapeutic.
Letting go of perfectionism
Aiming for the perfectionism at all times can be a heavy burden to carry. Gardening will relieve you of this, probably for good. First of all, nothing in the garden will ever be perfect. There will always be pests, rodents, weather conditions you can’t control, or just a helping friend can mess it up. Learning to accept things that you cannot control will come slowly to you if you decide to take on gardening. It can be a great antidote for a controlling mentality. You will quickly learn to get over yourself and let nature take its course. Now, acceptance doesn’t mean giving up, but rather realizing that you can’t influence everything, and take things as they are. After the initial frustration, you will find yourself relaxed and calm.
Growing healthy crops
You will not find any heathier and more fresh food than the ones in your own garden. Eating healthy is a major factor in your overall wellbeing. It can also have a considerable impact on your mental health since many studies showed that diet change can help with depression. Since it’s your garden, you can be absolutely sure what you put on your plate. No fertilizer, no pesticides, just rich nutrients from organically grown fruits and veggies. And also, there is something special in eating food that you personally planted and grown that will give you a sense of accomplishment. Moreover, it can be a money-saver too, since you can shorten that shopping list.
Whether you want to release stress, practice your creativity, or just cultivate plants for a healthier diet, gardening is a fun way to achieve this. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”, says the proverb, so roll up your sleeves and start digging. You will feel and look amazing while learning patience and burning calories.