Gardening is one of the healthiest hobbies around, we all know that, but how many of you knew that the benefits you get from gardening are as much mental as they are physical. Whether you buy into to the philosophy of building a relationship with your plants is up to you, but engaging in a few hours of garden work can do wonders for your mental state of mind.
You don’t need stress relievers, or a stiff drink, you only need to step outside your door to reap all the benefits. We therefore strongly recommend gardening for mental well being.
Why It’s So Good For You
Studies have shown that not only does gardening promote physical health, it also aids mental health through relaxation and self satisfaction whilst both states are improved by the better nutrition you are getting from your home grown produce.
Sitting here reading this now you may not consider gardening to be either relaxing or satisfying. To these we say have you ever tried it? We aren’t talking landscaping here, we mean the tending and pruning of plants and trees so they grow successfully and are free of disease.
From the beginning of time people have grown their own produce to sustain themselves and have done a pretty good job of it considering we are all still here!
This is still the most valid reason today to do this plus there is the environmental issues, which seem to be constantly in the news such as the diseases we can develop from the pesticides sprayed on the food we eat and those massive lorries which deliver them to supermarkets leaving an enormous carbon footprint.
Here are just some of the proven benefits your body and mind gain from gardening.
Research in the Netherlands indicates that gardening is the best of all leisure activities for relieving stress. 2 groups were asked to do a stressful task, then one group did 30 minutes of gardening whilst the other read for the same amount of time. The group that did the garden reported that they were in a much better mood than those who had been reading, and they also had much lower levels of cortisol; the stress hormone.
In regards to brain health, a study which followed people aged in their 60’s or 70’s, some for as many as 16 years, they discovered that those who regularly gardened were 36% less likely to develop dementia than those who didn’t. This was still the result after a range of other factors, such as general health was taken into consideration.
There are few hobbies that tick as many boxes as gardening does in terms of overall well being. Okay, you won’t get a 6 pack gardening but you will feel great inside and out from being out in the fresh air and turning your outdoor space, whatever its size, into your very own haven.
If you have never gardened in your life then why not give it a go?
If you have a stressful life, then you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by unwinding with a pair of secateurs in your hand rather than a G&T.