Gardening with Allen

How Gardening as a Hobby Improves Mental Health

Aside from the fact that it is great fun, there are studies to prove that gardening is great for mental health. That’s the reason, too, that you will find several gardening clubs in the city where you live.

It makes you forget about the stress of urban life and is a way of unwinding and being able to enjoy the beauty of nature. When you enjoy this with others, it makes the activity doubly more enjoyable! Forget about projects and concentrate on plants!

Fresh air benefits mental health

Going alfresco has multiple benefits as it boosts mental and physical health. Gardening is a moderate form of exercising and it keeps you busy for several hours without getting you tired. The reason behind it is that your mind is totally focused on getting things right – from watering and cleaning the garden to painting the pots and picking the vegetables to composting the soil. So the more you stay outdoors, the more fresh air you get.

Be watchful though. Air, soil and infected plants can cause mold spores to enter your house. Gardening means a lot of moisture in the environment and on surfaces. According to experts from PTAC4less, you need to take all necessary prevention including a good air conditioning unit and exhaust fans to keep humidity levels low, mold inhibitor paints, etc.

Learning a new skill can do wonders for the mind

You should learn a new skill, but you don’t want to expend a huge amount of effort. It’s bad enough just getting out of bed! Gardening is a perfect way of doing just that. After your morning coffee, don your gloves and head out to the garden.

If your garden has been neglected, now is the time to get stuck in and do a lot of pulling out weeds and bramble bushes. You must have an idea of how you want your garden to look and do some online research into what plants to get.

Our need to be one with nature finds expression in gardens

We have an inexorable need to be one with nature. That is part of the human condition. When you are working with plants and putting them into the soil, you are intent not only on making something look beautiful. You are also intent that it lives!

The physical activity involved here is not heavy exertion, and you can pace yourself with the task so you can enjoy the activity. You will find that endorphins get released, which makes you feel great and gives you that spring in your step.

Therapy that is vital for our mental health

It’s no wonder that people with mild mental impairments are given gardening as a therapeutic activity. Taking care of something and providing the nurture and succor for it to grow and thrive can provide the most needed balm for the soul and food for the brain.

This triggers something within even an impaired mind that it finds impossible to resist. It’s a basic human function, but one that brings great joy. People have said there’s nothing like having your hands in the soil, and they’re quite correct. It’s wonderful.

Reduced risk of falling prey to heart disease

Studies have shown that gardening lessens the risk of heart disease. With the disappearance of anxiety and depression once you’re in the garden, it’s no wonder that heart disease and other ailments have less chance of taking root.

Gardening also adds to your self-worth, which boosts your immune system. This, in turn, adds so much to your wellbeing that you become a different person. Your garden becomes an extension of your “new” personality, and you begin to see everything in a new light.

Allen Wilson

Allen has been writing about gardening for over 30 years. He is a retired professor of Horticulture.

Comments