Why gardening is good for your mental health – do you know? Let me explain.
It’s well known that spending more time in the great outdoors gives you a more positive outlook on life and the world. New studies continually emerge suggesting time spent in a green space can reduce stress and improve your mood.
Why gardening is good for your mental health
Gardening, of course, gets you out the front (or back) door, and it can boost you in so many other ways, too.
It burns calories
According to research, spending three or four hours in the garden is equivalent to an hour in the gym. It’s good exercise, especially given the variety of ‘work-outs’ it provides (lifting loads in wheelbarrows, digging, hacking, and so on). This can lead to better sleep and losing weight which can help us feel more positive about ourselves.
Of course, being such a physically active hobby, it requires everything from a strong pair of gloves to sturdy footwear, so make sure you’re ready to embrace what your green space throws at you.
Why gardening is good for your mental health – It releases endorphins.
Physical exertion in a natural environment releases the ‘happy hormone’, and gardening ticks these boxes. It’s thought that being able to affiliate with nature helps us feel more relaxed within its surroundings, not to mention the fact that plants give off oxygen which leads to better brain functionality.
In fact, a study by the Mental Health Journal revealed that gardening can lead to reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Nearly everyone interviewed said the activity had improved both their motivation and their confidence and thats why gardening is good for your mental health.
It encourages you to live in the moment
With a hobby such as gardening, your focus is on the immediate, even though you might be planning for months ahead. Burying the seeds to the right depth, trimming that cherry tree to the perfect length, digging a new flower bed – you can get lost in these little jobs, while around you the birds sing, beetles crawl and the wind rustles leaves.
You might find you befriend a robin, who hops around you hoping for worms, or you might find a particular plant encourages bumble bees. Your garden will be different every season and every day, and the more time you spend there, the more you’ll notice the subtle changes.
Why gardening is good for your mental health – It’s rewarding
If you find the work itself satisfying, then just wait until you see the finished product. Flowers that bloom a riot of colour, veg that tastes so much better because you grew it yourself, a garden path you built with your own hands. Surplus produce can also be shared with friends, which will make you a very popular neighbour indeed.
Getting outside is good for you. We all know that. But getting exercise is even better and pursuing a hobby with a goal and a reward could do wonders for self-esteem, motivation and reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
Gardening might be one of the key answers you’ve been looking for. And if you don’t have a garden, then you’re never far away from an allotment, where you’ll be welcomed with open arms.
Getting out in nature is great for kids too
Take a look at my new book Nature Craft and Play for tons of ideas to get kids outside connecting, playing, making and creating with nature
Discover the treasures and pleasures of our natural world with 52 fun activities following the seasons.
Filled with crafts, gardening, games, art and science activities for children aged 7 years and up that are budget-friendly and will entertain all year round.
From Spring sunflower challenges to Summer mandalas, Autumn conker craft to Winter pine cone decorations, it will inspire children to get creative with nature!
Fun activities for every week of the year
Easy-to-follow instructions and tips. Colourful photographs and illustration
Why gardening is good for your mental health is a feature post