Gardening is good for the Earth, good for our pockets when less is spent on costly fresh produce, and it’s also… good for our mood and mentality? There is evidence that gardening is a great hobby to balance your mental state and promote better mental health.
Why Gardening Can Be a Powerful Mental Health Tool
Though gardening may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of practices that strengthen mental health, the truth is that gardening provides a lot of underappreciated benefits for our mentality and mood.
Gardening Provides Vitamin D
Vitamin D, otherwise known as the sun vitamin, has a large influence on mood regulation and fighting off depression. Vitamin D does more than just boost our mood – it strengthens our bones, bolsters our immune systems, and more.
Vitamin D can be naturally absorbed by sunlight. Many people in cloudy or cold climates have a Vitamin D deficiency and may take supplements. Gardening provides an opportunity to soak in the goodness of the sun’s nutrients while staying occupied with a fun task. The combination is an elixir for better mental health!
Gardening Is Great Exercise
Pulling up weeds, laying new soil, and planting bulbs involve a lot of lifting, digging, and other movements which all equate to one thing: a more active body!
You do not need to visit a gym to get a workout in. Physical activity releases feel-good chemicals in our brain, among other physical benefits, making it a great way to minimize poor mental health.
Gardening May Improve Memory
In a review of a study done in 2014, researchers found that horticultural therapy – AKA gardening – helped strengthen memory in those with dementia.
This may be due to the long-standing evidence that exercise improves cognition, and gardening happens to be a form of exercise. Or it may have something to do with the multi-sensory experience of gardening. Either way, it seems gardening is a powerful tool for mental recall.
Gardening Promotes Self-Confidence
Gardening is not a perfect process. Plants, soil, weather, and more are unpredictable conditions. Even if someone does everything right, their garden may still face issues. Learning to overcome obstacles that are not of one’s own creation can help promote better self-confidence and patience.
If you are looking for a new way to engage your mind and body at the same time – look no further than gardening. There is tangible proof out there that gardening provides real benefits for our cognition and mental health. Plus, it’s a great way to get active!