Regarding promoting mental well-being and pursuing happiness, experts strongly suggest you take a creative hobby or participate in physical activity. But did you know you can also strengthen your mental health by gardening at home? Since ancient times, gardening has been known to calm restless minds. That explains why places like rehabilitation units have greenhouses and gardens. Take a look! This article explores some psychological benefits of spending time in your home garden.
1. You Get a Sense of Purpose
A purpose is a generalized intention to accomplish something important to you and consequential for the world beyond you. Having a sense of worth and purpose can help you focus on essential things: family, friends, and career.
Gardening at home can give you that sense of purpose. You get the chance to get hands-on and see the results of your efforts. You get a sense of pride when choosing the plants that you love. Besides, seeing them grow is fulfilling and increases feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine. Check out this article for more information about hormones.
2. Stress Relief
The advancement of technology has seen people develop heavy dependence on gadgets and the internet. If you are like most people, you will spend more time behind a screen than socializing with people in real-time. Ultimately, that makes you more susceptible to loneliness and stress. Add to the picture factors like poor work-life balance and the high cost of living.
However, when you take time to go to the garden, your brain is distracted by nature. The focus shifts from whatever you might have going on to the garden’s beauty. Besides, getting out in the sunlight means more exposure to vitamin D, which improves your mood. Vitamin D also plays an essential role in strengthening your immune system.
Side note: The soil contains friendly bacteria that can alleviate symptoms of psoriasis and allergies. Doesn’t that make you feel better already?
3. Practicing Acceptance
As the saying goes, acceptance is the first step toward a happier life. The more you accept the limits of your control, the more psychological relief you will experience. What better way to learn acceptance than managing a garden? You start realizing that Mother Nature is in control. Although watching things not go as you wanted can be frustrating, you gradually ease into it. You learn to look at things retrospectively and appreciate how they turned out. It is worth noting that it doesn’t translate to doing the bare minimum. It means doing the best you can and hoping for the best.
4. You Develop a Growth Mindset
Have you ever thought about whether you have a fixed or growth mindset? A fixed mindset relies on innate and unchangeable qualities like intelligence and talent. On the contrary, a growth mindset means appreciating the role of practice and effort. If you develop a growth mindset, you view a failed project as an opportunity to learn.
You will always make mistakes in the garden–especially if you are a beginner. One mistake, and your garden is too overcrowded. Perhaps you want to try a new seeding method you saw online. At least you know what not to do next time.
5. You Stay Physically Active
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Physical activity helps prevent and improve some diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Additionally, it also helps reduce anxiety and depression. Gardening involves a lot of activities like raking and weeding. These can help you keep in shape, leaving you feeling better about yourself. Besides, physical activity can help you sleep better, which is incredibly important for your mental health.
6. It’s a Chance to Connect with Others
Undeniably, human beings thrive in communities. Although the digital age seems to have taken that away, it is still a part of who you are. Therefore, you can connect with other gardeners by taking up a new hobby like gardening. You can go to gardening fairs and make new friends with people who love what you love. Although gardening might be central to your conversation, you can easily share unrelated life experiences. That sense of community is vital for your psychological well-being.
7. Eat Healthily
When you have put in all the work, a time comes for you to reap. Your garden will yield healthy and fresh food–fruits, vegetables, or edible herbs. These foods are good for your health. Plus, you feel better knowing that you took part in growing the food.
8. Mindful Presence
Being present is known to have numerous benefits, like less emotional reactivity. Your garden can be the perfect place to practice mindful presence. No distractions, just you and nature.
Getting Started With Gardening
As you have read, starting a garden is very rewarding. But if you are new to gardening, you might not know where to start. The good thing is you can ease into it at your own pace. The first step is deciding what to plant and picking a garden spot. The rest will fall into place.