What are the wellbeing benefits of gardening?
Although the stressors of everyday life can sometimes make them harder to find, there are opportunities to improve our wellbeing all around us. Something you may have overlooked is the benefit of having a garden. Not only do gardening activities help to keep us physically active, but they’ve also been proven to promote our overall wellbeing.
Beyond being a hobby or a means to grow your own food, gardening offers numerous mental, physical, and emotional benefits that can significantly improve our quality of life. If you’re interested in finding out more about how gardening can help you to cultivate a healthier body and mind, read on.
Stress relief and improved mental health
The stress-relieving benefits of gardening are two-fold. Firstly, the process of tending to your space and completing gardening activities like planting, weeding and watering encourages us to focus on the present moment, encouraging our brains to focus on more positive things.
Once you’ve built and designed an outdoor space to be proud of, hopefully you’ll have created a serene and natural environment that you can go to to help diminish daily stressors and promote relaxation. Research suggests that spending time in nature and green spaces can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, improving mental health and overall well-being.
Physical exercise and fitness
Gardening involves various physical activities that contribute to better fitness levels. Digging, lifting, raking, and bending are all part of the gardening process, providing an effective form of exercise for gardeners of any age. Regular gardening tasks can improve cardiovascular health, increase flexibility and strength, and enhance overall endurance – often without having to consciously increase your effort levels. Additionally, spending time outdoors exposes the body to sunlight, allowing for the production of vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and immune function.
Connection with nature and the environment
In our modern lives, we often find ourselves detached from the natural world. Gardening provides an opportunity to put down our digital devices, reconnect with nature and develop a deeper appreciation for the environment. By nurturing plants, observing their growth, and witnessing the beauty of blooming flowers, we cultivate a sense of awe and wonder.
What’s more, having a space at home that you’re proud of and want to spend time in will encourage you to get outdoors more often. This connection with nature has been linked to increased feelings of happiness, fulfilment, and a greater sense of purpose. In fact, in one survey, 82% of adults reported that spending time in nature makes them very happy.
Gardening is much more than just a productive pastime; it is a holistic experience that nurtures our mind, body, and soul. From reducing stress and improving mental health to providing physical exercise and fostering a connection with nature, the benefits of gardening are abundant. So, whether you have a spacious backyard or a small balcony, consider cultivating your green thumb and reaping the rewards of this fulfilling and therapeutic activity.
If you think gardening would help you with your mental health, why not check out our Green Minds Service, which we run out of both Leamington and Stratford upon Avon.