How Gardening Actually Benefits Your Mental Health – Explained by Science

Millions of people claim that it’s their hobbies that saved their sanity during the self-isolation period last year. Even though all hobbies are highly beneficial, we must say that gardening is at the top of the list as the most beneficial one. It has numerous mental health benefits in the first places, so keep on reading to find out more about them – explained by science. Check them out and enjoy!

It helps you create your personal sanctuary

We can all agree that there’s no place like home, right? Well, it gets even better when you have a cute little garden as your personal sanctuary! Needless to say, spending time there will help you relax and unwind after a long day at work. The reasons for that are more than good. First of all, you’ll have some time just for yourself. Besides that, having a garden means that you can grow organic products on your own. Does it get better than that? We don’t think so, which is why you should grab your gardening tools and head straight to your garden! Also, many people who emigrated say that growing plants from their country of origin makes them feel more ‘at home’ in their new country. If that’s the case with you, too, put this theory to the test and you’ll see what we were talking about!

It can combat depression by boosting serotonin

Did you know that getting your hands dirty can boost your serotonin levels? That’s right, and this is because contact with Mycobacterium vaccae, a specific type of soil bacteria, triggers a release of serotonin in our brains. In case you didn’t know, serotonin is the main hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings, and well-being in general. It impacts your entire body and helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion. This is why gardening is said to successfully combat depression – especially in the long run. High serotonin levels will strengthen your immune system, boost your mood, and instantly help you feel much better. Even though dirt is super beneficial for us, many parents don’t let their kids play in it. Remember that dirt-deficiency in childhood can result in allergies, asthma, and even mental disorders, and never stop your kids from playing in the dirt!

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It provides you with a daily dose of vitamin D

As you probably already know, getting enough vitamin D is absolutely essential if you want to stay as healthy as possible. Our skin produces it in response to sunlight, which is why it’s sometimes called the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Spending time outdoors, in your garden, is therefore the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. Apart from maintaining a normal immune system function, this vitamin regulates the absorption of phosphorus and calcium, too. Also, some studies have shown that vitamin D might play a big role in regulating mood and fighting off depression. In fact, scientists found that vitamin D supplements can improve symptoms of depression. This is exactly why you should get out, roll up your sleeves, and spend some time in your garden. One thing is certain – gardening is a fantastic way to get your dose of vitamin D while enjoying a fun hobby!

It helps you stay physically active

You already know that exercising is good for your body. It can help you lose weight, stay fit, and build some muscles. However, did you know that physical activity can also boost your mood, improve your sleep, and help you deal with stress and anxiety, too? We bet you didn’t, so bear in mind that the mental health benefits of physical activity are numerous. Of course, working in your garden isn’t as intensive as a workout at your local gym, but you know what? It’ll still make you sweat, move around, and use your strength to do whatever needs to be done in your garden! This is why we can freely say that gardening will improve both your mental and physical health. All the raking, digging, and planting will boost your serotonin levels, so give gardening a try and you won’t regret it!

It encourages you to find a sense of purpose

Even though it probably seems a bit silly, the fact is that gardening can help you find a sense of purpose. It’s quite logical when you think about it. Since this is a hands-on activity, you must be completely invested and involved in every step of the process. Also, it allows you to reap the fruits of your labor, which is, if you ask us, the best thing about it. Growing your own vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, and spices will inevitably give you a sense of pride, too. Needless to say, this will positively affect your self-esteem and help you feel much better about yourself. Building a positive self-image will improve your mental health at the same time, which is a benefit you shouldn’t overlook. This is another good enough reason to give this phenomenal hobby a try!

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It allows you to connect to the world

If gardening is your hobby, you’re highly likely to develop a deep sense of connection with nature through it. This type of hobby will help you stay grounded and reconnected with your roots. There is something special about growing your own produce – it helps you understand the cycle of life in a way. You’ll get to see how your plants develop from a seed to grown produce. This is a magical experience – especially when you compare it to buying fruits and veggies in a supermarket. Developing a deeper connection with the world around you can boost your mental health, too. Understanding how everything works can bring you peace of mind, which is truly priceless in these difficult times. Besides that, it can also help strengthen your connection with others. Can it get better than that? Not really!

It helps you focus on the present moment

Millions of people live extremely hectic lives these days. Their schedules are so busy that they are constantly rushing to get everything done. As a result, they fail to focus on the present moment, which is exactly what should matter most. Well, we must say that gardening will definitely help you focus on the present moment. When you’re out in your garden, all you need to do is to let go of your everyday worries and focus on what you’re doing at the moment. So, figure out what you want to do today, grab your trusty garden equipment, and enjoy it to the max. After all, this should be a part of your ‘me’ time, when you can do whatever you like. Once you figure this out, you’ll start to understand that your inner peace is truly priceless. That’s a promise!

It builds your self-esteem

Among all the other benefits, gardening is amazing for building your self-esteem, too. Even though it probably sounds a bit ridiculous, the truth is that this hobby has an important role in boosting your self-confidence. And why is that? Well, first of all, it’s because you’ll see that you’re capable of doing something awesome with your two hands. Watching the plants grow and transform through different phases is essential. It can help you understand the cycle of life much better, which is a fantastic benefit you shouldn’t neglect. This is particularly important for small children. Observing the plants can help them understand their own transformation with more success. Also, remember that all gardeners feel very proud when it’s time to harvest their produce. Trust us when we say that there’s nothing better or more rewarding than that!

It prolongs your attention span

Gardening is also said to prolong your attention span. If that’s something you tend to struggle with, you should certainly take up this hobby and you’ll see a great improvement. Of course, a good attention span can aid your concentration, which is crucial for the process of learning. One study even shows that green or natural settings have a positive impact on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the truth is that all children will benefit from spending time in nature. So, if your kids’ mental health is your biggest concern at the moment, you should definitely embrace gardening as a new hobby for the entire family. All you need to do is to start slow and take one step at a time. That’s vital so that your little ones don’t get too overwhelmed. Make it happen and you’ll love the outcome!

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It helps you become more mindful

Last but certainly not least, gardening is one of those hobbies that can help you become more mindful. It’s because stepping into your garden will engage all of your senses and allow you to see things from a completely different perspective. When you’re busy gardening, you won’t have time to think about your everyday worries and unfinished project. Instead, you’ll focus on what’s going on in your garden at the moment. This is exactly why you may feel like time flies sometimes. Yes, that’s because gardening can alter your perception of time. This is why several hours spent in the garden can often feel like half an hour only. Even though it seems a bit scary to some people, this actually is a great way to take a break and focus your mind on something else than your job!

As you can see, gardening has so many amazing benefits – both for your mental and physical health. So, if you’re interested in taking up a new hobby, be sure to consider gardening as your first choice. You’ll do the right thing if you choose to go for it, without a shadow of a doubt!

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