Gardening for Mental Health

We think it’s safe to say that this year has been a whirl wind of emotions for many of us! Whilst we are all still stuck in our homes seeking an uplift, let’s talk about just how great gardening really is for our mental health…

Research has shown that 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem in their lifetime with stress being a key factor. Exposure to nature has been proven to relieve stress and encourage feelings of relaxation and peace.

While our gardens can be exceptionally relaxing, they can also be a self-esteem haven. The creation of a beautiful garden boosts confidence and creates a real sense of achievement.

Proven Benefits of Gardening

  • Increases the ability to concentrate and engage
  • Relieves aggressive behaviour
  • Reduces depression, anxiety and stress-related
  • Reduces reliance on medication

A Remedy for Perfectionism

Throughout our lives we often put ourselves down for failed attempts at success. We can put unrealistic expectations on our own shoulders causing mental and physical strain on our bodies.

When gardening, there are many factors contributing to the outcome of our gardens that are completely out of our control. No matter how carefully we plan and execute, there are countless factors that are completely unpredictable. Factors such as the UK weather, an invasion of pesky bugs, or a swarm of hungry rabbits will create significant changes and set backs.

The unpredictable factors affecting our gardens help us to develop an accepting mentality; we have done our best and that’s all that matters! We should be proud of our efforts rather than putting pressure on our outcomes.

A Present Mind

Our minds easily wander into thoughts of the past and future that distract us from the progress we are making in the present. Gardening is such a great activity to practice living in the present as it relies on us to focus on where we are and what we are doing.

Gardening is calming and peaceful whilst requiring a level of concentration that keeps us distracted so our minds have less opportunity to wander.

Awareness of the Elements

In this crazy world that humanity has created, we often forget to take a step back and appreciate the wonders of nature. Gardening encourages us to open our eyes to the elements and connects us to the cycle of the seasons.

Gardening gives us a reason to notice sunlight, rainfall and temperature, and not just the effects that they have on our lives, but the relationship they have with the world around us. An acknowledgement and appreciation for the elements puts our worries into perspective, helping us to overcome them.

So, who’s ready to get stuck into gardening?

If you have any questions about this blog or would like to share your gardening experiences with us, feel free to comment below or message us on Facebook. We would love to hear from you!

Stay safe and enjoy nature!

Sources:

mentalhealth.org.uk

thepyschologist.bps.uk.org

theguardian.com