17 Sep Why Gardening is Good for our Mental Health
There are many reasons why gardening is good for our mental health and general wellbeing. Aiding a positive mindset and being out in the fresh air are just the start. Let’s look at 7 reasons why gardening is good for the soul.
1. Gardening means being physically active.
Gardening is a physical game. Digging, bending, pulling up weeds, mowing the lawn, planting a veg plot, pruning the trees; it all takes movement and energy that can occasionally be back-breaking work! That level of physical activity releases endorphins, worlds away from sitting in front of the television, or on our phones indoors.
Mood boosting movement is good for us on so many levels and the effects of physical activity on our mindset are widely documented, as this report from HelpGuide explores. They discuss the benefits that even a lower level of activity can produce. Getting into the garden is a stress-free and easy way to help boost your mental health.
2. Gardening provides a sense of responsibility.
Ownership. At our very core it’s within our nature to nurture, provide, and care for living things. If we own that process from the start then we are automatically more engaged, owning the responsibility of how that plant fares.
Sometimes nature can go against our success! A high wind or battering from the rain can beat our plants into oblivion. However, the sense of pride from seeing something through from seed to fully fledged flower or plant is really tangible.
3. Gardening creates an affiliation with nature.
This year especially, we’ve really learnt the value in getting back to nature. Taking time out from our overly busy and stressful lives dramatically improves our wellbeing. Time spent gardening is an ideal way to do just this.
Our affiliation with nature is instinctive. We automatically feel calmer when fronted by green spaces such as open parks, fields or forests. There are also many connections with the soothing effect of a natural colour palette to our busy minds.
Similarly, we are drawn to water as a calming reflex. The sights and sounds of bubbling rivers and streams, or the sound of waves crashing produces a soothing effect for hectic lives. Having a water feature or pond in your own garden can really aid a calming mindset.
Gardening teaches us about respecting wildlife and working with it to benefit all. The harmonious balance within the natural world is levelling and good for our souls.
4. Gardening provides a growth mindset.
Seasons change, people change, and the world keeps turning. Gardening is a positive reminder of life cycles, of growth and everything evolving. Often mental health issues can be linked to overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety. However, gardening can help to alleviate those fears, and allow our minds to be absorbed by activities and just ‘being’.
Gardening goes a tremendous way to enhancing our growth mindset and positive outlook. The evolutionary changes and continuous learning are fantastic techniques to apply to other areas of our lives too.
If you have a raised bed, planter, or corner of the garden dedicated to growing your own fruit and vegetables this enhances that growth mindset further still. Working with nature to become self-sufficient can only help to teach us empowering sustainability practices. The level to which we take these are completely up to us, which can be a very liberating experience.
5. Gardening is great for creative expression
Allowing our minds to wander and really embracing our creativity is a key reason why gardening is good for our mental health. It doesn’t have to be about the size of your garden space either, a lot can be achieved with a window ledge in a flat!
Thinking creatively about the space you have, how it can best be utilised, and how that will evolve over time is massively rewarding.
6. Gardening is a perfect healthy living choice.
If you are growing your own, right through from herbs on the windowsill to a full allotment plot, then enjoying produce you’ve grown is a truly satisfying process.
Not only is that produce infinitely better for you; it’s fresh from the ground and organically grown. But there are no food miles, no carbon emissions, it’s grown without chemicals, and zero waste. Perfect.
Apart from tasting completely different to the supermarket alternatives, the satisfaction from that nurturing process is hugely rewarding for our mental health too. The sense of achievement in your efforts to provide are visceral. Using the earth for sustainable consumption is both rewarding, and empowering.
7. Gardening as a social activity.
Another aspect to reasons why gardening is good for our mental health is the social element. It could be that you prefer the peaceful tranquillity that being alone in your garden provides. However, it could also be the opportunity for a friendly chat with the neighbours and reducing feelings of isolation.
If gardening becomes more of a hobby, then chatting to online gardening communities for hints and tips is a good way to speak to likeminded people. The same applies for allotment spaces, community gardens, or gardening groups. The combined power of community and achievement can be a valuable life lesson for us all.
How can we help?
Here at Arthur Francis we design and produce a vast range of features and sculptures for your garden. Using our signature Corten steel, we produce our own core ranges of planters, water features, decorative screens and sculptures; alongside doing bespoke pieces at customer’s request.