From the moment we wake up until our head hits the pillow at night, most of us are constantly on the go. We live in a world that is increasingly digital, and as a result, we can often feel disconnected from the natural world around us. This can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, and even depression. But what if there was a way to combat these negative effects and improve our mental and physical wellbeing? There is, and it’s as simple as getting outside and getting your hands dirty. Gardening has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for people of all ages, and it’s a great way to connect with nature. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which home gardening can be beneficial.
Relieves Stress: Studies have shown that gardening can help to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Cortisol is released in response to stressful situations, and can lead to feelings of anxiety and tension. Engaging in therapeutic activities like gardening can help to lower cortisol levels and improve our overall sense of wellbeing.
Boosts Mood: Gardening has also been shown to boost mood and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. One study found that patients who participated in horticultural therapy sessions reported lower levels of anxiety and depression after just eight weeks.
Improves Physical Health: Gardening is a great form of exercise, and can help to improve strength, flexibility, and balance. It’s also low-impact, so it’s gentle on the joints for those who may not be able to participate in more strenuous forms of exercise. In addition to the physical benefits, gardening has also been linked with lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and heart rate.
Enhances cognitive function: Research has shown that therapeutic activities like gardening can help to improve cognitive function in older adults. One study found that seniors who gardened three times per week had higher scores on tests assessing attention span, memory, language skills, and visuo-spatial ability than those who did not garden.
Sharpens the senses: When we spend time outside in nature, our senses are stimulated by the sounds, smells, and textures around us. This can help to sharpen our perceptions and make us more alert.
Connects us with nature: Perhaps one of the most important benefits of therapeutic gardening is that it helps us to connect with nature. In our fast-paced lives, it’s easy to forget about the natural world around us. By spending time outside tending to our gardens, we can slow down, appreciate the simple things in life, and feel more connected to the world around us.
No matter what your age or ability level, therapeutic gardening is a great way to de-stress, boost your mood, and improve your physical health. It’s also an opportunity to connect with nature and sharpen your senses. So get outside and grow! Your mind—and body—will thank you for it!