In today’s day and age we are constantly on the move trying to complete our daily to do lists. Our days are composed of scheduled appointments and meetings that leave little time for leisure. At times, the noise and the stress can become too overwhelming and it can be difficult to set some free time aside to just breathe. When it comes to relaxing and unwinding, meditation and yoga are the primary ways that people practice to obtain peacefulness and calmness. There are, however, other ways to still acquire inner peace and to tranquility. One of these ways is gardening.
Gardening has many therapeutic qualities that can be helpful in promoting and maintaining mental health. Firstly, gardening can significantly decrease stress and anxiety levels. Studies have indicated that those who participated in at least 30 minutes of gardening a day had significantly lower stress levels than those who did not participate. Being outside and planting serves as a distraction, causing people to focus on the task at hand rather than dwelling on negative and stressful situations. Furthermore, the planting of herbs such as chamomile, basil, and lavender have calming effects that can be helpful in lowering anxiety levels.
In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, gardening can also be mood improving. A study showed that the bacteria found in the soil has antidepressant properties that can increase serotonin levels in the brain, therefore boosting and enhancing overall mood. Other studies have found that gardening in general makes people more content. According to experts, the process of planting a seed, nurturing it, and watching it grow causes people to feel more optimistic and happy. Additionally, caring for and being responsible for another living thing provides people with a sense of responsibility and purpose.
While many people participate in gardening as part of their hobby, many rely on it as a resource for improving mental health. Specific gardens called meditation gardens are being used to combat stress, anxiety, and even depression. Meditation Gardens are usually composed of plants that have therapeutic properties. Plants such as aloe vera, lavender, and chamomile are commonly planted to help supplement mental health and nurture the mind. These types of gardens have been around for centuries in countries like Japan as they provide a sense of peacefulness by separating one from the outside world. Nowadays, more people are building their own versions of a meditation garden in hopes of overcoming everyday stressors.
Whether performed as a hobby or specifically to improve mental health, gardening is a great way to bring some positivity and optimism into one’s life. It is easily enjoyable, casual, and can be tailored to one’s personal preferences. Furthermore, it can be fit into any hectic schedule and requires little planning. Most importantly, gardening allows for a happy and healthy environment that can serve as a temporary retreat from everyday life.