How Can Gardening Improve Your Mental Health?

Gardening is a fantastic, productive hobby- but it also provides a unique combination of physical, mental, and social benefits too. This makes it a great activity for improving your overall well-being so is something to take up if you're searching for a new hobby! Here are just a few reasons it's a worthy way to spend your time, and how it can give your mind a boost too.

Stress reduction
Gardening can provide a sense of tranquility and peacefulness, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. Engaging in repetitive tasks, such as digging, planting, and weeding, can have a calming effect and provide a sense of control in a world that may often seem chaotic.

Mood improvement
Gardening exposes you to sunlight, which triggers the release of vitamin D and serotonin, two natural mood-enhancers. The physical activity involved in gardening also releases endorphins, which are associated with feelings of happiness and well-being. Most of us spend too much time indoors and it affects our mind and circadian rhythm, so anything that gets you outside more is a good thing. 

Sense of purpose
Gardening provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment as you care for and watch your plants grow. It allows you to create something tangible and see the results of your hard work, which can boost self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment. You could even go a step further and turn what you grow into food such as jams, jellies and chutneys. Flowers can be dried and used in crafts, and herbs can be turned into homemade cosmetics!

Cognitive benefits
Gardening requires attention, problem-solving, and spatial awareness, which can help improve cognitive function and prevent age-related declines. It can also stimulate creativity and imagination as you plan and design your garden.

Physical activity
Gardening is a form of physical activity that can help improve physical fitness, increase strength and flexibility, and reduce the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Not everyone enjoys slogging at the gym, if you prefer to do more productive exercise then what better way to get your steps in and work your body than digging, raking, weeding and carrying. 

Nature connection
Spending time in nature has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health, reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Engaging in gardening can provide an even stronger connection to nature as you work directly with the natural world. Turn your garden into your own beautiful slice of nature and then you have a calming place to relax right on your doorstep. 

Social connections
Gardening can be a social activity that provides opportunities for connecting with others, building relationships, and promoting a sense of community. Joining a gardening group, volunteering at a community garden, or simply sharing gardening tips with a neighbour can all contribute to improved social connections.

Do you find that gardening improves your mental health?