Why Gardening is Good for Your Mental Health

A welcomed development in these most trying of times has been the popularity boom of gardening. New York-based Soul Fire Farm, for instance, has seen 50 people sign up for garden installation this year — a 400% increase from its yearly average of 10 garden installations. Rooted Garden, a Houston-based garden installment business, doubled their orders for May, while its owner’s website, Gardenary, has seen an uptick in hits. On social media, plant lovers and indoor gardeners have been sharing their plants and gardens for all to see, and is yet another indication of the widespread and worldwide interest in gardening.

That gardening is becoming more and more popular isn’t surprising given its many benefits. Aside from enhancing any home, gardening itself is good for one’s well being. As an article titled The Importance of Belonging to a Diverse and Inclusive Wellness Space notes, getting fit and healthy is highly individual and will often involve having a personal wellness space. This will be one place of comfort where you can do all the things that will enhance your overall well being. This personal wellness space can be your garden. This is because gardening is great for your mental health, and evidence proving this is mounting.

A research paper called Gardening for Health: A Regular Dose of Gardening details how looking at plants have beneficial effects on mood and mental health. The paper pointed to a Japanese study that found that viewing plants gave test subjects both physiological benefits, (improved EEG recordings and reduced blood pressure) and mental health benefits (reduced stress, anger, and sadness). In his own pioneering study, environmental psychologist Roger Ulrich found that patients who viewed plants and trees from their postoperative wards experienced improvements in mood and needed fewer painkillers. There are numerous studies similar to these two, and they all underscore something that's now common knowledge: Being one with nature is beneficial.

As an added bonus, even the act of "interacting" with the soil works wonders for your mental health too. The post 'How Gardening Helps My Anxiety and 4 Steps to Get Started' explains how soil has been found to be natural antidepressants, with researchers discovering that bacteria found in soil help stimulate the production of serotonin. That's because serotonin is known to stabilize mood, all while promoting feelings of wellbeing and happiness.

Then there’s the manual work component of gardening, which happens to be a great form of physical activity too. Gardening is like exercising, and this means you'll get all benefits related to exercise — including those pertaining to mental health. Some of these benefits, as outlined by HelpGuide in a feature on exercise, include an improved sense of wellbeing, enhanced feelings of relaxation, and increased self-confidence and positivity. Exercise, or any physical activity for that matter, also improves brain functioning, which is vital to mental health.

With all the stress these trying times are causing, it's crucial that you take even greater care of your mental health. There are a variety of ways to do this and gardening is one of the best. So, in case you want to give it a try, do know that we are here to Make Your Home an Outdoor Paradise. With this green-space in place, you can start gardening and improve your mental health.      

Written exclusively for iScapeit.com

by Alliyah Cohen