Benefits of gardening for your mental health
Gardening is a great way to combat daily worries, stress, and negative thoughts. It has been scientifically proven that growing and caring for plants, whether outdoors or indoors, has great benefits for people’s mental health.
When you enjoy a healthy mind, the positive repercussions are felt physically and in your general well-being. Including gardening as part of your hobbies can bring you harmony and happiness.
What benefits does gardening offer you on a mental level?
There are several factors that contribute to your mental health, when you take care of your garden. Among the main ones we have the following:
Reduced stress levels
A large percentage of the population suffers from stress at different levels. This can lead to muscle tension, digestive problems, increased blood pressure, and other physical ailments. In the mental realm, experiencing stress can cause anxiety and even depression.
When you get in touch with nature and its elements such as water, earth, sun and plants, your stress levels tend to be minimized.
Enjoying quality time in your garden decreases the generation of cortisol, the hormone produced by the body in stressful situations. When your body produces this hormone, you may experience confusion, an increase in your heart rate, sweaty hands, among other symptoms.
Strengthening of the immune system
Practicing gardening can strengthen your immune system, so you can better deal with viruses and infections in general.
Coming into contact with sand from the garden or from the pots of your plants, generates immune reinforcements in your body. In other words, gardening will prompt your body to produce neutrophils.
These neutrophils are white blood cells existing in your immune system by nature, which react to external agents or microbes.
Activation of your muscles
Gardening has been classified as an exercise. Although it is not a high-demand exercise, it is quite effective.
With just half an hour or 45 minutes of gardening, you can burn 300 calories. In addition, the constant activity in your garden allows you to exercise all the main muscle groups of your body.
Keeps you focused on the present
Spending time in your garden and surrounded by plants and natural elements, allows you to clear your mind of the daily bombardment of information, commitments and any other activity that disturbs your calm.
On the other hand, while taking care of plants your mind stays focused on what you are doing, and you forget about the rest of the world. When your mind stays in the present you can enjoy benefits such as:
- Greater satisfaction in your life
- Your levels of emotional reaction decrease
- You sleep better
- Improve your attention and concentration
Vitamin D absorption
When you work in an open garden, you expose your body to the sun’s rays, allowing your skin to absorb them and thus increasing the production of vitamin D in your body.
You must remember not to abuse your exposure to the sun, just 10 or 15 minutes will be enough.
An adequate level of vitamin D in your system contributes to:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Protection against inflammation
- Optimizes brain functions
Building interpersonal connections
Gardening gives you the opportunity to bond and connect with other people interested in the same hobby. You can make friends with neighbors who also take care of their plants, with the person who sells you gardening supplies, etc.
Your garden, its care and maintenance, provide you with a really extensive and entertaining topic of conversation to share with other individuals.
Taking into account all these benefits provided by gardening, for your mental health, it is an excellent idea that you start taking better care of your plants.