Positive Effects of Gardening
Physical and Mental Well-being
It’s a beautiful Sunday morning, you wake up to the soft sun rays slowing lighting up your room. You look out the window and see the birds chirping, the flowers blooming and the leaves rustle as the wind blows. How does it feel? Does it fill you up with joy? Plants, trees, flowers, and nature; they all hold healing powers. With just the right fragrance, the colorful scenic view of flowers, or the view of a garden replete with green herbs and shrubs, you can feel energized and motivated immediately. If nature can have such an instant positive effect, why not surround ourselves with it? Why depend on trips to parks, or community gardens when you can create your happiness at home! How do you ask? It’s GARDENING!
Gardening allows individuals to have regular and constant contact with nature. It is resourceful for a healthy physical and mental state of being. Gardening is a lifetime of free access to abundant happiness. Planting new seedling, watering it, caring for it, and loving it is like taking care of your child. You have to feed it, you have to take care of its daily needs. You are responsible for another’s life, besides yours! This increases the sense of responsibility in an individual; making them more confident and independent. Not only does it induce competence, but it is also a mood enhancer. Gardening is associated with stress relief; a form of meditation. This activity requires patience, focus, and concentration.
Hence, like painting, gardening is also art. The love and patience with which you cultivate your garden help accomplish a sense of achievement; serve as a distraction from current stressors and put you in a state of calm and serenity.
It encourages time in the sunlight, which is important for Vitamin D and helps make our bones stronger. Especially during the pandemic, where there are restraints on physical movement, gardening also encourages physical activity. According to research, people who indulge in gardening are less likely to show signs of obesity as their lower body mass index is lower than people who don’t participate in gardening. More so, it is also associated with healthy eating habits. Planting vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, bell peppers, cabbage, etc. induce healthy eating habits. Having easy access to healthy food makes it easier to sustain a healthy diet.
For many people, it’s easier to cook ready-made and packaged food, especially during lockdown than step out to buy fresh vegetables. But, if your garden holds these healthy essentials just a few steps away, you will feel easily motivated to cook healthier. It also induces healthy eating habits in children. Especially when they participate in gardening and growing their fruits, they will feel encouraged and excited to consume what they grew.
Mental health is improved by this activity
It’s an instant mood enhancer. It induces higher levels of self-esteem and reduces feelings of anger and frustration. A small task such as planting a seed, not only leads to satisfaction of completing a task but also benefits the environment. Many times, people are unable to participate in gardening due to lack of space and resources, however, indoor plantings can also deem useful for a healthier mental state of mind. Studies demonstrate a correlation between indoor plants and increased rate of healing in hospital patients.
In 2009, a study explained how patients in rooms with plants and flowers demonstrated higher pain tolerance, reduced blood pressure, lower anxiety, and fatigue as compared to patients without any plants in their rooms. Could plants BE any more important? Well, yes. Not only are they therapeutic but they also help in increasing one’s focus and concentration. According to the American Journal of Public Health, green or natural settings helps increase focus in children, especially in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Green settings tend to reduce the symptoms of ADHD, significantly (https://hside.org/plants-improve-mental-physical-health.com).
Nurturing a plant, and increasing the greenery around can induce feelings of accomplishment, competence, compassion, and positivity in individuals. Gardening helps release stress and lead healthier lives in terms of physical and mental health. Plant a garden for a promising future!
About the author
Tarasha is a 3rd-year undergraduate student pursuing child psychology. She loves to volunteer for social work concerning animals and children. Additionally, she enjoys participating in environmental activities actively, since the Earth is all we have in common and we are all responsible for its well-being.