There are many reasons that people spend time working on their garden, some because they enjoying gardening and others because they want a garden they can show off and be proud of. But, did you know that whatever your reason for doing it, gardening is also great for your overall health?
If you are already on a website such as YouGarden – searching through potential plants for your outdoor space as you start planning in your head how it will look – here are a few more reasons why you definitely want to make those purchases.
Just looking at a garden or being in one can work towards dissolving negative feelings and increasing positive ones, it has a calming effect that makes the stress turn to peace and tranquility. If these benefits can be achieved just from strolling through a garden, imagine what working in one can do for you!
Well, a lot it would seem, as it is good for both your mental and physical health – so much so that they have become places to rehabilitate those living with disabilities and mental disorders. The health factors have become known as horticultural therapy, used to treat hospital patients, and even to calm prisoners in jail.
It is believed that substantial savings could be made to the UK economy if gardening was used more widely as a treatment, particularly for health conditions including, mental illness, obesity and loneliness.
Horticultural therapists say gardens produce the most positive effects on mental health. They do this by providing a sense of control – the psychological counter to stress and anxiety.
Gardening has the ability to be very distracting; it can alleviate pain and depression simply by taking the gardeners mind off their troubles, as they concentrate on the job in hand.
A study conducted by the University of Westminster and University of Essex found that just 30 minutes a week in the garden could improve mood and self-esteem by dissolving tension, depression, anger and confusion, as well as improving your physical fitness.
Gardening is a very physical activity that involves stretching, lifting, bending, walking, etc. As a result of feeling physically fit your mind will feel clearer and happier. This is because when you exercise, which you are effectively doing for the period of time you are amongst the plants, your levels of serotonin and dopamine rise and cortisol levels, that make you feel stressed, are lowered.
A further study conducted by Gardeners World magazine found that from the 1,500 adults surveyed, more than 90% found gardening improved their mood. Of those asked, 80% of gardeners felt satisfied with their lives compared to 67% of non-gardeners.
Negative feelings can be taken out on the garden, as some aspects allow us to vent anger and frustration, such as digging soil or cutting back bushes, but the result is a sense of purpose and achievement, which gives a further boost to moods.
So it looks like it is time to rediscover your green fingers – start creating a beautiful garden you will be happy to show off, while at the same time boosting your mental and physical health!