Hundreds of studies have been conducted and time and time again they find that gardening is indeed therapeutic, particularly for mental health.
Why is gardening considered therapy among millions of people around the world?
Here are 5 reasons:
1. Gardening is relaxing
The certain mindfulness and peace with gardening allow us to escape from other people, and our critical thoughts of ourselves. Freud says that flowers are restful to look at, free from conflict and emotions. Taking care of plants awakens the carefree part of ourselves that usually gets tucked away to survive in this fast-paced, crazy time we live in. The rhythmic nature of gardening – trimming, weeding, sweeping, sowing, pruning – also allows our thoughts to ebb and flow together with our movements.
2. Gardening connects us to other living things
Gardening reminds us that the world does not revolve around us and we are certainly not the only living creatures on earth. A 2003 study conducted among those in mental health institutions and prisons found that the social effects of group gardening were beneficial to them because it centered on collective goals and skills and away from their individual symptoms and insecurities.
3. Gardening gives us a sense of responsibility
Taking care of plants is a great way to develop respect for other living things and helps give a sense of responsibility and purpose (albeit, small).
4. Gardening releases happy hormones
What’s good for the body is also good for the mind. Gardening can be fitly likened to exercise that causes our body to release serotonin and dopamine – happy hormones – that make us feel good and improve mood. A gardening session outdoors may be tiring, but it can also get rid of any excess energy so you can sleep better and wake up feeling renewed and rested.
5. Gardening allows us to nurture
No matter the age, race, or gender, gardening taps on our ability to be nurturers. Taking care of plants helps people with mental health problems to contribute to a transformative activity and process, that also help boost their self-esteem.
Read the full article by Psychology Today here for more reasons why gardening is therapeutic.