Gardening benefits your mental and physical health

Gardening is often considered to be a chore. However, what many people don’t realise is that there are a number of gardening benefits that you can enjoy. Not only does gardening offer mental and emotional benefits, but physical advantages too.

Long history of gardening

Women have taken an interest in gardening for centuries. Physicians from many years ago started to see a connection between mental health and spending time outdoors. This is something we are even more aware of today. Especially with all the restrictions we endured due to the Covid pandemic. Fresh air and sunlight are essential for physical and mental health which is why gardening benefits both of these areas of our lives.

Recovery and detox centres

If you visit detox centres or similar recovery facilities, you will notice that they will usually have some sort of garden area which encourages patients to get outside. There are often guided gardening sessions for beginners to show them all the amazing gardening benefits. Apart from regular therapy sessions, gardening allows the patient some time of solitude to reflect on their emotions and thoughts while enjoying the silent company of nature.

Some fine examples

If you are still not sure exactly how gardening benefits both body and mind, here are some excellent examples of areas in which gardening is used to help patients from all walks of life:

  • Gardening helps those with addictions by giving them something to keep them busy. They will have something to focus on and less time to think about their addiction.
  • Gardening and group therapy are considered to offer just about the same benefits. The former is particularly great for those who are not yet ready to open up.
  • The time you spend with plants and nature gives you an opportunity to really take note of what you are thinking and feeling. By becoming more conscious of these feelings, you can gain a better understanding of them and it can also help your therapist guide you more effectively.
  • Caring for something living like plants gives you a sense of importance and it is extremely rewarding to see your work pay off.
  • Fresh air and sunlight help improve physical and mental health. We all need vitamin D from the sun and fresh air is far more energizing than stale air in your home or in a treatment facility. Fresh air is particularly important for those who suffer from lung issues.
  • When you are feeling unwell (physically or mentally), it is easy to stay in bed and feel sorry for yourself. This will only make you feel worse. Which is why it’s important to get up and get moving. Now, if you are physically sick, you should take it easy. However, if you remain horizontal in bed, this can cause your condition to worsen. Some movement helps the immune system. Similarly, if you are feeling depressed and you stay in your room for days and days, it will only make your world feel smaller and everything will seem meaningless. This behaviour will drain you of any positivity while gardening will help boost your mood and give you a reason to get out of bed.

With all of these gardening benefits in mind, why wait? Even if you don’t have much of a garden or if you have a balcony, you can still tend to potted plants. Remember, if you are growing plants indoors, they need fresh air too. This is a great reason for you to open those blinds or curtains and let some air flow in through your windows. Even if it is chilly outside, fresh air is essential to sustain life.