Working hard on your landscaping boosts curb appeal and creates an outdoor oasis for you to enjoy. Those happy feelings you experience while you’re outside working aren’t just about the flowers, though. There are actually numerous mental health benefits of gardening you might experience while working on your landscaping.
We’re exploring the connection between gardening and mental health, the main benefits, tips about gardening for mental health, and ways to use it to supplement other therapies. Creating a beautiful outdoor space can be just as beneficial for your mind as it is for your home’s curb appeal.
Connection Between Gardening and Mental Health
The connection between gardening and mental health provides a sense of accomplishment, which boosts self-esteem and confidence. Backyard flower garden ideas also offer the opportunity to connect with nature and provide a calming and peaceful environment in which to work, live, and relax.
Additionally, the act of gardening can release endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals in the brain that promote a sense of well-being, happiness, and elevate mental health.
Main Benefits of Gardening for Mental Health
When it comes to gardening and mental health, there are a variety of benefits you may experience. From mood elevation to soaking up extra vitamin D, the benefits of gardening for mental health may have a direct impact on your overall quality of life. If you enjoy gardening, consider how gardening for mental health could be part of your year-round self-care routine.
Some of the main benefits of gardening for mental health are:
- Stress reduction: Gardening is a relaxing and therapeutic activity that can help reduce stress levels. It has been shown to lower cortisol, the “stress hormone,” and promote relaxation and calmness.
- Vitamin D absorption: Spending time outside in the sun while gardening can provide an essential dose of vitamin D. This nutrient is important for maintaining strong bones, boosting your immune system, and improving mental health.
- Mood improvement: Gardening has been shown to improve mood and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. It provides a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and connection with nature that can boost your overall well-being.
- Mindfulness: Gardening for mental health encourages mindfulness. Mindfulness keeps you present in the moment and focused on the task at hand. It can help reduce negative thoughts and increase feelings of gratitude and appreciation.
- Exercise: Gardening is a great form of exercise. It can improve strength, endurance, and flexibility, and it can be a low-impact way to stay active.
Gardening Activities That Improve Mental Health
Beyond the main connections between gardening and mental health, the various activities you may engage in while working on your landscaping may also provide their own perks. Engaging in gardening activities such as planting, weeding, harvesting, and choosing flowers can have a positive impact on mental health in several ways.
- Planting: Planting involves preparing the soil, choosing plants, and placing them in the ground. This activity can promote mindfulness and a sense of purpose as you focus on the task at hand. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as the plants grow and thrive.
- Weeding: Weeding involves removing unwanted plants and debris from the garden. This activity can be meditative and calming, as you focus on the physical task of pulling weeds from the ground. It can also provide a sense of control and order as the garden becomes cleaner and more organized.
- Harvesting: Harvesting involves collecting any fruits and vegetables that have grown in your garden. It facilitates a sense of pride and accomplishment as you see the results of your hard work. Harvesting also partners gardening and mental health by providing a connection to nature and a sense of gratitude for the food that has been grown.
- Choosing flowers: Choosing flowers may also provide additional mental health benefits of gardening. Flowers and plants can double as a form of self-expression. Choosing colors and styles that reflect your personal taste is satisfying and brings a sense of beauty as the garden becomes more colorful and vibrant.
Overall, gardening activities can promote mindfulness, a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and control. It’s your connection to nature, leaving a positive impact on your mental health.
Tips for Creating a Garden that is Conducive to Mental Health
To create a garden that is conducive to mental health, start by choosing plants that are easy to care for and require minimal maintenance. Consider adding plants that are known for their calming properties, such as lavender, chamomile, or jasmine. Low-maintenance outdoor plants allow you to enjoy taking care of your garden rather than having to worry about whether your plants are thriving.
You can also create a comfortable seating area connected with paver walkway design ideas where you can sit and enjoy the garden, add a water feature, or even begin planting a pollinator garden to support your local wildlife. Keep the garden tidy and well-maintained, and use natural materials like wood and stone to create a peaceful and relaxing environment.
Using Gardening to Supplement Therapy
The benefits of gardening for mental health can also supplement therapy. It can provide a safe and peaceful environment for individuals to explore their thoughts and feelings, and it provides a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Gardening therapy involves working with a therapist to develop a plan for the garden and using gardening as a tool to promote mental well-being. It can be especially beneficial for individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, or stress.
As you’ve learned, there are many ways to connect gardening and mental health improvement. From the benefits of working out in the sun to the perks of gardening activities like weeding and planting flowers, the experience is one that will leave a positive impact on your overall well-being. Consider gardening solo or share the benefits of gardening for mental health with the whole family while creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Unsure where to begin? You can always contact our landscaping professionals to create the landscaping of your dreams while gaining the mental health boost of maintaining it after installation!
Additional Resources for Getting Your Garden Started
If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration to combine gardening and mental health improvement this year, check out our list of additional resources:
- 6 Front Yard Landscaping Ideas with Rocks
- How to Landscape a Small Backyard
- What Elements Are Used in a Backyard Japanese Garden?
- What is Sustainable Gardening?