Garden Therapy: How can your Garden Affect Your Emotions?
May 4th 2023
Spending time outside, setting up a small garden, or relaxing in nature is so good for the health of the body and mind. The positive effects of spending time outside gardening on mental health and well-being have become evident in recent years, especially in children, elders, and disabled persons. Nature is a stress buster and mood booster. Interacting with nature can enhance general psychological well-being with positive effects on emotions.
Gardening is a therapy that reduces stress and anxiety and improves many aspects of mental health, but its therapeutic benefits extend beyond that. Therefore, practicing gardening activities or garden therapy is important to combat depression and many other mental health conditions.
So, let's explore what garden therapy is and the benefits of gardening for your mental health!
What is Garden Therapy?
Garden therapy or Horticultural therapy is a therapeutic process that uses plants and gardens to improve the physical and psychological well-being of an individual involved. Going outdoors, visiting the garden, or just viewing trees can work wonders. According to research, post-surgical patients who viewed plants out of their hospital windows seemed to recover more quickly than the same patients who viewed walls.
Mental health practitioners agree that people who engage in gardening experience greater mental health. It boosts positive emotions, reduces negative emotions, and calms conditions like anxiety, stress, anger, and tension. However, sitting even for five minutes in your garden or just looking at a garden from a window can have dramatic therapeutic results.
So, what are the benefits of gardening, and how a small garden can influence your emotions and provide stress relief? Let's discuss it!
Therapeutic Benefits of Gardening
Working in green spaces and connecting with nature is a relaxing activity that offers countless therapeutic and social benefits. Here are the powerful benefits of gardening on your overall health and life:
Interacting with nature or gardening improves your mood by making you feel peaceful and content. When you focus your attention on the details of gardening, it will reduce negative emotions and give you peace of mind.
Tending to your plants, smelling the fresh air, and seeing the vibrant colors can increase your dopamine levels and help you focus on deep work by devoting full attention to it.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety Levels
Garden therapy is a great way to lower stress and anxiety levels. It is very satisfying to plant, grow, cultivate, and share your own food. Gardening activities like weeding or watering can create a calming rhythm to ease stress.
Feeling the warmth of the sun and soil in your hand will relieve stress and decrease mental fatigue by boosting positive feelings.
Being immersed in vegetation and nature is used as an active component to combat clinical depression. Research has shown that garden walking and spending time in nature decrease depression in adults. Gardening exposes people to sunshine and boosts the intake of Vitamin D, a Serotonin synthesizer.
Serotonin is a feel-good chemical in the brain that induces happiness. Therefore, gardening and plant care make you feel good and positively impact your emotions.
Provides Physical Exercise
Spending time outside gardening is a great way to increase your physical activity. Increased physical activity boosts mood, reduces depression and other mental health conditions. Gardening provides various opportunities for physical activity.
Activities like digging, raking, and weeding are good exercises. Being physically active in the sun decreases stress hormones and increases endorphins, making you feel great.
Connects you to the world
Gardening offers numerous opportunities to connect with others and boost good relationships. Gardening with others at community gardens brings people together from diverse backgrounds to achieve shared goals. You get a chance to talk about plants with strangers and become friends with them. Thus, gardening benefits mental health by bringing people together and making good social connections.
Social connections help lower stress, provide support, and improve resilience. Sharing your produce with your neighbor, hosting gatherings at your garden, and planning your garden with your friends or neighbor strengthens your connection and brings you the joy gardening offers.
Helps to eat a healthy diet
Last but not least, your garden can provide you with fresh and healty food that can have a huge impact on your mental health. Growing and eating fruits and vegetables from your own garden positively impacts your diet.
You can grow your own vegetables and fruits to enjoy the unique health benefits of fresh food. In addition to the improved food quality, it'll be a money saver step.
How to Practice Garden Therapy at Home?
As we've explored the benefits of garden therapy, it is a real therapeutic activity. Everyone can enjoy the benefits of garden therapy and connect with nature, no matter how much space is available. Here is how you can settle your small garden and relax your mind by spending time in it:
If you have ample outdoor space use a small corner of the area to plant some vegetables, fruits, and flowers and turn it into an incredibly relaxing place. During the colder season, you can build a greenhouse in an outdoor space and cover it with plastic covering.
If you live with someone who is a nature lover and loves to spend time in greenery, it is best to create a rooftop garden on the roof of your apartment. You can grow vegetables or fruits there to serve at home and spend time with them in a relaxing place.
Windowsill Garden or Balcony
It is not essential to have a large outdoor space to cultivate something. A few pots on the windowsill or balcony are enough to plant anything from fragrant herbs to tomatoes, strawberries, and lettuce.
We've seen the benefits of gardening and how it positively affects your emotions and benefits your mental and physical well-being. Gardens are truly welcoming spaces, and being among nature has a calming effect on the mind and soul. Gardening at home or in community gardens can highly benefit your physical and mental health.
Whenever you're stressed or tired, being outside interacting with your plants is the best medicine. In addition, if you want fresh food, you can pick it yourself from your garden. So, invest in your mental well-being and begin the practice of setting up your own garden. Luckily, you have plenty of options to turn your outdoor space into a beautiful garden and reap all the rewards that gardening has to offer. Spend a little time daily in your garden and observe the benefits.
If you have set up your own beautiful garden and need any help with installing an irrigation system to provide water and nutrients to your plants, reach out to us and let us provide you with the best irrigation system possible.
Want to learn more about gardening? Explore our Gardening Blogs filled with the latest invaluable gardening information.