What’s that old saying? April showers bring… what again? This month, we’re digging deep into the physical and mental benefits of gardening, whether that be producing your own farmer’s market in your backyard or simply adding a succulent to your desk. We’ll discuss the benefits of keeping greenery in your space and highlight the importance of getting outside and getting your hands dirty as the days get warmer.
Gardening is one of few activities that provide mental stimulation and physical exercise simultaneously. It allows us to connect with nature while also offering ourselves time for quiet introspection, something most of us don’t nearly get enough of. So, what are some of the mental and emotional benefits of gardening? First and foremost, plants release oxygen, which allows our brains to function better and can help alleviate stress. If you’re growing fresh fruits, vegetables, or herbs in your garden, having these nutritious options on hand helps encourage healthy eating habits as well. There are benefits to keeping and maintaining plants both indoors and outside.
If you’re a gardening novice, starting small with an indoor cactus, succulent, or spider plant is a great first step! These plants are generally low maintenance to take care of, and their small size prevents you from feeling obligated to buy loads of soil or tools to get started on this new hobby. A plant in your home can also provide health benefits just from being looked at! Potting an indoor houseplant can be aesthetically pleasing to your space and increase feelings of calm. According to Psychology Today, looking at a green landscape “is linked with better recover from surgery, less anxiety and depression, better stress management, and many other positive effects.” So, go ahead and add that cactus or succulent to your desk and let it work its magic!
If you have an area to garden outdoors – even if that area is small – spending time in the fresh air and sunshine adds even more mental benefits to the activity of gardening. Being outside increases your body’s intake of Vitamin D, and the fresh air allows your brain an increase of oxygen flow. Gardening allows our bodies to get some exercise. This in turn increases endorphins, boosts our moods, and can help lower anxiety. Planting outdoors also helps us better connect with the world around us according to Psychology Today. Avid gardeners share that since getting into gardening, they are more connected with the cycle of the seasons and the elements, including temperature changes and rainfall amounts.
As the seasons change and the weather gets warmer, the impulse to be outside and in nature becomes greater and greater. So, what better way to facilitate that urge than to add some greenery to your home or your yard and let the health benefits roll in? This environmentally friendly hobby will benefit you and your family for years to come!