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Top 6 Key Benefits of Gardening for Mental Health


The benefits of gardening go beyond just improving the appearance of your lawn or gaining easy access to nutritious food like vegetables, fruits, and herbs. For people struggling with mental health issues like stress, anxiety, or depression, gardening could help them cope with their problems.

The many activities you can do with gardening could have a positive effect on your mental health. Whether it’s patiently waiting for harvest time or just trying to learn more about different types of soil, gardening is a way to zone out other worries and focus on growing your crops.

If you want to know more, continue reading below to discover how beneficial gardening is to your mental health.

1. Precious Time Outdoors

Outdoor activities like beach hopping, hiking, biking, and even gardening could improve your mental health. According to a 2019 study, it was found that “contact with nature is associated with increases in happiness and subjective well-being”.

Seeing lush greenery and beautiful flowers could provide you with a much-needed breather, not to mention the health benefits you could get from direct sunlight in the morning. So go out there, enjoy your garden, and spend precious time outdoors.

2. Fun Way to Exercise

You might not know it, but you’re already burning calories as you tend to your garden. Gardening actually helps you work out the different muscle groups in your body, especially your legs, back, and arms.

Of course, just make sure that you don’t overdo it so you won’t feel any long-term negative effects on your body. Moreover, don’t stay out late into the morning or noon, as the sunlight by then could be harmful to your skin.

3. Improves your Self-Esteem

Gardening gives you something to do and focus on, and it’s even better when you see your plants grow. All these benefits could boost your self-esteem, something that could positively influence you in other facets of your life.

Most importantly, gardening gives you something to protect and nurture. It instills in you a sense of responsibility, mainly as you develop a “bond” with your plants.

4. Encourages a Growth Mindset

On the other hand, gardening also encourages you to develop patience and acceptance. Not all plants will grow according to your plan, which might be disappointing and even frustrating initially.

As a gardener, you need to accept these things. The weather might be unpredictable on some days, and some types of plants won’t continue growing despite your utmost attention. All these could help you develop an unwithering growth mindset, a skill that you can also apply to the things you do outside of gardening.

5. Relieves you of Stress and Anxiety

Spending time with plants, especially those you tend to, could lower your stress and anxiety levels. When you do gardening, you’ll tend to zone out and focus your sights and senses on your beloved plants. Gardening is useful as a “positive distraction”, so your mind is not constantly filled with your worries and problems.

6. Connects you to a Supportive Community

Last but not least, gardening could be your means to a very supportive community. You can’t answer your every gardening problem, especially if you’re just starting out. This encourages you to reach out to the gardening community and ask for help when needed.

You might be surprised by how supportive these people are, as they also started their gardening journey as beginners. So you’ll immediately have a support system in your journey, and other beginners might even reach out for your advice.

Gardening is a means for people to bond over their same interests, which could also help improve their mental health.