Why Gardening Makes Us Feel Better

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From the therapeutic benefits of connecting with nature to the satisfaction of nurturing plants, gardening is more than just a hobby – it’s a powerful tool for improving our quality of life. Here are some of the reasons why gardening makes us feel better.

Connection to Nature

With increasingly sedentary and indoor lifestyles, gardening provides us with a much-needed connection to nature and a way to get moving and stay active.

Not only is gardening a form of cardio and strengthening exercise but spending time outdoors allows us to reconnect with the natural world, which has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

Gardening also enables people to form a deeper understanding of food, particularly fresh produce like fruit and vegetables, and to experience first-hand what goes into growing the food that ends up on our dinner plates. This can lead to people adopting healthier lifestyles and to being motivated to grow their own produce, which can have a direct impact on physical health.

Mental Health

There are a number of psychological benefits to gardening. Having a garden to tend and care for can give people who are struggling with their mental health a sense of purpose and a focus. It can also improve mood, increase self-esteem, and reduce symptoms of some mental health disorders such as anxiety.

Community

There’s also a social aspect to gardening, with many areas now offering community gardens, that bring together people from all walks of life to improve and contribute to their local area. These shared spaces promote social interaction and a sense of belonging, which has been shown to reduce loneliness.

Even in areas without a shared garden or plot, there may be gardening clubs, open garden events, or allotments, where you can meet like-minded people and build and strengthen friendships.

Accomplishment

Gardening can provide a feeling of accomplishment, particularly the satisfaction and sense of achievement that comes from nurturing plants and watching them grow from a flower bulb or seed. This can give people a wonderful feeling of purpose and fulfilment.

This is evidenced by gardening schemes and clubs that are now being run all over the UK in conjunction with schools and other organisations. These groups can be a lifeline for people who may be struggling with other aspects of their lives, whether that’s ill-health, bullying, disability or unemployment, and provide a much-needed focus and a way to contribute to society.

Sustainability

Another way gardening can make us feel better about ourselves is the way in which it promotes and encourages sustainable practices. Nurturing a garden fosters a deeper understanding of nature and ecosystems, which helps us make choices that are better for the environment and – in turn – better for us. Knowing that we’re helping to reduce and even repair damage to the environment can give an enormous sense of wellbeing.

In Conclusion

Whilst gardening is becoming an increasingly popular pastime, even amongst younger generations, the truth is that gardening has long been an integral part of health and wellbeing, whether through the growing of fresh produce or plants with medicinal qualities. Gardening has many direct and indirect benefits and is something that everyone can try, whether in a window box, shared plot or back garden.

The post Why Gardening Makes Us Feel Better appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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