In this modern world of hectic schedules and shaky relationships, our mental health can really suffer. We’re liable to seek refuge in familiar comforts; family members, friends, and media can all provide some solace in a world increasingly difficult for many of us to navigate. What you may not realise is that some areas in your home can, in themselves, provide relief if you just cultivate them right.
One of the areas in your home with the most potential for this is your garden. Here’s how your garden can lift your mood.
Growing your own food is therapeutic
Growing your own food has a huge list of benefits, both for your physical and mental health. You’ll appreciate the jump in quality in terms of ingredients; there’s no substitute for home-grown veg in a soup or fruit in a pie. There are plenty of mental health benefits to just being surrounded by plants, too. If you’re going to grow fruit and veg in a garden, be sure you install a good-quality, reliable greenhouse from a place like Cultivar Greenhouses. You’ll be glad you did.
The act of gardening is good for you
Gardening is a fairly physically demanding pursuit; you’re remaining active the entire time you’re gardening, after all. It can have hugely beneficial effects on your mental health for this and other reasons. You’ll be working to help the planet by cultivating a garden, since you’ll be attracting wildlife and essentially creating your very own micro-ecosystem. If you’re hurting for ways to exercise and feel good about your contributions to the world, gardening should be top of your list.
Flowers can make you happy
Scientifically speaking, there’s evidence to suggest that the mere presence of flowers in your garden can make you happy. You’ll also have something nice to display in your home if you create a nice arrangement out of the flowers. They create a welcoming, positive space, add colour to a room, and give you a project if you’re feeling at a loose end after a recent relationship breakup or job loss. There’s really no reason not to grow flowers if you have a garden.
It can reduce stress
The mere act of gardening can help to reduce your stress. There are a number of reasons for this. First off, of course, engaging in physical activity – exercise of any kind – is an excellent way to work off stress and anger. Secondly, a garden is a very calming and natural space, which brings down your stress levels. Thirdly, by working on a long-term project, you can feel like you’re making a difference somewhere, thus balancing out feelings of frustration or powerlessness. It’s win-win!
Your immune system will improve
Are you someone who’s regularly prone to things like colds, flu, and other viral infections? If you’re out in the garden a lot, you can improve your immune system considerably. This is largely because if you garden while it’s sunny, you’re exposing yourself to sunlight, which contains vitamin D. This vitamin aids in the absorption of calcium by your body, which strengthens your bones and keeps your immune system ticking over as it should.
It’s a sensory experience
Your mood improves when you take time to enjoy your senses rather than simply taking them for granted. When you’re out in the garden, you can stop and absorb all the sights, smells, and sounds you’re constantly surrounded by. If there’s someone in your family who has particular sensory needs – or if that’s you – then you can even create a special sensory garden that accommodates those needs. Sharpen your senses and take some time to relax in your garden next time you’re out.
It can lead to compliments
Everyone loves being complimented on their home, right? You’re likely no different – we know we’re not. When guests, family members, or even strangers comment on how beautiful your garden is looking, that’s a surefire way to improve your mood. You may not be thinking this far ahead, but gardening and working on your garden can even improve the resale value of your home. Knowing that you’re sitting on a goldmine should you ever choose to move is a real mood-lifter.
You could stave off dementia
There are a number of different types of dementia, and they’re all caused by different things. However, there’s research to suggest that gardening is a good way to stave off dementia. A study done on a group of people over the age of 60 found that participants who regularly did garden work enjoyed a between 35-45% lower risk of dementia. Knowing that you’re doing all you can to stop yourself from succumbing to this disease has to feel good, right?
It’ll help you enter “the zone”
You’ve probably experienced this before: you’re out running, engaging in a hobby you particularly love, or simply walking out in nature. Suddenly, you realise you’ve entered a sort of meditative state in which you’re completely blissed out. Some refer to that as “the zone”, and gardening is a fantastic way to achieve that. Being out in nature, surrounded by colours, sights, and sounds means that you’re more likely to bliss out and enter that zen state of mind.