When most people think of the leisure activity of gardening, they imagine working in the yard for hours on end to get it looking perfect. While this is one aspect of gardening, there are many other benefits from pursuing this activity. Gardening does provide both mental and physical benefits. All leisure activites are important in peoples lives.
Gardening is not just about digging in the dirt and planting flowers; it’s an activity that requires both mental and physical strength and stamina. So if you are looking for ways to relieve stress or get in some exercise, then gardening may be right up your alley, or should we say backyard!
Benefits of Gardening
1. Increased Joy
The mental benefits of gardening include increased joy and lower levels of depression or anxiety.
In addition, it’s a way to focus outwardly and get away from thoughts that are not helpful by spending time outside with nature-based activities like digging holes for plants or pulling weeds out of flower beds.
Gardening helps you stay grounded when life gets hectic!
What do we mean by grounded well grounding is connecting with the earth and helping us feel more connected to our surroundings.
When life feels like it’s moving too fast, grounding can help you feel more centered and in control.
Being outside in the sun, breathing in the scents and air outside of our home, and getting our vitamin D, helps with mood regulation.
3. Promotes relaxation
You walk out the door and see a yard full of weeds. How does this promote relaxation, you may ask.
Being outside in a new environment from your home stimulated by new things causes your focus to redirect and open, promoting peace. When we are outside planting flowers or digging holes, a sense of calm arises, we feel like we accomplished something great by putting all of that work into one area where people will enjoy looking at them when they come over or just driving past your home.
Gardening is relaxing, and it promotes relaxation by providing an outlet for creativity. If you have been feeling down about job prospects or family issues, perhaps designing some flower beds might be the perfect way to channel your energy.
4. Reduces negative emotions and enhances moods
Gardening is a great way to eliminate negative thoughts by focusing on something positive, like flowers or vegetables. The act of planting seeds in the ground and watching them grow can be therapeutic.
When you’re outside digging holes for plants and pulling weeds out of flower beds, it’s easy not to think about anything else but what kind of soil needs more nutrients than others which means less time worrying about things that could go wrong with your day.
When we focus on something outside of ourselves, we are less likely to be self-critical and have negativity. So, if you have been feeling down, designing some flower beds might be just what you need to enhance your mood.
5. A sense of belonging and purpose
We all want to belong to feel inside us that others know what we offer is valuable. Gardening is a versatile activity and is an individual or group task that brings about a sense of belonging and purpose.
Plants need caring for, and by assisting plants to grow, you gain a sense of purpose. Gardening as a group task brings about a sense of belonging by connecting with others who have similar interests.
6. Provides educational opportunities for all age levels
Gardening allows all to learn about plant life from the seedling or sprout stage through harvest time. It is also perfect because one can get their hands dirty while learning new things, promoting a sense of accomplishment.
For those who feel alone, gardening provides an opportunity to get involved with other like-minded individuals by attending community events such as Master Gardener programs or volunteering in parks that offer classes on gardening topics. Gardening helps us connect with others, the earth, and ourselves.
7. Provides a sense of accomplishment
The mental benefits of gardening include increased happiness and lower levels of depression or anxiety. In addition, spending time outside with nature-based activities like digging holes for plants or pulling weeds out of flower beds brings you a sense of accomplishment.
You will feel you accomplished something great by putting all of that work into one area where you and others will enjoy your creation. What you create is an extension of who you are, and sharing yourself, and your creation with others is truly a great gift.
8. Physical activity
Physical activity is essential, and the physical benefits of gardening is a way to ensure you are getting your physical activity while enjoying yourself.
- Increased muscle strength in upper body areas such as arms and shoulders and lower back/leg muscles while digging or bending over to pick out the weeds.
- Improved balance and flexibility as gardening usually involves a good bit of bending, reaching, and walking as well as maneuvering about on the uneven ground.
- Third, enhanced joint mobility due to using all your body’s joints as you squat, reach and twist to garden in different areas.
Finally, gardening can help you eat healthily and allow for a sense of accomplishment when harvesting your vegetables. Nothing is more satisfying than picking fresh vegetables and fruits and eating them.
The mental and physical benefits of gardening are vast. Gardening can provide a sense of purpose, belonging, accomplishment, connection with others, and a sense of calm. It is a great way to exercise and connect with nature and a fantastic way to spend time outside. Who wouldn’t want all of those benefits? So get out there and start gardening today!