You could speak to any gardener out there, and they’d all agree that gardening is the best of all natural antidepressants. It is great for physical, mental and emotional well-being, and from fitness to saving money, gardening has innumerable benefits. Today we are going to explore some of them so that you can being to consider gardening as a tool for your own well-being.
It’s natures natural antidepressants
Gardening has so many benefits for our mental health that it is astounding. Spending an hour in the garden can easily make you feel like you’re getting back in touch with nature and connecting with what feels like something innately human. Just by touching the soil you can feel a connection to the earth. Researchers at the University of Sheffield have recently claimed that a direct link between gardening and well-being exists and that it helps to reduce depression, anxiety and stress! You can check out an article on the BBC news website here!
It makes you feel healthier
Gardening is a great form a exercise. With the rising costs associated with obesity and depression, gardening could play a significant role in helping you to lose weight and feel great at the same time. We have already explored its mental benefits, but of course the physical benefits are just as important. So by providing a gentle form of cardiovascular workout, you can improve your cardiovascular health immensely, and with weight bearing exercises in the garden, such as moving compost and pots, you’re also building up with bone density too.
It can save you money
Have you ever tried to grow your own? Growing your own fruit and vegetables can be both enjoyable and cost effective. Of course we’ve all felt the pinch at times in our lives. Sometimes there’s just too much month and the end of the money, so finding ways to seque poor and famished to food abundance is important!
Gardeners such as Patrick Dolan consistently demonstrate that even with limited space we can transform our gardens into self sufficient paradises. Where all the best organic fruit and vegetables we need are at our finger tips daily. You can check out his YouTube channel for weekly vlogs where we shares his experience in growing your own using permaculture principles. You can check out Patrick’s YouTube channel here and watch one of his superb and inspiring videos below!
You might even want to try growing your own natural antidepressants, such as St Johns Wort (but I wouldn’t recommend you make your own – leave that to the professionals).
Make new friends
Gardening is one of those sociable activities that get’s everyone talking. Have you ever been down to a community allotment? You can hear everyone chatting and talking about what the are doing in the gardens or allotments for the coming season.
Gardening is a great activity to meet new people and make new friends. It’s one of those places where people like to get together to connect, have a barbecue or just have a cuppa with friends. There are gardening clubs, courses, community gardens to volunteer at and allotments of course too. Sometimes our experience of mental health can make us become isolated and the mere thought of mixing with others can be anxiety provoking too. But there is something special about being in the garden and making new friends. It makes it easy because of all the things you can discuss…whether that’s what you’ve been doing, or planning in the garden, what you want to plant or sow and how you can offer advice and guidance to other people who may be new to it. The opportunities are simply endless.
It provides you with a sense of achievement
Imagine the feeling you might experience when you see the fruits of your labour. Imagine you looking out onto a wild and overgrown space, and then making that decision to transform it into something of beauty.
The hard work, the pain, the cost…just imagine what sense of achievement you would feel after working hard building a beautiful garden for you to enjoy. This is what all gardeners feel when they just sit back and watch their garden. Watching the wildlife come in and make a home there, seeing flowers bloom or feel the excitement of the first buds coming on the trees in spring. Gardening is such a rewarding activity.
Provides a structure to your day
Sometimes when we battle with mental health our motivation for structuring our days, forming routines and pretty much doing anything is shot. Living with a mental health condition can make doing anything harder. Medication can leave you tired, lethargic and unable to concentrate fully on the things you used to find easy.
You can enjoy the beauty of nature
What better natural antidepressants are there other than being awe inspired by natures own beauty? Just by surrounding yourself with the beauty of a garden, you can almost feel it uplifting you immediately. I don’t think there has been a better therapy in my experience than just sitting in nature and just observing. Just being. Realising just how insignificant I am when I look upon the vastness of nature. It really is mind altering when you immerse yourself in it.
What’s more is that it is such a fun activity and it is creative. Give it a try, all you need is your gardening kit and you never know you might find it to be that one thing that motivates you to carry on. Gardening surely is one of life’s best natural antidepressants.