A well-gardened mind has kept many of us afloat in the face of a global crisis. Beyond food production and self-sustenance, our gardens have become our priceless havens of peace and serenity.
Experts have long believed in the many mental health benefits of gardening. “Something about growing food, connecting with the earth, and sharing the bounty with your neighbors and community can help you feel rooted, connected, and grateful," Diana Martin, Director of Communications and Marketing at the Rodale Institute shares.
Starting your own garden can be intimidating at first. Knowing how it can help your mental health may give you the boost you need. Here are the mental health benefits of gardening.
Develops a growing mindset
We've gotten used to the world of instant gratification. We can get a meal in minutes, and an answer in seconds. We forget the beauty of waiting, the gift patience can bring to help us grow.
Turning to gardening removes us from a fixed mindset and into a growing one. It's all about learning how to care for something, nurture it and watch as it progresses in full bloom. It even opens us to mistakes, which mold us to improve.
Helps reconnect us with our roots
Gardening can be cathartic, in a way that it develops a sense of grounding. It helps us reconnect with our roots as human beings, how it all started with our ancestors fully relying on Mother Earth to provide nourishment.
This can be a magical moment for many, particularly those who are just starting to experience the joy of gardening. There's a huge disconnect between people and knowing where the food comes from. Getting into it can change the way you think about consumption entirely.
Moves beyond our obsessive perfectionism
We go about our days keen on doing everything right. Whether it's to ensure the temperature of the chicken is spot on or that presentation for the boss must be all aces, we're obsessed about perfectionism.
It's the opposite when you find yourself with soil in your hands. There are things you don't have full control of, like bugs or pests, moody weather, or your child running to harvest that lettuce too early. One of the many health benefits of gardening is it moves beyond perfect. It's a humbling reminder that there is more to life than always seeking full control.
Creates stronger connections
The pandemic may have physically forbade us to be close to people. However, it has also taught us to develop connections in other ways, and with other people too.
There has been a rise in community gardens across the nation. Apart from being a source of nutrition for impoverished communities, it has broken down social barriers and has welcomed connections between people. It has opened up opportunities to develop meaningful relationships that may have otherwise never existed.
Protects us from unhealthy thoughts
A garden is not only a physical space that protects and provides. It also acts as a green barrier from unhealthy thoughts that may otherwise render us unhappy, unproductive, and uneasy with the world. It's a fail-proof stress-reliever and can help people recover from depression and anxiety.
These are just some of the many mental health benefits of gardening. Whether you have a big lawn or a windowsill to get you started, fret not. The promising positive effects are good enough reasons to keep you greenly inspired.