In the 21st century, we are drifting farther and farther away from nature and our roots. We spend most of our time indoors, and while this lifestyle is what we call normal nowadays, it is undeniable that it affects our psyche in a negative way. We have to find ways to cope with this or sooner than later, we’re going to be faced with mental health problems, which are way too common today.
It is generally known that spending time in nature is good for us – being among greenery instantly improves our mood and even as little as keeping a few potted plants in our office helps us fight stress and focus better on our work. It does not come as a surprise, thus, that gardening as a hobby can be great for our mental well-being: here are a few ways in which this hobby can help you keep a positive outlook even during hectic times.
It relieves stress
For those who deal with a lot of stress on a daily basis, taking up gardening could be a great idea. Stress is a huge global issue nowadays. The fact that it affects most people in one way or another and can cause serious health problems is reason enough to do everything in our power to combat it. As already mentioned, nature has a relaxing effect on our psyche. When you go out into your garden, you leave behind your gadgets and the incessant notifications that are raising your anxiety levels. According to science, this sort of a “break” where you allow yourself to be fascinated by your environment is not only restorative but necessary to avoid burnout and reduce tension.
It gives you a sense of purpose
Gardening can be a great hobby for those who are struggling to find their sense of purpose. Taking care of plants requires time and dedication, and even as little as the responsibility to water your herbs regularly can give you a sense of purpose. As you nurture the plants you chose yourself, your brain will release feel-good hormones. Gardening is also a very tangible hobby – it involves hands-on work and in the end, there is a direct result. The fruit of your labour will give you a sense of achievement, and you’ll feel more motivated to get even more involved in this hobby.
It reinforces your bond with Mother Nature
Billions of people all over the world live in urban environments where they get little chance to connect with Mother Nature regularly. This loss of connection, however, affects your mental health badly, as discussed earlier. The good news is that you can take up gardening no matter where you live. Sure, it’s easier to plant a vegetable garden if you have a yard of your own, but even the tiniest balcony or windowsill can serve a great purpose and allow you to enjoy this healthy hobby. Those who have no space can plant a vertical vegetable garden and bring nature closer to them this way. Tending to your plants every day will help you reinforce your bond with Mother Nature and feel less stressed and more balanced.
It gives you an opportunity to be social
Gardening, just like many other hobbies, can be an individual as well as a social activity. If, for instance, your apartment complex has a community garden anyone can use, taking up gardening will not only put fresh produce on your table but also possibly bring you new friends you can share the food with. Joining a gardening club is also a great option. If you have family, turning gardening into a family activity will help strengthen your bonds and feel happier. All in all, staying connected is important in order to steer clear of loneliness and depression, and gardening can be the perfect tool for that.
It boosts your mindfulness
When living at a fast pace, it’s easy to start to feel disconnected. The importance of mindfulness is often emphasized in our modern world, but it being such a conceptual issue, for some people, it’s difficult to practice. However, gardening can be the perfect tool to practice mindfulness every day. As all the different tasks require concentration, you will need to focus on and be in the present. Focusing on the present, rather than the past or the future is very important to live our lives fully, and gardening can help you in that.
It gives you physical exercise
Last but not least, gardening is also a physical activity, but it doesn’t only strengthen your muscles. Physical activity is crucial for your mental wellbeing as well and is a great weapon against stress and depression. Moreover, tending to your garden will tire you out which will help you get a healthy amount of good quality sleep – another crucial thing for your brain to work at its best.
As you can see, gardening has a lot of benefits for your mental health – and the fact that you will have beautiful flowers, fragrant herbs and fresh vegetables around you are just a bonus. No matter where you live, you can give it a try.