Creating a Garden For Mental Health

There are many reasons why gardening and growing your own are good for you. Growing your own food can help you eat more healthily, and get some gentle exercise perhaps. But gardening is also extremely good for mind as well as body. It can help you improve the state of your mental health.

Growing your own garden can:

  • Provide you with resources that lessen financial burdens (and reduce related stress).
  • Help you worry less about disruptions to food supply chains.
  • Allow you to develop coping mechanisms, psychologically preparing you for things that do not go to plan. (Anyone who has already gardened knows that not everything will go as you wish when nature takes the reins. Gardening helps you accept the things you cannot control.)
  • But gardening can also help you see how, by taking control of and shaping your environment, you can change things for the better. (Helping you see how you might be able to change the things you cannot accept.)
  • Give you confidence. You can feel more confident through successes in your own garden, which build skills and give you pride in your own abilities. Gardening can give you a sense of satisfaction at a job done well.
  • Boost mood – contact with certain soil bacteria can actually stimulate ‘feel good’ brain activity. And the chemicals given off by plants can also improve a low mood.
  • Help you feel calmer – natural environments create a feeling of peace and tranquility – just 20 minutes in a green setting can have a considerable stress-busting effect.

Gardens and gardening are great tools for mental balance. Which is why there are many gardens around the globe that have been specifically designed for therapeutic effect. People who have experienced traumatic events, struggled with mental health or addiction issues, or who simply struggle to cope can find that creating a garden helps them in many ways. And all of us can benefit in terms of mental health and wellbeing simply by creating a garden, and spending more time outdoors.

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