Gardening is the key to releasing stress, anxiety and even coping with grief
-May 1, Hannah Hargrave , Health -
It turns out having green fingers isn’t just great for your garden it could do great things for your mental health too.
For many gardening might sound like a chore but getting your hands dirty has never been so good for you. So with the warmer seasons rolling round why not make a ‘blooming’ effort to get digging, weeding, mowing and sewing because this is what it could do for you.
Exercise plays a vital role in improving your happiness and your health and a workout doesn’t have to happen on a treadmill. Gardening can burn some serious calories and when you get physical your body releases the feel good endorphins to uplift your mood.
It’s incredible how much movement you can add to your day by pulling weeds or mowing the lawn.
Just being outside can instantly make you feel calmer and more relaxed. The power of nature is amazing and if you’ve been cooped up all day either in an office, or at home you’ll know the rush you get when you open the windows or step outside.
Even if your garden is the size of a postage stamp or you don’t have one at all get outside and reconnect with the wider world.
Of course being outside gives you your natural fix of vitamin D too – just make sure you wear sunscreen.
Gardening doesn’t have to be a solitary hobby. If part of your stress and anxiety is that you’re lonely an allotment garden could be for you. Just being around other people who are gardening too can give you a real sense of community and belonging which you won’t get from sitting alone in front of the TV watching a gardening show.
Gardening helps with coping with grief and bereavement
Karen McInley tells Lumity that after her husband died of cancer in 2013 she used gardening to help. “I saw gardening as an active meditation,” she explains.
“I picked out a beautiful rose bush for my late husband and also for each of my parents. Seeing them grow and flourish as each day ticked by gave me so much joy. They’ll be there permanently and serve as a lovely reminder for the people I have lost. There’s a lot of satisfaction in creating something that is just for me but serves as a source of joy for others too. You can do gardening as your daily exercise as you do stay in shape with all the digging and getting up and down. I would truly feel lost without it.”
Karen says you can do it wherever you live: “I have a small garden but I also do window boxes. I have fresh herbs by the kitchen. The smell is so uplifting and of course herbs are so beneficial for your health. You can get a fantastic result without devoting too much time. It really is worth it and I believe it helps my stress and depression levels tremendously.”