Some people would claim that gardening helps them relax and focus on something creative. As it turns out, there is more to that statement than you would have originally thought. It is not uncommon for people to use gardening as a pastime that reduces stress, like playing online games helps a person recharge after a hard day. It is not just the absence of stress that is the factor. Here are some of the ways gardening affects your mood and your health.
There is something primal about putting a life form into the ground and caring for it. In the world where we’re always cooped up in offices and buildings, it is nice to be out in the fresh air, with your fingers covered with dirt in a garden of your design. You can even say that there is something mildly spiritual about gardening. It feels like you are a part of something bigger than yourself and can feel nature and its effects surrounding you.
There is also the factor of enjoying the boredom. Let me explain: we constantly seek instant gratification in terms of entertainment. Because of this our attention span keeps decreasing and the entertainment becomes more compact to account for this decrease in attention, resulting in even less patience per task or object. Activities like gardening and fishing, for example, require very little focus and are very good for resetting our tolerance and requirement of compact-packed entertainment.
Working in the garden is much more physical than many people believe. The digging, transplanting, squatting, trimming – when you put them together, it’s quite a workout. We already know that the body releases hormones to deal with physical stress, making you feel happier and more alive. This is one of the reasons gardening is good for you – you are out in the fresh air, you work hard with your hands, and you feel good at the end of the day.
You have, no doubt, had the opportunity to experience how exerting yourself physically leads to a boost in your mood similar to euphoria at times. This mechanism of protecting your body also improves your mental health.
Doing Something Useful
Making any project come to fruition directly boosts our self-esteem. This goes double for growing veggies or creating a work of art in your yard. So, if you care for a plant, you will get a feeling of something depending on you. You will need to have a plan for each and every flower and seed, but the sense of accomplishment you receive when your efforts bear fruit, pun intended, is something no money can buy.
Why is it important that we are doing something we perceive as useful? Why not spend the weekend just drinking at a bar or playing games at home? Because these activities are there to help you unwind for a moment. On the other hand, gardening is a real hobby. You will not feel like you’ve wasted time when dedicating it to your green darlings.