Many of us are battling anxiety and stress – and we know that it is ongoing, and every time we have to find ways to cope, our bodies get used to previous ways, making them irrelevant. If you’ve gone through therapy and stress management classes to work out and on top of this medication, I have another method that can help you ease your anxiety.
The Benefits Of Gardening For Your Mental Health
Yes, you might think that I am crazy right now, but I can assure you that I am honest; the garden can be the solution to your anxiety problems. Gardening is a reward for everyone.
Let’s look into the different benefits horticultural therapy can provide;
-reduction of symptoms
Did you know that soil is known for having antidepressant properties? Some research even claims that they have found the hormone of happiness- serotonin, in the soil. Gardening has even been used as therapy across several different populations. For example, one study found gardening enhanced the psychosocial well-being of people in prison — and can even reduce recidivism rates.
Gardening can be considered an art therapy- though it differs from traditional therapies because it is indirectly beneficial. It is a grounding therapy that keeps your hands busy; you have something to care for in the future, which gives you purpose. Something that you can visualize.
Some people sow seeds as a visualization of their self-esteem. Watching their plants grow and produce flowers or vegetables can be very soothing and bring a sense of self-accomplishment.
How To Start?
1. Start Small
You start gardening as a therapy for your stress; you do not want to get even more stress. Do not start with very demanding plants- you do not want to be disappointed.
Take a look at your environment and its ability to sustain a plant- plants that are most easy for beginners are; aloe vera, cacti, and jade. These plants are categorized as being ‘hard to kill’. Plants that are easy to grow are also; chives, parsley, mint, and thyme.
2. Look At Your Space
Now that you have established your plant list, it is time to think about what type of space you have to provide to them.
A balcony, hanging space, or desk? Indoor? Outdoor? It would be best to consider lighting when looking for a space… your plant should be receiving the perfect amount of sun.
You should know your plant’s capacity to handle sunlight. You should also have a space near them to sit and chill and admire their beauty.
Don’t Push Yourself
It would be best to keep in mind that you are doing this to feel better, not even worse. If you are getting back pains from it, you should find a solution. If you come back from a tiring day at work, you don’t have to do heavy work – do what is good for you.
If you are stressing because your plant requires constant watering – look for a self-watering pot; they are available online and not so expensive.
Go With What Makes You Happy
Does gardening have a bigger meaning for you? Does the scent of flowers bring back good memories? Gardening is a way to bring what is worth it for you.
Choose your fave scent and color, and grow what you like to eat. If you love the scent of basil- grow that; if you like to eat cucumbers- grow that.
Whatever you want to grow- make sure that it keeps you happy.
Whether it is one desk plant or a whole outdoor garden space, plants have soothing capacities. During a bad day filled with anxiety and stress- gardening can be the only thing that may show you that your efforts are worth it and keep pushing through. In the comments, let us know what you think about gardening as a therapy…