Gardening is incredibly good for the environment, but did you know that it’s also extremely good for you, too? Physically, gardening can accommodate anyone of any fitness level or accessibility concern. Emotionally, gardening is extremely therapeutic too- and in so many ways. Gardening can be an excellent mood enhancement!
People who suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and many other similar types of afflictions find great value in the hobby, and there are scientific studies that prove this. Because these illnesses are all very complex, they require treatment that is very broad in scope. Gardening is an excellent activity that includes many rewarding and valuable healing techniques that are very effective. It creates habits that are conducive to healing. It creates goals, structure, and literal products of direct effort, which are all very valuable to the human psyche, especially for those who suffer from these illnesses. Gardeners with these diagnoses will all tell you that their hobby is practically a life-saver for them. Some claim that gardening has cured them of depression.
Growing foods in the garden that specifically contain ingredients that improve mood is another way gardening is a mood-enhancer. Many of these foods are incredibly simple to grow too. Swiss chard, for example, is a leafy green that is a cinch to grow in all climates and is packed with magnesium, which is often found lacking in people who are diagnosed with depression. Foods that combat inflammation which has also been linked with mental illnesses like depression can also help- such as tomatoes and blue potatoes. Sunflowers are indestructible, fun plants to grow and the seeds provide the body with an amino acid called phenylalanine which is an anti-depressant. Herbs such as mints and chamomile are essential herbal tea ingredients and not only combat viruses and bacteria, but they also lift mood.
Playing in the dirt is a favorite past time of children all around the world, and it can also literally medicate you to a happy existence. A bacteria commonly found in soil called Mycobacterium vaccae . When you dig in the soil, you’re sending these bacteria into the air where you breathe them in. The body responds by releasing serotonin, which will elevate your mood. Serotonin has been proven to directly alleviate anxiety symptoms. In fact, currently this specific bacterium is being studied as a treatment for cancer, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
For some of us, the idea of keeping up a garden might seem like an anxiety trigger in itself- but there are plenty of ways to make gardening less of a chore. This is especially valuable for those who are looking at adding a hobby as part of their treatment regimen, but have never tried gardening before. Keeping your garden simple and within your scope of work is a great start. Don’t create acres of flower beds right away- stick to some pots on a balcony or a simple 4x4 veggie plot next to the garage. Maybe try taking up your own lawn mowing if you don’t already. And, start by planting things that are fun and entertaining. Start with some herbs that you can use quickly, or maybe a potted patio cherry type of tomato. Seed some zinnias directly into the ground or in a big pot, and when they bloom watch the butterflies visit. Here are some more great tips on how to keep gardening manageable and not overwhelming.
For those who use lovemaking as a way to alleviate mood, gardening can create products and an atmosphere that is *ahem* ideal for setting the tone of a wonderful evening if you catch our drift. Here’s a fantastic article that will get your mind moving in that direction.
Gardening is so good for you. It’s an ideal mood enhancer. It can treat illnesses. It will make you healthier. Wonderful!