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The top seven ways gardening can help boost your mental wellbeing

by Norwoods Gardener | Sep 23, 2021

We’ve all heard that gardening can make you feel good, but just what is it about tending to our outdoor space that can help us mentally?

From getting out in the fresh air and enjoying a feeling of escapism, to feeling a sense of achievement and building social connections, we’re bringing you our top seven reasons as to why gardening can give your mental health and wellbeing an all-important boost:

1. Keeping active

Exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and as we know can offer a welcomed boost of serotonin – the chemical which helps to stabilise our mood and foster a sense of wellbeing and happiness – but it doesn’t always have to be jogging a 5k or hiking up a mountain. Gardening is just as good a form of exercise as any, from getting your steps in around to the garden to raising your heart-rate when carrying out more strenuous tasks – so get busy!

2. Feel good factor

Gardening is great for helping you feel a sense of achievement, and that’s always a welcome boost. It takes concentration and engagement, and having a good tidy up in the garden can certainly help you feel productive.  

The act of ‘nurturing’ your plants and garden wildlife also helps to boost that rewarding feeling, particularly when plants flourish, your garden is full of creatures, and your hard work pays off.

3. Getting in touch with nature

It’s often said a greater appreciation of nature’s beauty and its wildlife increases people’s happiness, and now there’s research to back up the theory! Grounding or earthing, the officially coined terms, is the act of physically touching and being a part of some element of nature and working with soil as part of gardening acts as a brilliant technique to help you feel as one with nature – this physical touch is important, and has been found to help reduce pain, stress, depression, and fatigue. Other grounding, or earthing, techniques include wild swimming and/or being submerged in water, and walking outside barefoot.

 4. Fostering community spirit

Community gardening or being a part of an allotment is a great opportunity to build new relationships through a shared common interest. Spending time with others whilst being outdoors and active encourages collaboration and teamwork, gives an opportunity for you to bond with similarly-minded people and offers chance for you to engage in some all-important socialisation.

5. Being more mindful

Without realising it, many of us spend the majority of our day either using technology or staring at screens.

Being outdoors and active in the garden can provide some much-needed down time, away day-to-day distractions such as the phone ringing or other household noise, help reduce our screen-time, and provides an excellent setting to practice mindfulness - helping to regulate emotions, whilst reducing stress and anxiety.

6. Improving your environmental impact

If you follow our socials, you’ll know just how much of a champion of ‘growing your own’ our resident gardener George is. Growing your own produce can certainly give you a great sense of achievement, and can also help you feel better in the knowledge that the food you’re eating is coming from as close to home as possible, reducing your carbon footprint, and lessening your consumption of single-use plastics too, helping to reduce your impact on the environment – especially if you choose to grow organically too!

7. Boosting your vitamins

Something of particular importance, especially as we head into autumn, is making sure your body is getting enough vital vitamin D - and what better way than whilst outdoors gardening? Exposure to natural sunlight for as little as 30 minutes per day has been proved to provide a much-needed boost to your vitamin D intake, something which is key for improving mood and promoting better mental health.

Head on over to our social channels to keep up to date with our latest growing journeys and the latest goings on in the Irrigatia garden!