5 Reasons Why Gardening Is Good for the Soul

comments (0) August 21st, 2014

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jgthegardener jgthegardener, member
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The best hobbies are those that stimulate the mind and jolt the body, with excitement deriving from even the hobby's most mundane tasks. At least, that's what gardening does for me; it just feels good in the soul.

Most people know the saying "gardening is good for the soul," but it's also worth wondering why exactly that is, even if most gardeners - including myself - could tell you it's the case just by the mere enjoyment of gardening itself.

It Improves Mental Health

In a Norway-based study, people with some degree of depression spent at least six hours per week growing flowers and veggies. The result? Half of the participants reported an improved mood. In addition to studies like these, any gardener could tell you that their mood is elevated during and after gardening. Gardening is also one potential method to treat drug addiction, since it can help distract from drug use among those interested in gardening. Happiness and clarity are keys to a satisfied soul, so gardening's role in better mental health is certainly a good thing.

You Get Exercise

While it may not be a hobby like cross-country running, gardening has its share of physical benefits as well. In addition to increased time spent out in the sun - which has its own share of benefits - gardening often requires constant movement in some capacity, whether it's walking around a garden to water flowers or the hand movement involved in planting new flowers. Gardening offers gentle yet beneficial forms of exercise that people of all ages can participate in.

Your Brain Loves It

Several studies have associated a lower risk of dementia with gardening, particularly that those who gardened on a regular basis had a 36% to 47% lower risk of dementia than those who did not garden. There's a reason that many of the best retirement homes offer gardening programs and gardens for the elderly to walk through; the act of gardening stimulates the youthful sentiment within everyone's soul, while also likely reducing the risk of dementia.

Gardening Provides Healthy Food

Many nutritionists will say that mostly any fruits or vegetables grown in your backyard is healthy to some degree. Gardening makes it easier to eat healthy since, in addition to fresh, delicious food, there's a certain feeling of satisfaction that comes from eating something you grew in your backyard. Even it's something as simple as growing carrots or tomatoes, the benefits are multiple - from serving as delicious healthy food to cutting down on grocery costs.

Stress Relief

All of the benefits above - like healthy eating habits and exercise - can be beneficial to relieving stress. As a result, stressed-out people often enjoy gardening before and/or after work to relieve recent stress and improve their mind's clarity. As opposed to using the computer or reading a book, which can tire the eyes and fatigue the mind, gardening provides calming yet role-oriented tasks that will soothe the mind and alleviate stress.

 

Based on the five reasons above, it's easy to see why the saying "gardening is good for the soul" is quite accurate. As my favorite hobby, gardening has been my go-to for alleviating stress, getting exercise and growing fresh food that my entire family can enjoy at the dinner table. 


posted in: Gardening, health, soul