Mind, Body & Soul: The Therapeutic Benefits of Gardening

Gardening is an increasingly popular hobby, offering people of all ages a great way to spend downtime throughout the year.

Tending to a garden, greenhouse or vegetable patch can be as demanding or leisurely as you want, but gardening to any degree can be the source of numerous personal benefits. As well as being effective exercise, gardening can be incredibly therapeutic, so this month we’re taking a look at the how gardening can be one of the best ways to relax and find that inner calm which may have been missing from your day-to-day life.

Stress Relief

It seems that stress levels are at a constant high nowadays with so many different pressures constantly poking at us from every angle. Work demands, relationships, and even the easily accessible amount of news, updates and opinions available in the palm of our hands, there are a lot of things surrounding us which can trigger stress. As the world around us develops and becomes more and more intense, getting back to nature can be one of the most effective forms of stress relief there is.

Being outside in the clean fresh air and sunlight, surrounded by plants, flowers and trees brings a certain amount of peace and stillness you can’t find anywhere else. You don’t have to escape deep into the woods to find this feeling, you only need to step out into the garden. Just being in these surroundings can settle the mind, helping to cut the mental chatter and allowing you to have a clearer mental focus. Spending time in the garden and carrying out even the smallest gardening tasks can reduce stress: Watering a few plants, sorting out flower beds, perhaps chopping back a branch or two, the renewed focus you have will help your mind feel fresh and renewed. Getting away and doing this regularly will definitely help with stress levels in day-to-day life, giving you a calm foundation to tackle whatever comes your way.

Physical Benefits

While not an intense form of exercise, gardening is still a stimulating physical activity which can help promote healthier joints – perfect for the elderly or less able. Gardening can be a helpful addition to a regular workout, complementing cardiovascular activities like running or swimming very well indeed. More extreme gardening tasks like hauling wheelbarrows and digging will provide a more intense workout, and can be great for conditioning. If you’re usually active or do a sport regularly, but are recovering from an injury, gardening can be a great way to heal while still enjoying a low to moderate workout.

Mental Strength

Many people head straight to the garden once they’re up and about in the morning, pulling weeds, harvesting vegetables or performing general maintenance; gardening is a great way to prepare yourself mentally for the day ahead. Even repetitive tasks like raking and weeding can bring a sense of calm, settling your mind before it has chance to be distracted or upset by outside influences. You can then take that sense of calm with you throughout the day; like meditation, gardening can promote a healthy, stronger mind, which will form the basis for a happier approach to any adversity or pressure that might come your way.

If gardening in the morning isn’t feasible, leaving it until the evening can also be great for the mind. You can unwind and forget about the stresses of the day, relieving the built up tension by deadheading plants or pulling up weeds. No matter when you garden, it offers a moment of peace and clarity you might not otherwise have a chance to enjoy.

Cultivation

There are many plants and herbs used for healing purposes, which you can plant for yourself and harvest for personal use. Lavender, for example, can be effective for aromatherapy, while other herbs can be used for cooking or for teas. Healthy vegetables and fruits can be grown easily, along with seeds, which can all become an important part of your diet. Not only can gardening itself be personally helpful, the results of gardening can help provide a healthier lifestyle too, and the satisfaction of growing, cultivating and harvesting your very own produce will also help build confidence.

Garden Buildings

For ultimate peace and relaxation in the garden, a high quality garden building can be the perfect solution. From gazebos and summerhouses, to log cabins, greenhouses and garden offices, a bespoke garden building can become a valued source of comfort and calm.