At a glance, it seems simple how gardening helps reduce the risk of depression. Seeing pretty plants and colourful blooms can indeed lift one’s mood. But there’s more to this than meets the eye. When you look at different studies, you’ll discover that the mental health benefits come not just from the appealing aesthetics. Here are the ways gardening lowers depression risk:
1. It triggers the release of happy chemicals in the body.
There’s a reason a lot of people enjoy getting their hands dirty. Exposure to soil and bacteria (yes, bacteria) can cause the production of serotonin, the ‘happy chemical’, in the body. Serotonin is the natural anti-depressant and is known to strengthen the immune system. So, if you want a steady stream of mood-boosting, infection-fighting hormones in the body, don’t hold back on filling your bare hands with fertiliser and loam. And if you could have your serotonin fix every day, better. You may consider getting a greenhouse or glasshouse kitset from manufacturers like Edenlite so that you can garden any time, any day, and any season.
2. It prompts mindfulness.
Mindfulness, or paying attention to the present moment, can help prevent severe cases of depression. Most psychologists agree that the thought process trains the person to assess what they think without judgement. In gardening, people do different tasks, such as testing the garden soil, cleaning up the planting area, fertilising, pruning, watering, weeding—things that require mindfulness. If you need a hobby that would train you to be in the moment, go to your backyard instead.
3. It causes you to move around.
More than promoting mindfulness, gardening also encourages mobility. In other words, it’s a form of exercise too. And as you know, physical activity can help improve moods and lower anxiety. It also produces endorphins, another feel-good hormone, and gives you great confidence, all important in reducing depression.
Gardening isn’t just good for the eyes, but also for the brain. Cultivate a healthy mind by getting your hands busy at your backyard.