10 Ways That Gardening Boosts Health
Get some fresh air and reconnect with nature, advises horticultural therapist Caitriona Kelly.
1 Happiness is . . . . digging in the dirt. Research by Dr Chris Lowry at Bristol University has revealed that a bacterium in the soil called Mycobacterium vaccae triggers the release of serotonin, which in turn decreases anxiety and elevates mood.
2 Also important is exercise. Exercise is provided by working in the garden.
3 Stress Relief: A recent field experiment has provided the first experimental evidence that gardening can promote relief from acute stress.
4 Experiencing the present, as it is. Horticulture brings us into the present moment as we engage in activities which keep us grounded, taking us “into our hands”.
5 Growing and nutrition. Research shows that children and adults who grow some of their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables, demonstrate higher levels of knowledge about nutrition and are more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives.
6 Sowing hope. The sprouting of seeds can represent the presence of hope in our lives and life our mood.
7 Growing for Mental Health. The therapeutic benefits of gardens for people with mental ill-health have long been recognised.
8 Gardening helps you to grow with the flow, which is a subjective state that exists when an individual is totally involved in an activity and is characterised by enjoyment, self-motivation and feelings of self-worth.
9 Gardening promotes the taking of action in the event that we experience mental health difficulties.
10 Cycles of nature Horticulture is good for us because it brings us into direct contact with the cycles and rhythms of nature.