Spring is here and many of us are thinking about making our outdoor space look nice with a beautifully landscaped lawn and garden. Or maybe some are growing a garden to fill our kitchen pantries. There’s just something about gardening. Something refreshing and therapeutic about being outdoors. Watching a garden grow and nature thriving can be an uplifting way to spend our time.

 

There is science behind the mental health and therapeutic aspects of gardening, too. One study involving healthy women has now found that even if they had never gardened before, a twice-weekly class had greatly lowered their stress, anxiety and depression (Odeh et al., 2022). Even with the relatively small number of participants and the length of the study, the researchers were still able to demonstrate evidence of what clinicians would call the “dosage effects” of gardening, which is how much gardening someone has to do to see improvements in mental health.

 

I am not the most talented gardener, and my green thumb is not the deepest shade of green, but I do enjoy learning about plants – flowers in particular – and making my outdoor space a place that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but one where the process itself of creating a beautiful garden soothes my soul as much as the finished product.   Even if you only have a small space, such as a balcony, having some greenery is possible and will give you a chance to enjoy the beauty of nature and the therapeutic effects that it can provide.

 

Trees and plants provide us with oxygen and lift our mood, so it’s no surprise to hear that gardening is an amazing way to boost your mood.  Below are five ways that gardening can boost your mood and lift your spirits.

 

You Can Get Outside in The Sun

 

Our bodies need Vitamin D. It keeps us happy, healthy, and can improve our mood. By going out and tending to the garden, you are exposing yourself to sunlight, which can provide Vitamin D.

 

As you tend to your garden, you can boost your mood and pick up some Vitamin D at the same time. Just remember to wear sunscreen if it’s hot and stay hydrated.

 

Gardening Can Be Therapeutic 

 

Gardening requires focus. Whether you’re tending to weeds or trying to coax small seedlings into becoming plants, there’s always something to do. Even if you’re just watering the plants every day, there is the opportunity to focus on the present moment mindset.

 

When gardening, you can clear your mind, be present in the moment, and focus entirely on the task at hand. Just concentrate on your latest project and enjoy the tranquillity of being at one with nature. Take some time to find peace with just you and your plants.

 

 

Gardening Can Offer a Sense Of Achievement

 

Our moods improve when we feel valued or when we see results. There are few moments more exciting for a gardener than seeing a seed they have tended to transform into a beautiful flower or plant.

You’ll feel a sense of confidence when you realize your hard work has paid off. Gardening requires patience, time, and commitment. When you see results, be proud of your achievements and try ambitious new projects.

 

 

Gardening Is Educational

 

Different plants and flowers require varying levels of care. There are guidelines to follow and so much to learn. Taking the time to understand the individual needs of the plants in your garden takes time and practice. You can learn self-discipline as you expand your knowledge.

 

As you grow as a gardener (sorry, pun intended!), you’ll find the confidence to work on more ambitious projects and grow new plants. Document your progress and learn about the intricacies of your newly sprouting creations.

 

You Can Grow Your Own Produce

 

You feel a sense of pride and achievement when you grow your own fruits and vegetables. Become self-sufficient by planting and growing the fruits and vegetables you eat. Become the talk of the neighborhood as you show everyone your new fruit and vegetable garden. Feel a sense of pride as you eat what you have carefully grown.

 

Seeing something progress from a seed to a table-ready vegetable can boost your mood, making you feel successful and keen to push yourself to learn more about the world of gardening!

 

You don’t need a huge garden, hours of time, and loads of money to get started. The peaceful tranquillity of a garden can cheer you up and make you feel safe and relaxed. Similarly, you’ll feel a sense of excitement seeing your seeds transform into plants.

 

Get some gloves, get outside, and find out for yourself how gardening can lift your mood!

 

PS –  The featured picture is of my favorite garden in Bar Harbor, Maine.  I took this photo while vacationing in 2022 and it is providing inspiration for my own garden at home!

 

References:

 

Odeh, R., Colquhoun, T. A., Espinosa, M., Perdomo, D., Rosario, K., Terzi, H., Guy, C. L, Diehl, E. R. M., Tisher, C. C., Nixon, S. J., Klempner, D, Sonke, J. K., & Li, Q. (2022). A pilot randomized controlled trial of group-based indoor gardening and art activities demonstrates therapeutic benefits to healthy women. PLoS ONE, 17(7 July). https://doi-org.ezproxy.mtsu.edu/10.1371/journal.pone.0269248