Mental Health Benefits of Gardening

potted plants
Photograph provided by Avid Gardener

Spending time outside feeds our minds and bodies, and now more than ever, gardening takes on the importance of connecting to the healing of nature. The following is based upon a Seth J. Gillihan, PhD, article in Psychology Today (June 19, 2019) regarding health benefits from gardening.

Practice Acceptance. Your garden is influenced by many factors of nature beyond your control. You can only do your best, and whatever results will be enough.

Move Beyond Perfectionism. Learn to be proud of what you achieve, not discouraged that it isn’t perfect. Relish the process and celebrate the imperfections—even a flawed blossom is lovely in its own way.

Develop a Growth Mindset. Gardening is often a process of trial and error. When something turns out different than you hoped, a growth mindset allows you to learn from it, even if the result is of your own mistakes.

Connect with Others. Gardening is a great way to open new doors of connection. Gardeners love other gardeners: you can share tips, tricks, and the literal fruits of your labors.

Connect to Your World. Gardening provides a hands-on connection to the earth. You eat the vegetables you harvest, savor the herbs you prune, and enjoy the flowers you tend.

Bathe in Green. Studies have found being in green or even simply looking out over a green landscape is linked with better recovery from surgery, reduced anxiety and depression, improved stress management, and other positive effects.

Be Present. Gardening helps you become centered, allowing time for just you and nature.

Physical Exercise. There’s no shortage of physical activity in gardening, applicable to all levels of fitness and mobility.

Eat Healthy. A garden can yield the freshest and healthiest foods.

Reduce Stress. All of the above provide ample opportunities for you to reduce stress.

All items sourced by Avid Gardener, a funky gardening specialty store offering eclectic gardening items, top quality plants, and fantastically useful goods. They have spring pansies; unique summer annuals and hanging baskets; fall mums; and fresh handmade Fraser fir wreaths, boughs, holiday porch pots, and all the trimmings to create a magical Christmas. They also have wonderful gifts, from garden supplies and home goods to local cheeses and charcuterie selections.