Nowadays, the number of people suffering from depression is higher than ever before. These epidemic proportions seem terrifying, but it is good to know that researchers are doing their best to discover potential ways to minimise the negative impact of this mental health problem on our health and well-being.
According to Permaculture, we can keep depression at bay by spending more time gardening. Yes, you have read correctly- getting your fingers into the soil and planting and harvesting your own food can help you alleviate depression.
Besides bringing communities together and lowering the chance of diabetes, gardening can be useful for depressive and anxious individuals. But, how does gardening help us cope with depression and anxiety? Let us find out more…
The Amazing Health Advantages of Gardening
Gardening enables us to connect with nature and spend more time outdoors. According to Anxiety.org, spending time in nature helps us balance our emotions better, lowers the rumination-related activities in the brain (overthinking), and decreases the depression and anxiety symptoms.
Moreover, gardening enables one to practice mindfulness or a type of meditation during which the focus is on the awareness of the present moment without any judgment for the past or future. To illustrate, while gardening, we are noticing the colors and shapes of the plants, the versatile soil textures, and enjoying the smells of the flowers and earth.
Gardening Helps Us Be more Mindful
When we are gardening, we need to be fully engaged in the task and be careful not to under- or over-water the plants, not to plant the wrong seeds or not mistake weeds for flowers and accidentally pull them. All of these activities help us practice mindfulness. Mindfulness has been found to be capable of reducing the symptoms of anxiousness and depression.
And, gardening keeps you physically active, though you may have thought otherwise. The wedding, trimming, lifting, and tiling will help you tone and shape the muscles and enhance your anaerobic workout. According to research, even mild workout helps lower anxiety and depression symptoms so it appears logical that gardening can be a beneficial tool to fight off depression and improve your mood.
So, Should We all Start Gardening?
Without doubt, gardening does offer a long list of health advantages, but you do not have to do it against your preferences. Some people, for example, those who dislike dirt, would probably not find gardening suitable or people who do not have a knack for growing and keeping plants healthy.
In addition to gardening, it is also vital that you benefit from spending time in nature, working out, and being mindful from other beneficial activities like art and dancing. This being said, ultimately, it is not so much about what we are doing, but the skills that we are learning and practising from the specific activity.