Close your eyes. Now imagine a comfortable and sunny morning, just the right temperature. You’re outside. The birds are chirping. You’re watering your vegetable garden and inhaling the lovely smell of lavender. How do you feel?
You’re most likely feeling relaxed. There is probably little debate that the gardening scene makes you feel much calmer than picturing your busy calendar full of deadlines and many people yelling your name to deliver something – your mate’s missing sock, your child’s sneakers, your dog’s dinner, your boss’ budget report.
Let’s Talk Stress Relief and Growing A Better Mood
April is Stress Awareness Month and it is also National Garden Month, which gives us a great opportunity to talk about how valuable spending time outdoors in your garden can be for your mental and physical well-being.
We all know how good it feels to breathe in fresh air. Now add some sunshine to really feel good. The sun on our skin is said to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin, and our body’s ability to make Vitamin D–both are associated with improving our mood. (Let’s not forget to use sunscreen and to drink water when we’re outside too.)
There are many fun activities we can do outside but what is it about gardening that can be so good for us?
Plant Yourself in the Garden for Improved Well-Being
Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service horticulture specialist Charlie Hall, Ph.D., College Station, has done research to learn how gardening and plants can help better your mental health. And he is one of many who have found the benefits of gardening to be great.
- Hall says that exposure to natural settings helps improve the human perceptions of emotional, psychological, and social benefits. Plants are a symbol of life and can influence those around them. “Interacting with nature, especially with the presence of water, can increase self-esteem and mood, reduce anger, and improve general psychological well-being with positive effects on emotions or behavior,” Hall said
- Plant-filled homes and areas also can boost memory and heighten your attention span.
- According to another study by Journal of Health Psychology, subjects were asked to perform a stressful task and then asked to either perform 30 minutes of gardening or 30 minutes of reading. While both groups experienced a decrease in stress, the gardeners experienced a significantly greater decline in stress (as measured by salivary cortisol, a stress hormone), as well as a full restoration of positive mood.
- Gardening gives your busy/stressed mind an outlet or diversion. It allows you to focus on something other than your worries.
- Gardening gives you a sense of purpose and a feeling of pride. You are responsible for life and helping plants and flowers to grow, which means adding beauty to this world. What a great feeling!
Take Steps to Grow at Edward’s Garden Center
Whether you’re a veteran gardener or just a beginner, we can help you grow something wonderful. We have basic gardening tools, soil, seeds, plants, flowers, shrubs, trees and much more to help you experience the joys of gardening.
At Edward’s Garden Center we have hosted many events in the past that let young and older visitors get their hands dirty and the results have always grown happiness. Just look at the smiling faces in the photos of our past events gallery. Take a few minutes to watch some of our videos that will help get you in a relaxed and positive frame of mind as Ed gives you a tour of the garden center or Shelly gives you tips to apply in your garden.