Why Gardening Makes You Happier
Did you know that gardening can ward off depression, improve your mood and make you feel life is more worthwhile?
• Gardeners are less likely to display signs of depression
• Poll found 80 per cent of gardeners feel satisfied with their lives
• Only 67 per cent of non-gardeners feel the same way
If you’re feeling a little down, don’t reach for a glass of wine – grab your trowel and head to the flowerbeds instead.
More than 90 per cent of gardeners think it improves their mood, according to a survey for Gardeners’ World magazine. It also found that gardeners are less likely to display signs associated with unhappiness or depression.
Here are some reasons to get outside and garden!
The food you grow yourself is the freshest food you can eat. And because home gardens are filled with fruits and vegetables, it’s also among the healthiest food you can eat. Not surprisingly, several studies have shown that gardeners eat more fruits and vegetables than their peers.
It goes without saying that it’s far easier to know exactly what’s in your food if you grow it yourself. By spending a few extra dollars up front for organic soil and fertilizer, you’ll ensure healthy, organic produce for your kitchen and you may even save some cash on store-bought organics in the long-run.
Don’t Worry-Be happy
Most of the wellness benefits of gardening center around giving you a daily excuse to get outside. Studies show a disturbing decrease in nature-based activity among Americans – which means a great deal of us are missing out on the health perks Mother Nature has to offer.
A 2010 study from the University of Essix on nature-based recreation showed just five minutes of outdoor physical activity reduced stress and improved self-esteem and mood. So, if your daily gardening duties take the place of a few extra minutes in front of the computer or television, you may enjoy good moods and smiles as result.
Food For Thought
When you commit time, effort and money to caring for your plants, you naturally feel a stronger connection to the food they produce than something you just plucked off a grocery store shelf.
This not only gives you a sense of accomplishment, but also helps you think a bit more about what you’re eating and make healthier choices. After all, why would you want to waste those gorgeous home-grown tomatoes by using them to dress a greasy cheeseburger? Wouldn’t a salad show off that fresh-from-the-vine flavor so much better?
It’s Good For Your Brain
Some research suggests that the physical activity associated with gardening can help lower the risk of developing dementia. Two separate studies that followed people in their 60s and 70s for up to 16 years found, respectively, that those who gardened regularly had a 36% and 47% lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners, even when a range of other health factors were taken into account.
These findings are hardly definitive, but they suggest that the combination of physical and mental activity involved in gardening may have a positive influence on the mind.
Have we convinced you to get out and garden??