There’s no doubt that being in and around nature does amazing things for your mental and physical health. But these days, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reap these benefits. More and more people are moving away from their rural upbringings into the concrete jungle, where natural features are far and few between.
Luckily for city slickers, gardening offers a way for everyone to enjoy many of nature’s benefits from the comfort of their own home. Whether it’s the local community garden, a backyard setup, or just a few plants on the balcony, it is still gardening, and you’ll still feel a lot better for it.
Not convinced? Here’s why you should invest in a bit of flora and live a healthier, happier life.
It Makes You Happy
Numerous studies have shown that gardening increases your self-esteem and renders a greater life satisfaction. It’s also worth noting the effect it has on people suffering depression, with many study groups claiming that it has helped them deal with their mental state and boost their mood.
When asked about their mood before and after their daily cultivation session, gardeners claimed that they felt more relaxed and satisfied. Other studies involving stress tests have shown that gardening is more effective at reducing stress than reading or exercise classes. With exercise and reading being the go-to stress reducer for many people, the significance of that fact goes without saying.
The Social Aspect
A large reason for the above-mentioned benefits is owed towards the social aspect of gardening. Community gardens are a highly effective way of getting like-minded people together in a relaxed environment. It helps people become part of a community that shares a common interest.
Even if you have your own indoor garden with no way to share it with others, there are still countless online forums and groups where you can interact with other gardeners to share advice, ideas, and experiences. Websites such as Lovebackyard.Com offer a treasure trove of information, so you never have to stress about being clueless about what to do.
Gardening is a physical activity. Sure, it’s not nearly as demanding as most sports out there, but even the smallest garden will have you getting onto your feet and moving about. It’s roughly the equivalent to walking at 3.5mph or playing doubles tennis. The result is a lower body mass index among gardeners with studies showing a greater percentage of overweight non-gardeners.
A Healthier Diet
Another benefit is the one gardening has on your stomach. In a world filled with processed foods and sketchy suppliers, it is difficult to know whether what you’re eating is what it claims to be. Growing your own food completely rules out this problem. Children, in particular, benefit from the healthy foods they grow, as they’re more likely to eat fruit and vegetables if they’ve grown them.
A hobby that saves you money, helps you eat healthily and get active, develop your social life and make you happy seems impossible. Yet, with what we’ve learned above, it is clear that gardening is exactly that.