Gardening and Mental Wellbeing image

Gardening and Mental Wellbeing

Research has shown that spending time outside is good for our bodies and minds, one great way to spend time outdoors is to garden.  Gardens are special peaceful spaces with restorative qualities that can work wonders when we are stressed and under pressure.


Stress is a worldwide 21st century problem that can cause physical problems, while long-term stress can lead to serious health issues including depression and anxiety.  Gardening has so much potential for people with defined mental health needs, offering an enormous range of activities and options, more so than any other type of therapeutic activity.

How can gardening benefit our mental health and mental wellbeing?

There is a growing evidence that gardening has strong benefits for our minds, research has found that gardening is effective in being able to reduce stress and improve mood. Cortisol is a chemical found in our bodies which is produced when we are stressed, it is scientifically proven that gardening reduces the

Cortisol levels being produced, this works by allowing the person to “get away” from their stressors and distracts the mind allowing for them to feel more relaxed which will affect the levels of cortisol being produced.  Another chemical that our bodies produce is serotonin, which is a natural antidepressant and contact with soil is proven to trigger the release of this happy chemical in our brains.

“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.”

While gardens can be relaxing, they can also be places where our efforts result in a real sense of achievement, boosting self-confidence and self-esteem. Evidence shows that even just by looking at a green space this has positive effects on people’s mental health, helping to relax the individual, so much so that more hospitals are adding gardens to their facilities to speed up patients’ recovery and to help staff wellbeing.

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