Benefits of Gardening for Mental Health


As technology advances, there may be more and more possibilities for automating gardening work. However, it’s worth asking whether it’s really wise to completely do away with the need to go outside and dip your hands into the dirt. Why? Well, there are several benefits to gardening that can improve your mental health at the same time as you are caring for beautiful plants and flowers.

The Anti-Anxiety Greenery

People with anxiety often benefit from being where they can view plants. If you have agoraphobia and fear going outside, you can make yourself an indoor garden in pots or window boxes until your mental condition improves. But what if you have a condition like social anxiety? Take a screening test at and get started with therapy. Then, if you feel good about going outside, go where there’s lots of natural scenery and greenery. Doing so can have a calming and uplifting effect on your mental health.

Feel-Good Sunshine

Getting enough sunshine everyday can boost your Vitamin D levels. Why is that important to mental health? One reason is that people with too-low Vitamin D levels are more prone to depression. You don’t need to stay out all day, either! Just 20 minutes of sunshine per day should be enough to keep your levels strong. Gardening is ideal for this, because you can work on your garden a few minutes every day and get the sunshine you need. And don’t worry. Even if it’s a cloudy day, you will still get the benefit of ambient sunlight.

Moving and Stretching

Staying physically active is another way to improve your mental wellbeing. Moving your body more can boost the brain chemicals that keep your mood more positive. And if you’re dealing with anxiety, exercise is a good way to expend nervous energy and release tension. As you work the soil, plant seeds or starters, and harvest whatever you grow, you’re using your body in a way that makes you healthier both physically and mentally. And as a bonus, you will likely sleep better at night, too, which is essential for good mental health.

Engaging in an Activity

Anytime you engage in an activity, you focus your mind on something besides your problems. When you’re gardening, you’re thinking of your plants and what they need to thrive. Fears and anxieties take a back seat because you’re concentrating on the beauty and usefulness of the natural world. You have things to talk about as you tell your family and friends about how your garden is doing and what you have planned for it. You can even get your children or friends involved with creating a beautiful flowerbed or growing luscious vegetables. You have a reason to get up and a reason to go outside into the larger world.

Accomplishing Goals Of Gardening

When people have mental health issues, they often struggle along, doing the minimum. But when you have goals and work toward those goals, you go beyond the basic necessities. This makes your life fuller, richer, and more satisfying. Many people with mental disorders are surprised to find that they can not only manage the basics, but they can do something that makes them feel proud and accomplished. When that happens, it’s easier to face their mental challenges.

Solitary Reflections Of Gardening

People with mental disorders, as well as everyone else, can often benefit from taking some quiet time alone to reflect on their thoughts. This is especially important for those who are seeing a therapist. Between your sessions, you need time to process what you’ve learned. Quiet moments in the garden can give you those moments in a non-threatening way.

Gardening might not be the complete solution to your mental challenges. If you’re suffering from social anxiety, depression, or other mental disorders, you may also need psychotherapy and possibly medications. However, gardening can improve your mental wellbeing in many ways and can be a fun part of the solution for you.