Somehow, we’ve become disconnected from nature. We know it’s out there, we enjoy watching documentaries about lions and tigers but we just don’t quite know how to connect with it anymore. The problem is that so many people now live in cities, our perception of nature has been skewed to include only the occasional tree and way too many pigeons. And this is having a huge impact on our health and wellbeing.
Humans are a part of nature and we should be embracing our environment, not exhausting it. While we may not be able to live in the middle of nowhere, anyone can introduce plants to their home and garden. Whether you have the smallest window box or a huge back yard, here are the benefits of gardening.
Have Something to Root For
When you plant a seed for the first time, it is difficult not to invest some of your emotion into the seed’s progress. You want the seed to flourish – you’ve even bought propagation heat mats to give your seeds the best chance of survival.
If you have been struggling with your self-confidence or you’re feeling down, having something small to root for can really help. It might seem silly but growing your seeds gives you purpose, and as you grow your plant collection – whether you are gardening inside or out – you will find real joy in taking care of these green bundles of leaves and a little bit of motivation to push you on to the next thing.
Humans are basically just animals that can talk so it’s no wonder that nature makes us feel better. The practice of forest bathing is becoming increasingly popular as shinrin yoko, as it is known in Japan, has been shown to reduce stress, boost the immune system, increase concentration and improve people’s wellbeing. It even works in Central Park.
But gardening has much in common with forest bathing. While you are tending your plants and seeing to their wellbeing, you are forced to take your time. Gardening is something that requires your attention and cannot be rushed. In other words, when you allow yourself to be consumed by the needs of your plants, it’s a lot easier to let your own stresses go. And, since pollution has now been connected with deteriorating mental health, you’ll be pleased to know that many houseplants are great for air purification.
Many people struggle to stay fit due to sedentary lifestyles and expensive gym memberships! However, gardening is a great way to get fit as it works all your muscles to reach up and down, to lift branches to prune or to carry a watering can around. You will also find that your balance and flexibility improve over time.
Gardening is a brilliant activity for any age group and you can tailor your activity to your abilities too. Group gardening is a lovely way to socialise and meet people with similar interests but it is also a way to find someone to help with the trickier parts of gardening! Whichever way you look at it, gardening will improve your life.