Here’s how gardening nourishes your mind and body, is a great self-care exercise for everyone - Hindustan Times

Here’s how gardening nourishes your mind and body, is a great self-care exercise for everyone

ByAdrija Dey
Jun 19, 2024 11:04 AM IST

Gardening is a holistic way of healing. Here's why you need to add it to your self-care routine.

Centuries ago, growing your own food was the norm. Gardening is not recent; it existed since ancient civilizations, traced back to ancient Egypt, in 2000 BC. But now, it is a cherished activity, a welcoming respite and a safe space amid the city noises. Tending to plants instills peace, it's a calming fuel that energises the mind and body. In the turmoil of the ever-anxious world, the greens keep us grounded and offer much-needed solace. Gardening is an all-rounder in self-care, as it provides a wealth of mental and physical benefits, improving the quality of daily life.

Gardening is a great way to reconnect with yourself. (Pexels)
Gardening is a great way to reconnect with yourself. (Pexels)

Mental health benefits

Gardening is therapeutic, both metaphorically and literally. Psychologists use horticulture therapy and gardening activities as healing treatments for individuals with anxiety disorders. A study in Korea revealed that gardening significantly boosts memory. In this research, patients suffering from dementia participated in 20 minutes of gardening activities, which increased brain nerve growth factors associated with memory.

Gardening boosts mood, reducing stress hormones. It encourages more focus and attention to detail to correctly cater to the little green world. Gardening activities, which involve watering, planting, and weeding, have a rhythm to them- a soothing routine for mindfulness. Since gardening is a popular hobby , one can easily build connections and be a part of vibrant communities, fostering strong bonds over a shared passion. The sense of belongingness reduces the risk of depression and anxiety symptoms. Gardening also grants mental clarity, a moment of reflection. It engages all our senses- touch, smell, sight, and taste; providing a power-packed sensory experience.

ALSO READ: Take your worries away: How Zen garden can become your daily dose of mindfulness

Physical benefits

Mind and body are interconnected. Low stress lowers the chance of heart disease and high blood pressure. Balance, stretching, and muscle strength are all essential for gardening activities. Gardening burns calories and is a good exercise to increase body mobility and flexibility. It’s almost like a workout where you do squats and pull out pesky weeds from your garden pots or use your muscle strength to carry big fertiliser bags and flower pots. Watering requires you to bend often, acting as a good stretch. These are physically intensive activities.

Tending to gardens, big or small, outdoors or indoors, they all contribute to the overall well-being of individuals. It relaxes both your mind and body. Include gardening in your self-care routine and see the benefits for yourself.



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