5 Ways Gardening Can Reduce Anxiety
Updated: Jul 16, 2021
What do mental health and gardening have to do with each other? I have been living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder for the past 5 years. For years I have been trying to find new ways to cope with my anxiety. In my research, the coping strategies I kept coming across were mindfulness, exercise, and finding a creative hobby. Only recently did I find a new strategy that worked.
Of all the things to stumble upon, I found gardening. It’s a mix of all three suggestions. How exactly does gardening help with mental health? From the time spent outdoors, to being in the company of plants and pollinators, here are 5 ways that gardening can reduce anxiety.
1. Green Spaces Lower Stress Levels
People spend a majority of their day on electronic devices. It can be straining on our eyes. We often forget about the beauty of nature that exists beyond technology. Get outside! It is a great way to give your eyes a much needed break from screens.
Have you noticed that hospitals have more green space now? The reason behind it is to calm us down. Research through the Vrije University Medical Center of the Netherlands showed that by looking at greenery, stress is reduced, relaxation is induced, and blood pressure lowers significantly. Another study performed by Richard Ulrich compared recovery time of patients that had a view of green space and patients who had a view of a brick wall.
The patients who had a view of green space used less pain medication and had hospital stays 9% shorter than those who had the view of a brick wall.