‘Huge impact on your mood’: How gardening improves mental health – ‘feel more positive’

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Over the last few months, Britons have embraced their gardens like never before. Offering a crucial escape from the confines of the house, and providing some much-needed space and fresh air, gardens have helped many to get through the lockdown and adjust to the new world we find ourselves in. Anyone considering using the time to venture into their gardens will find many potential rewards. So why is gardening so good for our mental wellbeing?

Gardening experts at Rhino Greenhouses Direct have shared five reasons why gardening is “so good” for your mental wellbeing.

Exercise

It’s well known that exercise is good for mental health. Exercise causes the brain to release endorphins. These ‘happy chemicals’ can have a huge impact on your mood and help you feel more positive. 

While spending an hour in the garden isn’t quite the same as going for a run or hitting the gym, the gardening experts explained that it does still burn a “considerable number of calories”.

They said: “Weeding, digging, pruning and raking all work muscles and help get your heart rate up. 

“This will encourage your body to release endorphins and help keep you active during the lockdown.”

Fresh air 

Fresh air, like exercise, is good for mental wellbeing.

Sitting inside all day, breathing in stale air can make you feel lethargic and bored. 

The experts explained that getting fresh air is a “great” way to energise the body and invigorate the mind.

They said: “Being outside also gives your body the chance to soak up vitamin D from the sun. 

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“Vitamin D has been shown to help boost the immune system, something that’s more important now than ever before.”

Sleep

Getting plenty of fresh air and exercise will help you sleep better at night.

Having a good night’s sleep has been shown to help boost energy levels, reduce anxiety and even improve health, according to the gardening experts. 

Going out into the garden could well be the solution for struggling to sleep.

Sense of achievement 

Growing your own fruit, veg or flowers can provide a real sense of achievement. 

The gardening experts said: “Whether you start from seeds, cuttings or plants from your local nursery, watching something flourish is a great feeling.

“In a few months’ time when your plants have matured and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour, your satisfaction levels will go through the roof.”

The sense of achievement you get from growing, pruning or tidying something in the garden can help to give your mental wellbeing a real boost. 

Learning 

Watch any episode of Gardeners’ World, and you’ll see just how much there is to learn about gardening.

Tackling a new challenge like gardening is a great way to keep the mind active and the brain busy.

They said: “If you suffer from anxiety or depression, having something else to think about can be incredibly beneficial. 

“As the world of plants is a big one, try choosing a specific area to focus on. For example, you could become an expert in tomato growing or a master of chillies.”

Spending a little more time out in the garden can be great for both your physical and mental health. So if you have a little patch of green outside your house, why not pick up a trowel and get stuck in?

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