5 Benefits of gardening for mental and spiritual health
A garden (no matter how small) can benefit us, offer us beyond flavors, aromas and colors, a shelter to protect our mental health.We shouldn’t blame the kids for being on Facebook instead of playing with the mud. Our society does not prioritize contact with nature.
“In fact, we often tell children that it’s dirty and dangerous,” Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki said years ago.Contact with nature, however, especially for people in cities, is necessary.If the difficult months that have passed have taught us anything, how much we need greenery and how destructive its lack is.Both our sedentary everyday life and stressful lifestyle make clear the importance of urban greenery, which favors its way even mindfulness.
According to the World Health Organization, urban green spaces (e.g. parks, playgrounds, gardens, yards, common areas) can contribute to its improvement our mental and physical health, and in reducing morbidity and mortality city dwellers.They provide relaxation and stress relief, enhance social cohesion, encourage physical activity, limit our exposure to atmospheric pollution, noise and high temperatures.
5 reasons to take up gardening
In the contribution of gardens to limiting the negative effects of modern it yre searchers Emma White and Sarah Golding, from University of Surrey, dealing with environmental psychology. The two list five ways in which a green garden can improve our mental and spiritual health.
- A garden offers for action. Those who garden even recreationally on a daily basis are more physically active than those who don’t garden, researchers say. Let’s just think about the care that plants and trees need: watering, digging, planting, pruning. The garden is a place that offers many others for movement and creativity. In fact, those who may not have a garden, but have a balcony, terrace or a landscaped outdoor space, benefit, since pots and planters also need their care.
- .….but also for relaxation. The gardens are the ideal place for a short break. The trees, the plants, the water are pleasant to our senses, relaxing to the eye and no significant mental effort is required.
Thus, they help restore our ability to concentrate and deliver a pleasant break from work, which helps to avoid it psychological fatigue. So let’s put a small table with two chairs, a bench or a hammock in our garden, and sit for a while to watch the clouds, read a few of a book or drink a cup of tea. Even a few pots on our balcony will “rest” the eye and create another balance in our daily life.
- A garden offers for socializing. A game with the children outside in the dirt, a barbecue with friends, a few conversations with the neighbor in the garden of the apartment building, even the search for advice through online groups about possible plant diseases, can bring us closer to our fellow human beings, to help cultivate relationships. A garden can contribute in many ways to strengthening our social ties. Let’s copy the Scandinavians a bit and include nature, yards, gardens, parks in our daily life.
- ...but also for isolation. If we want to escape from the stress and reports of the world around us, from the commotion that prevails in the house, or from the phones that ring incessantly in the office, the garden is an excellent refuge. Nature is the place where our mind and ears can calm down, rest. It is the place where a balance occurs. If we allow ourselves to enjoy a garden, then we will return to work, to family, to our lives renewed. Indeed, recent research in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning, states that a “sensory garden” effectively reduces stress, enhances well-being and increases employee productivity. Such gardens are designed to stimulate a visitor’s senses, from sight and smell to hearing, touch and taste. In a sensual garden, for example, you won’t see a “Do not tread on the lawn” sign!
- A garden brings us closer to nature. Urbanization, the exploitation of natural resources and changes in our lifestyles have reduced the possibilities of contact with nature. However, the presence of greenery in our natural surroundings has restorative information and benefits our mental and physical health. In fact, the richer the biodiversity that exists in a park, a garden, a yard, the stronger the effect on us, while the soundscape also plays an important role (if, for example, there are birds chirping, if there is rustling of the leaves when the wind blows, if there is running water).
What if we don’t have a garden? What are we doing for our mental health? Since it is not possible to have all the gardens, the researchers emphasize that we can enjoy the benefits of green in our mental health by making a small green in our home.Indoor plants (ideal for such cases are air plants) can create a more “natural” environment that has been shown to improve the mood of occupants.
Alternatively, we can configure our balcony appropriately.Even a narrow balcony can be changed to a smaller form. There are solutions. Let’s not we also forget that the uncovered or the entrance of an apartment building can easily they are formed into small centers of green, as long as we are in the mood.
In case we do not have space or money, some municipalities (such as the Municipality of Agios Dimitrios and the Municipality of Thessaloniki) have urban vegetable gardens, but for their use specific criteria must be met.Finally, if we don’t want to get involved with the soils, then we can simply fly for a few minutes to the nearest park or square. If, in fact, we go on foot or by bicycle, then we will also gain a few minutes of physical activity.