Garden to Improve your Mood

Garden to Improve your Mood!

I came across this article on gardening by Casey O’Hanlon, and it got me thinking about why I garden. And the truth is by April 1st my socks come off. (I hate socks) And by April 15th, I am in the dirt. I would rather garden most days more than anything else. I like the mystery of it all and feel a bit smug when my potted baskets of flowers turn into these displays of beauty. And let’s not forget how great it is to eat swizz chard fresh out of your own garden with a serious dollop of butter and salt and pepper. So if any of you have ever seen me speak in the months of April, May and June. You will have probably noticed the dirt under my nails. Yes, not that attractive. Last week, I told you about my Wine and Weeds on Wednesdays. Love Wednesdays. Grab your friends, a patch of weeds and a good Sauvignon Blanc. OK, throw in a Stanley Cup final game too. Now that’s living.

Here’s what Casey had to say about the benefits of Gardening.

While some take up gardening as a fun weekend hobby or a cheaper way to add fresh fruits and veggies to their diet, there may also be some health benefits to getting down and dirty in the backyard. Recent studies suggest gardening can improve mood, reduce stress, and even encourage a more hopeful outlook on life. Not convinced? Grab some gloves and dig in!

Ready, Set, Grow! — The Takeaway

In one study, researchers found that gardening can be therapeutic, particularly among those suffering from depression. Over the course of a 12-week horticulture program, subjects showed decreases in the severity of their depression, with the biggest mood boosting effects occurring in those who were most engaged in their gardening activities. Not bad for a day’s work.

When it comes to the distressed, another study suggests that gardening outdoors could be more effective at reducing cortisol levels (read: the “stress” hormone) than staying indoors and reading. In the study, those who spent 30 minutes gardening also reported improved moods, while the bookworms only seemed to feel more stressed. Additional research suggests that in some individuals, gardening might also bring out greater feelings of spirituality and could even offer relief from traumatic experiences like dealing with illness or the death of a loved one.

An added health bonus for green thumbs? Gardening allows easy access to fresh produce, straight from Mother Nature herself. Research suggests people who grow their own produce consume higher levels of nutritious fruits and veggies. And getting produce straight from the backyard can also ease the mind (so no more worrying if those supermarket tomatoes are organic and pesticide-free!)

So I am curious what do you love about gardening? Are you a veggi or flower gardener? Or are you like me, both. I would love to hear your gardening stories. Please connect with me on facebook or twitter!

Linda Edgecombe, CSP
Motivational Speaker
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Linda Edgecombe
Canadian Speaker Hall of Fame