1. Fight Off The Effects Of Growing Old
Numerous studies show that getting outdoors -- even for a short walk every day -- not only improves your physical health but also your mind. Take Alzheimer’s and Dementia for instance. These ruthless diseases degrade the mental health of those they inflicte. But with a severe lack of treatment options for these degenerative diseases, a few hours per week in the garden can go a long way on the road to preserving mental clarity. Though loss of short-term memory can often cause paranoia and stress, one study found that gardening may help patients recall pleasant long-term memories from earlier in their lives. The same study found that time in the garden helps develop healthy appetite, boosts energy levels and promote a better night’s sleep for those suffering from these diseases.
2. The Stress-Relieving Sensory Experience of Gardening
Horticulture Therapy. Yep, it’s a real thing with tangible benefits for green-thumb practitioners. There’s even an entire non-profit organization devoted to the study and promotion of the many health benefits of HT – as it is referred to by the American Horticultural Therapy Association. A study in the Netherlands found that the process of gardening on rehabilitation provides both a sense of control and a distraction from worries, pain, and stressors.
3. Just Being Around Natural Beauty Cures The Blues
The same Dutch study cited about goes on to say that just being around and viewing natural or soul-pleasing landscapes is immensely beneficial. In short, people find their Zen by looking away from their daily stressors and towards the sublime beauty of the world that surrounds them. One of our customers, Kerry Sullivan of Osborne’s Agway in Belmont, NH, noted that on top of selling houseplants throughout the winter in their RGS Matterhorn Series Greenhouse, his customers flock to their greenhouse to get their “green fix” during those dark, cold, green-less winter months.
4. Dump The Prozac For Anti-Depressant Microbes
Soil microbes have actually been found to have similar effects on the brain as Prozac - without the pitfalls of possible chemical dependency. The bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, is the substance that has been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs such as Prozac provide. More specifically, a boost in serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that is directly linked to depression when available in short supply. This naturally occurring chemical affects everything from our ability to feel happy and relaxed to the functioning of our cardiovascular system. And all of that beneficial goodness is found in the dirt beneath your feet.
5. Development Of Valuable Life Skills – No Matter The Age
Responsibility, self-confidence, communication skills, and the importance of keen observation; can gardening really help develop these valuable skills for both children and adults? You bet. In terms of places to encourage a natural curiosity for scientific discovery, the garden is hard to beat. Many, such as RGS Matterhorn Series Greenhouse, say a garden can be used as a teaching tool to benefit children and adults. The act of accomplishing a project in the garden, seeing the fruits of our labor, and getting praised by our peers for that work helps build character and responsibility. For Vanderlick, there’s no age too old to find a love of gardening.
There’s no shortage of reasons to begin a routine gardening regimen. The restorative aspects of getting our hands dirty truly can help clean our mind, body, and soul. So if you’re feeling down or find yourself in need of stress relief, just remember getting a little dirty is the best way to cleanse that grief away.
Do you think gardening has a therapeutic impact on your life? Let us know why you love getting in the garden in the comments below!