Have you ever noticed how you experience a lift in mood when you go outside and get your hands dirty digging in the garden? Well, it’s not just in your head — gardening gives us a genuine emotional and psychological boost. And there’s even science to back that up!
Here are five scientifically proven ways that gardening benefits you and your outlook on life.
It Reduces Stress
When you get out of the house and into the garden, you expose yourself to sunshine. Make sure you’re protected from its ultraviolet radiation, but soak up the rays because they’re providing you with valuable vitamin D. Some studies have shown a link between depleted vitamin D in blood and mood disorders like depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Vitamin D triggers a positive and mood-boosting response in our brains. A Dutch study found people who gardened for 30 minutes a day had lower cortisol levels than people who read inside. This is significant because cortisol is a hormone we produce when we’re stressed.
What’s more, if a person has chronically elevated cortisol levels, they can also have a poorly functioning immune system, obesity and learning or memory problems.
It Builds Self-Esteem
Tending a garden and helping the plants to bloom with weeding and watering, is a tangible way to see what you’re capable of building with your own two hands. This builds confidence as you see what you’re able to accomplish on your own, from designing the appearance of the garden to growing the flowers, fruits and vegetables of your choice.
A UK study published in the Journal of Public Health found that as little as half an hour in the garden every week was enough to enhance self-esteem.
It Improves Heart Health
Gardening can be quite a workout. Digging, lifting and moving plants and dirt around can really get your heart rate going. It’s a low-impact activity and can help you achieve the target set by the American Heart Association of at least 150 minutes moderate exercise per week.
But unlike when you finish a run on the treadmill, you have something to show for your time in the garden: healthy, beautiful plants.
It Boosts Brain Function
The act of gardening requires many skills, from problem-solving to dexterity and sensory awareness. When digging in the dirt, organizing the plants and choosing what task to undertake next, your brain is always on the go.
In two different studies that followed 60 and 70 year olds for over a decade, it was revealed that those who participated in gardening regularly had a substantially lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners.
It Help With Immune Regulation
There are bacteria in soil, but they’re nothing to be scared of. Actually, they’re good for you and can help improve your overall health.
This beneficial soil bacteria is called Mycobacterium vaccae. It’s common in most dirt found in gardens. Your body absorbs it through inhalation or by eating vegetables. You don’t want to avoid this bacteria, because it does you good. It’s been found to alleviate symptoms of psoriasis, allergies and asthma, as well as increase serotonin in your system.
Go ahead — go outside and get gardening! There’s no need to know exactly what you’re doing, just roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. That’s what’s important!
Add gardening to your self-care tool kit, and it’ll not only introduce natural beauty to your garden, but it might even produce some positive health outcomes. Give it a try!

Author's Bio: 

Becky writes about anything and everything. From gardening to parenting, finances and travel. She uses for all her garden pots and planters. She really loves their bespoke service