There are many articles on how gardening can be good for your mind, body and soul. The benefits of gardening that produce healthy foods and get us outside exercising are a fantastic combination to a longer, healthier life. Today’s health news and food trends lean to eating organic, whole foods that provide the essential vitamins that some of us take in pill form. Don’t get me wrong, vitamins are a great way to supplement nutrients you are not getting, but if you could grow your own nutrients straight from the garden why not do it? Gardening can, however, be more than just healthy eats. It can also have a profound effect on your mind through our senses. Mental health experts have warned about depression as a global epidemic. It has increased among our young and aging population and it is a concern. The use of “horticultural therapy” as a treatment is one way to combat stress and anxiety. Here are some ways gardening can trigger our senses to happy thoughts!
There is nothing better than the smell of fresh flowers and just picked herbs. Some of my favorite herbs in the garden can trigger happy thoughts of delicious foods. Every time I walk by purple basil I not only think of pizza, I smell it! (and who doesn’t like pizza, right?) Rosemary is another herb that adds such a sweet aroma which has me craving a relaxing cup of hot tea. Rosemary is one herb that has actually shown in studies, to help against depression and improve moods. Many of your scented geraniums, like lemon, orange, and nutmeg (which smell like cookies!) will also add a variety of wonderful smells to the garden. Sometimes just the smell of fresh, healthy soil will trigger memories from those of us who remember gardening as a child. The scent of a garden can put anyone in a good mood!
The sounds of a garden can aid in relaxation and reduce stress. After a long day working, nothing is better than going to the garden to hear the bees buzzing and the water running. The birds are chirping and even a breeze will make the leaves sing and dance. On calm days, the silence of the garden can help with meditation as well as help organize our thoughts. The sounds of a garden can reduce anyone’s stress!
The beauty of flowers and new green plants can enhance a person’s perspective on the miracle of nature. It is amazing that you can plant a seed and it will grow into a beautiful plant that produces stunning flowers or vibrant vegetables. Just the fact that you achieved such an accomplishment is enough to increase mood and lessen depression. The sight of a garden will bring you closer to nature!
You truly feel like a real gardener when you run your fingers through the rich soil. There is nothing better than to get your hands dirty! However, I must add that if there are cuts on your hands you should by all means wear gloves when planting. But just once, take time to work with the soil and feel the richness of what makes your plants thrive. The different textures of plants in the garden can be rough, soft and prickly. There are many reasons for this as far as plant survival and protection. Again, it is nature’s way of thriving. Touch plays an important part in helping to cope with anxiety and stress.
And of course, we can’t forget the taste of a garden will bring delight and happiness. There is nothing better than a home grown potato or tomato! We can’t forget the amazing flavor of carrots, peas, beans, lettuce, spinach, squash, corn… and the list goes on! Right from the garden to your table gives you motivation and satisfaction that you grew it yourself. The taste of the produce from the garden will encourage you to continue gardening which in turn will improve mood and overall health.
Our five senses help us thrive! Planting a garden entails many benefits to our wellbeing through these magnificent gifts of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting. These senses help regulate our moods which can trigger depression, anxiety, and stress. Just having a garden can reduce the amount of pressure we feel in society to show up and be productive. A garden can be an escape where showing up is a pleasure and being productive is in nature’s hands.
Learn more on how to bring gardening back to those who gave it up and introduce gardening to those who see it as an important part of their future life. Eco Garden Systems is an easy way to have a garden if space and time are factors that prevent you from having one. Check out the Eco website: www.ecogardensystems.com for more information on this amazing garden.
“The Glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” Alfred Austin