In this post, guest writer Maria Cannon explores the health benefits of gardening and how she overcame fatigue and depression with this healthy hobby.
We all know the old saying, “Stop and smell the roses.” But have you ever considered the origins of this popular cliche? The phrase originated as a reminder to appreciate the little things in life. As it turns out, modern science is now seeing that there may be some truth to this ancient wisdom. A recent study showed that people who took the time to stop and practice gratitude and appreciation were not only more satisfied with their lives; they also were less likely to suffer from chronic stress, neuroticism, and related mental health disorders.
Gardening: A Healthy Hobby
One way to reduce your stress levels and naturally get your body into a healthier state is by taking up the hobby of gardening. Believe it or not, gardening is more than just an activity your grandparents used to enjoy. It actually is very good at healing your body, mind and soul.
In a world overwhelmed with technology, social media, and workaholism, it is hard to disconnect and reconnect with nature. We sometimes have trouble turning the thoughts off, and social media itself has even created its own new type of anxiety called Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO for short).
Gardening takes us away from all of that.
They say you should surround yourself with beauty and always remember your purpose in life. Gardening helps you do both of those things. Just like the sense of awe and wonder that can be inspired by a classical Monet still life, gardening can fill your life with beauty and bring stillness to your mind. That’s right, keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of gardening.
Health Benefits of Gardening
As we know, cortisol is a leading factor in many physical, emotional and mental health conditions. It has been linked to everything from adrenal fatigue to depression and a variety of other conditions. During the process, we focus our mind on a simple task, allowing us to remain present and in the moment. This undistracted focus calms the mind and relieves anxiety. Meanwhile, our bodies finally have a chance to balance our stress hormones, reducing cortisol levels and even easing blood pressure. By reducing levels of cortisol within the bloodstream, gardening actually helps set you on the right path for a healthier, happier, and possibly even longer life!
Ancillary Benefits of Gardening
So we know that gardening offers a wealth of mental and physical health benefits, but gardening also offers other benefits. Vegetable gardening provides you with fresh vegetables right from your backyard, offering both nourishment and the chance to save money at the grocery store. A beautiful landscape or flower garden can also provide your home with better curb appeal and possibly even give it a value boost. And gardening offers a way to express yourself. From xeriscaping to pollinator to indoor or whatever else fits your aesthetic, you can transform your outdoors to fit your style.
But I Don’t Have a Yard
If you don’t own your home, or if you don’t have a yard of your own, you could still find ways to enjoy this calming hobby. For example, apartment vegetable gardening has become an increasingly popular hobby in recent years – especially among younger generations of adults, including Gen X and Millennials. In urban areas, rooftop gardening (and even rooftop farming) is also gaining popularity.
And of course, you can always find a community garden near you. Community gardens have been proven to contribute to community wellbeing by influencing the nutritional and social environment. If you are an urban dweller, they could provide an optimal way to get your hands dirty and connect with mother nature. Not to mention, some fresh air on a hot summer day!
With a little creativity, you can grow a variety of plants, herbs and vegetables just about anywhere!
So, yes, the health benefits of gardening extend to everyone. By picking up this simple hobby, you too can experience countless health benefits – mentally, physically and emotionally. As you can see, the age-old phrase “stop and smell the roses” is about more than just flowers. It’s about living your life with a deeper meaning. It’s about taking a moment to pause, notice the beauty in your surroundings, take a deep breath, and allow your mind to return to a state of calm. Gardeners understand better than anyone: the phrase “stop and smell the roses” is more than just a saying. It’s a way of life.
Small Axe Peppers gathers tons of peppers from community and urban gardens to make our hot sauces. Each time you purchase Small Axe Peppers hot sauce, you’re supporting urban farmers and community gardens. Click here to help support one of our garden partners by buying a bottle of one of our delicious hot sauces.
Ms. Cannon believes we’re never too young to dedicate ourselves to a hobby. She created Hobby Jr. to encourage young people to find a hobby they love.