Getting outdoors and working in your garden can have great benefits for both your physical and mental health. You should always visit a doctor with any health concerns you have, but boosting your time outdoors can truly have a positive impact.
Here are a couple of the benefits of gardening, and ways in which improving your garden could help your mental health.
Fresh air and sunlight
Fresh air and sunlight are essential for both your mental and physical health. Breathing in fresh air increases your oxygen intake. This, in turn, can increase the amount of serotonin in your brain. The sun also makes your body produce vitamin D, which is an essential vitamin for the body. It can help to boost your immune system and strengthen your bones, but of course you should always use sun protection when outside. Being out in your garden, either just sitting and enjoying it or working to improve and maintain it, can allow you to spend time out in the fresh air and among nature.
Adding water features to your garden can help create peaceful, relaxing sounds. Many people find the sound of running water to be very tranquil. A fountain will provide constant running water, as well as helping to keep the water in your pond fresh. There are many different types of water features, such as the ones from water-garden.co.uk, that can boost your garden, help you relax, and even attract new wildlife. It is not known why some people may find this sound relaxing—could it be because our bodies are 70% water? Whatever the reason, throughout history, places of relaxation and healing, such as holy temples, have featured water.
Some people believe that certain smells can affect your mood. Aromatherapy is an example of this. There are some plants that may help boost your mood, such as rose, lavender, sage, or sandalwood. Planting flowers that you love the scent of, or have positive memory connotations with, can help you to feel more relaxed each time you catch their scent. The smell of rain can also have a calming effect, and the scent is known as petrichor.
Working away in your garden—improving it, planting seeds, or maintaining your yard—can boost the amount of physical activity you are doing. It can often be hard to exercise for a majority of reasons, but you may find that when you work in the garden, you are getting fresh air and moving your body without even noticing. Exercise is great for your whole body, as it can boost circulation, help you sleep, manage your weight, and causes the body to produce many hormones such as serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine.
It is important to keep on top of both your physical and mental health by regularly getting health check-ups, and you should consult your doctor if you have any concerns. This is not medical advice; it is just useful to know how small activities like gardening can help to boost your day.