Have you ever gone out into the garden in a bad mood? Then, probably, you noticed that very quickly the mood improves by itself from work and rest on the site? Modern research shows the undoubted benefits of gardening for mental health. This can be used by people of intellectual work and especially students. Students will be so much more successful when they get in touch with nature, and research paper writer to aid their studies. Working with plants on the ground and relaxing in the garden soothe, reduce stress, clear the mind, lift the mood, improve immunity, give energy and bring spiritual harmony.
Gardening is a cure for stress and depression
It’s no secret that modern life with an abundance of unnecessary information and bad news, endless chores, eternal haste, and lack of sleep contribute to constant stress. Prolonged stress negatively affects all body systems — nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, muscular, immune… Often our stress reaction is obsessive anxiety, depression, irritability, fears, constant fatigue and illness, hypertension and pain, or even depression.
The cure for stress is our garden plots with plants and flowers in the country or at a country house. In a calm, pleasant and safe environment in nature, contact with the earth and plants, on the contrary, have a relaxing, calming effect on the body.
The work on the garden plot is simple and clear. These are simple repetitive actions — watering and tying plants, planting and pruning, weeding and harvesting… Such work helps to distract from worries and heavy thoughts and enjoy the simple existence, here and now. After all, the best cure for stress is not a sofa with a tablet, but a change of scenery, fresh air, and physical activity.
Gardening is a cure for stress, depression, and dementia
Gardening, vitamin D, and the ‘happiness hormone serotonin
Gardening in sunlight contributes to the production of vitamin D in the body. The importance of vitamin D for physical and mental health and immunity can hardly be overestimated.
Vitamin D, along with a high-quality and balanced natural diet, physical activity, and full sleep, is necessary for the synthesis of serotonin. The neurotransmitter serotonin is called the hormone of happiness or the hormone of pleasure. Serotonin regulates our emotional state, overall sense of satisfaction, and libido levels.
How much sun does it take to be happy?
In summer, in the middle zone, a white-skinned person receives enough ultraviolet light to produce vitamin D in just 15-30 minutes a day in direct sun with exposed skin areas. In addition to the skin, the body receives ultraviolet light to produce vitamin D through the hair. The darker the natural skin color, the more time in the sun the owner needs to produce enough vitamin D.
In winter, when the sun is low, people in the middle and northern latitudes do not get enough sunlight and ultraviolet light and suffer from vitamin D and serotonin deficiency. This is the reason for such a widespread seasonal affective disorder — “winter blues”.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to “stock up” on the sun in advance for the winter, so you should not forget and abuse the summer ultraviolet. It is better to plan summer work in the garden in the morning or evening and spend the hot part of the day mainly in the shade. You should also cover your skin or use broad-spectrum sunscreens (UVA + UVB). For white-skinned people (especially those who have a lot of freckles and moles), doctors generally do not recommend sunbathing – staying in the open sun for a long time in summer. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is a powerful carcinogen. In addition to the danger of skin cancer, one of the most common cancers, the excess sun lowers overall immunity and leads to skin aging.
A 16-year study (Dubbo Study of the elderly) of 3 thousand elderly people on the subject of the connection between dementia and lifestyle revealed that daily gardening reduces the risk of dementia by 36%! Several studies of schoolchildren have shown that gardening increases the ability to concentrate and assimilate material and improves the results of school tests. No wonder gardening clubs for students now exist in almost every school in England.
Gardening for the soul
Communicating with nature while working and relaxing in the garden allows you to feel the surroundings more vividly with all your senses. Birds, dragonflies, and the murmur of water delight the ear, the greenery of leaves and the colors of flowers delight the eyes, the aromas of roses and lilacs delight the sense of smell, touching the earth and plants is a tactile pleasure, and a delicious healthy harvest grown with your own hands is a taste.
Research shows that the greatest joy and peace are brought to us not by ‘sterile’ formal gardens, but by natural ones. They contain butterflies, birds, trees and shrubs, native plants, grass, and a pond with bubbling water. There is an intrigue in such gardens, you want to discover them again and again. It is such “soulful” gardens that we should create on our plots for mood and harmony.
Gardening not only relieves stress but also gives a feeling of fullness in life. We observe the change of seasons and the natural course of time. Waiting for shoots, growth, flowering, and fruiting of your favorite plants is a lesson in the development of endurance from nature itself. Thinking over the general style of the garden and garden areas, creating compositions and combinations of plants is a creative process. Garden plants are our pets, taking care of them we show care and responsibility.
I noticed that gardeners are the most peace-loving public on Internet forums. It is at horticultural forums that there is the least bitterness and conflicts. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
Scientists from the University of Florida have found that gardening classes if practiced twice a week, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in healthy women. At the same time, none of the study participants had ever been engaged in gardening before.
“The results were amazing. It turned out that gardening helps with existing mental illnesses or problems. Moreober, healthy people can also improve mental well—being through gardening,” said lead author Charles Guy.
32 healthy women aged 26 to 49 years took part in this study. Half of the participants were engaged in gardening and the other half were in drawing. “Gardening and art therapy, creativity, and physical movements, and both of these areas are used for therapeutic purposes in medical institutions. This makes them more comparable from a scientific point of view than, for example, gardening and bowling or gardening and reading,” the scientists explained.
In gardening classes, women learned how to compare and sow seeds, transplant different types of plants, and harvest and taste edible plants. Those who participated in art classes studied papermaking, engraving, drawing, and collage.
After the end of the experiment, the participants assessed their mental health for anxiety, depression, stress, and overall mood. As a result, it may be helpful for the times when I need to edit my essay with a calm mind. According to the research outcome both groups reported improved mental health over time, and less anxiety in gardeners.
Given the relatively small number of participants and the length of the study, scientists were still able to demonstrate evidence of what medical clinicians would call the dosed effect of gardening, that is, how much a person should do gardening to see an improvement in mental health.
Therapeutic gardening means using gardening to improve health and well-being, it has been around since the 19th century. Communication with plants make us feel good, why is that? The answer can be found in nature, and evolution. Humans are drawn to plants and activities with them because we depend on them for food, shelter, and other means of our survival.