In our modern cityscapes, we have focused on one thing and one thing only, efficiency. Though with the highrise buildings a vast number of population is able to exist within a small area it has been seen that not only it is affecting the mental health of these residents but also causing other health issues as well. You must have noticed that people who dwell in the countrysides tend to be much more joyful and healthier compared to the population that lives in the cities. According to science, nature is the answer, and what better way than gardening to have a little piece of nature within your backyard?
Six benefits of Gardening according to Science
Though it is tremendously helpful, it should be noted that gardening is a hands-on activity and just simply having a garden in your close proximity will not do you much favor. But as simple as planting one single plant and taking care of it will result in better health, so let’s explore how gardens can help us.
1. Hand strength: When was the last time you had to use your hand strength for something? If you are not a farmer, chances are not recently. Because, in our modern lifestyles we have no need to use that specific muscle, and the only time we may use it is when hauling groceries from the car inside the house. Additionally, even for the people who work out in gyms, they use their other muscles and not their hands, while gardening will have you digging the soil, planting the seeds, and pulling the weeds these will not only enhance your arm muscles but also your fingers’ strength.
2. Mood Enhancer: Though this point is not limited to gardening alone, it is good to know that it has a positive effect on our mental state as well. First of all, it is natural, and since we are a part of nature we automatically feel relaxed being in such an environment. Additionally, a study was conducted in 2011, where people suffering from depression participated in 12 weeks of gardening intervention. Upon completion, scientists monitored the patients and found that their level of stress was dropped significantly and they had much-improved control over their emotions and were feeling overall positive. So next time you are stressed, hit the garden.
3. Organic Food: Ever visited a grocery store to buy fresh produce only to be left confused with organic and non-organic products? If organic is healthier, does that mean non-organic is unhealthy? Or are non-organic fruits and vegetables not even grown naturally? Answers to these questions are tough to find as the giant chains refuse to tell us any details and make knowing this process even more complicated. So to avoid all of this nonsense, just plant your own fruits and vegetables and literally indulge in the fruit of your labor. It is as organic and healthy as it gets.
4. Fight your Addiction: You would be surprised to know that this type of process is not something new, as it has been going on for thousands of years now and it is known as Horticultural therapy. As you can understand, horticulture in itself is the field in which plants are cultivated to be used as food and medicine. If a person happens to be craving a substance it is highly recommended that they get to gardening as it gives them a sense of responsibility, and it is also observed that plants actually positively reinforce this mindset to quit an addiction. A study was conducted in a rehabilitation center, where participants were asked to either choose arts or gardening as their activity to fight their urge to consume alcohol. It was reported that the individuals who opted for gardening completed their rehab at a higher rate and even stated that they feel more accomplished, and they don’t feel the need to use the substance.
5. Bonding: In the past, eating together or at a restaurant was considered to be the most significant factor when it comes to bonding together with friends and family. However, it is observed that participating in an activity is much more influential when it comes to connecting with others. In one study, a group of students was asked to participate in gardening for few weeks. Then all were asked how they feel about one another, and interestingly enough they all said positive things about their peers. Scientists believe this is due to the fact that in gardening each and every aspect is vital and no one feels like they are doing more or less, a sense of equality is felt and due to this no one compares themselves to others.
6. Immunity Booster: As you may have heard that sunlight is essential for us, as it provides us with vitamin D, and lack of it can result in diabetes, dementia, and few types of cancer. Being stuck at work all week only makes it difficult for us to bathe in the Sun, that’s where gardening comes into play as it cannot be done in the shade. You get to absorb the vital vitamin D while working in the garden. Additionally, while gardening you are constantly digging and are near the soil, this process exposes you to the elements which you rarely come in contact with on a daily basis. These two aspects combined help us fight multiple diseases and overall boost our immunity for certain diseases.
Though we live a modern life, we mustn’t forget that at the end of the day we are living beings that require a certain amount of time in nature. Without going to the forest, gardening is the next best thing as it provides a piece of nature within our homes and allows us to produce our own food.