Global gardening boom
This was seen during the long days of the 2020 lockdowns when a global gardening boom occurred.
In fact, As Alessandro Ossola writes for The Conversation, “An analysis of Google Trends and infection statistics found that during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, country-by-country interest in gardening, from Italy to India, tended to peak just as infections peaked.”
So why did so many people turn to gardening? In short, because it makes you feel good.
In the same article, Alessandro says a study found it was because gardeners experience a “heightened sense of joy and reassurance.”
“This seemed to have positive therapeutic and psychological benefits, regardless of age or location,” he adds.
But there’s plenty more research to back up the benefits of gardening on mental health. For example, this meta-analysis published in Preventative Medicine report highlights various benefits, from reductions in depression, anxiety, and body mass index to elevated life satisfaction, quality of life, and a strengthened sense of community.
In countries like New Zealand, Canada, and various parts of Europe, healthcare professionals prescribe "green prescriptions" or "nature prescriptions", directing individuals to engage in nature-based activities for therapeutic purposes.
Why gardening works for mental health
But what about gardening gives us a spring in our step?
Apart from being outdoors, exercising, and feeling a sense of accomplishment, another aspect lies in the physical connection between our hands and the soil. When we dig into the earth, the interaction triggers the release of serotonin in our brain, a neurotransmitter often referred to as the "feel-good" hormone. This surge in serotonin levels contributes to an enhanced mood, reduced stress, and an overall sense of well-being.
How to create a garden with little to no space
No garden space? No worries.
For those without the luxury of a garden, fret not. Embracing nature and gardening can still be woven into your routine for a gratifying boost of well-being.
- Consider going to the park and lying on the grass. If you don’t want to lie down, take your shoes off and walk barefoot on the grass. It’s called earthing, and you’ll feel better for it.
- Engaging with a community garden provides an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of belonging and shared purpose.
- Transforming your balcony into an edible garden is a feasible and rewarding endeavour.
- Discover the joy of balcony-friendly trees.
- Explore the essentials for creating a thriving container garden.