Could gardening help with your depression?

A recent survey published by Gardeners World confirms that 80 per cent of gardeners are satisfied with their lives compared to 67 per cent of those with indoor based hobbies or no hobbies at all.

There are many theories as to why gardening helps with your mood or your wellbeing and every gardener will get something different from it. Some just enjoy being close to nature and getting as much fresh air as possible, for others it’s about de – stressing and switching off to everyday life. Taoists refer to Contemplative Reflectology to help sooth your mind – in other words doing a mindless task such as pruning, weeding or shelling beans, allows your mind to wonder and process the stresses of the day in its own time.

Others enjoy the challenge of the veg plot and the rewards that follow, one allotment holder told me “Its not about the end product it’s the thrill of the chase”. Speaking to an ex nursery man yesterday who grows specialist Begonias and Fuchsia for locals near his home (some of you locally might know The Fuchsia King), shared that he does it just because he loves how they all look when they are in flower and the pleasure they give others.

I believe Gardening taps into our need to nurture; it instils patience and teaches us how to handle disappointment whilst offering some of the simplest pleasures in life. What can be better than the sense of pride you feel when you see the first flowers on your plant that you nurtured from seed or those first veggies appearing on your plot and what a sense of satisfaction when they reach the dinner table. Gardening gives a purpose to the gardener whilst nature itself demonstrates growth, development and regeneration. Each plant cycle displays resilience and resourcefulness in a way that only they can – a lesson that we can embrace and absorb into our way of being a little at a time.

Gardening can be hard physical work and demanding on your time as well as your pocket if you get the bug but offers such reward. Though the work can be solitary, it also comes with an unspoken sense of community and a belonging to a group of people around you that you might not even know but feel a connection to.

If you don’t have your own garden or plot you might want to think about a Co-operative like Southsea Greenhouse or offer your services to a local charity such as Shore Leave Haslar that provides garden therapy to local veterans in recuperation. There are loads of community schemes popping up in various areas, have a look around see which you might be drawn to and get a slice of that satisfaction for yourself.

You can find out more about the following by clicking the links: DepressionAnxiety, Counselling or Contact me today to arrange an appointment.

For the original Gardeners World article click here.