Why Gardening is good for your Mental Health?

Why Gardening is good for your Mental Health?


Imagine walking into a place that feels like a lush green meadow where your every single worry fades away with the fresh air. In this scene, you can feel the rustling of leaves, the chirping of birds, the fragrance of flowers, and the smell of the mud that soothes the soul. This is not a vacation spot, but only your garden! Gardening has been mostly a followed trend for its aesthetics and environmental benefits, but its impact on mental health has also been evident.

Being surrounded by plants has a host of benefits for an individual’s physical, psychological, and Social well-being. It increases mobility, improves concentration, helps achieve stress management, and increases resilience;  Also, there is good social bonding and better family time. Nature is everywhere but spending time in a safer greener environment is beneficial. Gardening fosters mental health and creates a safer, greener environment.

Theories Connect Gardening with Mental Health 

The Stress Reduction Theory (SRT) states that spending time with natural elements produces positive emotions like calm and pleasure. It is done by activating the parasympathetic nervous system to reduce stressful situations. The Biophilia hypothesis posits that people have a natural tendency to connect with nature, which positively influences mental health. Through this hypothesis, it is understood that people have an innate affinity for nature and natural processes which include gardening. 

Benefits of Gardening

1. Healthy eating habits  

Gardening directs people towards cultivating nutrition-rich foods and maintaining healthy eating habits. Research suggests that integrating gardens into the school environment boosts students’ nutrition lessons. 

2. Improves Social Interaction 

Participating in community gardening and gardening with friends and family strengthens the bond between them. It reduces feelings of loneliness and provides a shared experience. Through this, they can strengthen their social connections with each other. 

3. Improves Self-confidence 

Gardening is seen as a simple act but it has a great role in improving the person’s psychological well-being. It fosters self-confidence in their ability, which in turn enhances self-esteem and self-perception. Children feel happy and proud when they get to accomplish anything. Like this, In gardening when they grow a plant with proper care and witness the blooming of flowers they feel it as a result of their hard work and feel confident. 

4. Combat ADHD 

Research has shown that gardening helps in coping with the symptoms of ADHD. It facilitates proper attention and better concentration and it also teaches responsibility through consistent care and patience by waiting for the results. 

5. Stress Management  

Spending time around plants relieves stress and gains fulfilment. Admiring the fine details in them helps the person to reduce negative feelings and feel contented. According to research in RHS ( a leading garden charity in the UK), People who are involved in gardening have a higher well-being rate of 6.6% and a lower stress rate of 4.2% than people who are not into gardening.

6. Mood Enhancement 

It is under the sunlight, UVB rays produce vitamin D in the skin which enhances the mood of an individual. Gardening activities keep a person relaxed and induce happiness. Exposure to sunlight increases the serotonin levels in the body which leads to mood enhancement. An article in the Mental Health Review Journal proclaims that the positive effects of gardening include reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety

7. Quality of sleep 

Our circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle governs the sleep-wake cycle which is influenced by external cues such as light and darkness. Here the light is natural sunlight, not fluorescent bulbs. Sunlight helps an individual to make their body aligned with the external environment. To maintain a healthy circadian rhythm a person has to be exposed to daytime sunlight which is facilitated by gardening. By gardening, individuals can balance the need for sunlight and it facilitates vitamin  D production. 

8. Reduce obesity 

The process of this involves physical activities such as digging, seeding, and watering which act as a moderate level of exercise. This delivers muscle strength,  flexibility, and improved cardiovascular health. By gardening, individuals prevent obesity by upholding a healthy body. 

Role of gardening during the pandemic

During covid 19, It plays an important role in the lives of people. In those times, lockdown enables people to have plenty of time to pursue their hobbies. This pandemic period makes people reconnect with nature which gives a sense of normality and grounding in that challenging time. Numerous research highlight its benefits for the physical and psychological well-being of people during that challenging period.

A survey by UC DAVIS reveals that during covid people engaged in Gardening to relieve stress, connect with others, and for food accessibility. Numerous types of research highlight its benefits for the physical and psychological well-being of people during this challenging period. 

It is the act of growing and taking care of plants that not only fosters our physical health but also our mental health. It makes the person pay proper attention, have better concentration, be responsible and patient, reduce stress, enhance mood, and improve social connection. Also, it may seem like a simple act but It is highly beneficial. Even once in a lifetime, we all experience spending time with nature fades away all our sadness. It not only acts as exercise but also as a therapeutic way to reduce distress and promote overall well-being. So it is important to invest some time in gardening and flourishing our mental health. 


1. Can Gardening play a role in Stress Reduction? 

It plays a major role in reducing stress and anxiety and it fosters positive emotions. 

2. Are there any evidence that shows the mental health benefits of Gardening?

There are several types of research supporting gardening’s benefits on the psychological well-being of a person. A study by Research Net shows that horticultural-based therapies have an effective role in improving the overall well-being and quality of life of a person. 

3. What are the benefits one can gain from gardening? 

It reduces stress, improves attention and concentration, enhances mood, builds resilience and confidence, combat ADHD, and produces quality sleep 

4. Is gardening a therapy? 

Yes, it is referred to as horticulture therapy which involves gardening and plant-based activities to improve physical and mental health. 

  • DNP, L. W. a. C. (2022, July 12). Dig into the benefits of gardening. Mayo Clinic Health System. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of%20health/dig-into-the-benefits-of-gardening
  • How gardening affects mental health. (2024, February 25). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/how-gardening-affects-mental-health
  • Green, D., & Green, D. (2024, March 18). 20 Benefits Of Gardening ∣ Your Greenlight To Great Health – The Patient Dr – Your online GP. The Patient Dr – Your online GP – “Medical questions answered in a language you understand.”  –  Dorianne Green MD. https://www.thepatientdr.com/mental/20-benefits-of-gardening/
  • Survey: People turned to gardening for stress relief, food access during pandemic. (2023, April 18). UC Davis. https://www.ucdavis.edu/food/news/survey-people-turned-gardening-stress-relief-food-access-during-pandemic
  • Morris, J., Briggs, M., & Zidenberg-Cherr, S. (2000). School-based gardens can teach kids healthier eating habits. California Agriculture, 54(5), 40–46. https://doi.org/10.3733/ca.v054n05p40

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