Having contact with nature in some form or another is rewarding in many ways. First and foremost, plants create oxygen, a vital element to our existence. While you’re working closely with your plants in the garden, it’s likely you’ll be exposed to a higher level of oxygen. This helps to fuel the body muscles, increase clarity, strengthen the immune system, and improve sleeping as well as one’s quality of life.
On top of this, through gardening, you create a relationship with your plot and become aware of the elements, such as the first and last frosts and seasonal temperatures. Generally, this increases the ability to concentrate and engage.
Forming a relationship with your plot comes hand in hand with also having a sense of achievement and accomplishment at milestones, such as when your flowers bloom, or your vegetables are ready to harvest. Nurturing a plant from the beginning through to the end creates a feeling of anticipation as well as a sense of structure and meaning. These sentiments boost our confidence and encourage our learning.
Regular physical labour in the garden has been proven to have similar long-term effects on our health as going to the gym. This is particularly due to the varied movements, positions and stretches you have to engage in.
Like gym-goers, people often notice that their garden activities reduce depression, lower anxiety and boost mood.
This brings us to another effect of gardening: reduced stress. Such a hands-on job requires you to be in the moment and focus on your plot. This means whatever worries you’ve encountered that day have to be pushed to the side while you tend to the garden. As well as this, the fresh air and scents of flowers and plants help to relieve stress.
Probably the most obvious point of all: being out in the sun for a few hours at a time will naturally make you much happier because it’s triggering one of the body’s happiest chemicals.
On top of this, fresh air also activates melatonin, a chemical involved in sleep regulation. You read that right, gardening helps you sleep better!