Gardening for Relief of Stress and Anxiety

Tending to a garden, digging in the earth, assisting in the growth of new life – gardening has the tremendous ability to calm the mind and body. The sensation of soil through the fingers, the joy of adding color and beauty to where there once was only dirt, and the ability to fully enjoy the benefits of each plant all make gardening an overwhelmingly positive activity. It is no wonder that gardening is known to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. A special benefit for those with emetophobia, eating food grown from your own garden can strengthen your immune system.  Even if you have never gardened before in your life, you can begin to enjoy the benefits of this wonderful activity. Below are a few tips to get you started:

Start small – You don’t need to take on a large gardening project to benefit from gardening. Even if you have limited yard space, just a few plants here and there that are tended to regularly will have a positive effect. If you live in the city, consider creating a few window boxes filled with your favorite flowers or herbs.

Take Your Time – The rest of life is rushed enough; when you are in your garden, take your time. Enjoy the sounds of the outdoors that surround you, close your eyes and take some deep breaths, dig slowly and arrange gently, then sit back for awhile, relax, and marvel at what you have created.

Grow What You Will Enjoy and/or Can Use –  Think about what herbs or vegetables you frequently buy and try to grow them yourself! Consider herbs that aid in relaxation, such as chamomile or lemon balm. Try easy-to-grow vegetables that produce a plentiful harvest, such as tomatoes or zucchini. Whether it is medicinal herbs, your favorite vegetables, or beautiful flowers that attract butterflies, always grow plants that you will truly enjoy.