The Healing Power of Green Spaces: Boosting Mental Wellbeing
3rd August 2023
Mental health affects millions of people around the world. While there are many factors that can impact mental wellbeing, spending time outdoors and engaging with nature has been shown to be a hugely positive influence. As many continue to explore the link between green space and mental health, it’s becoming increasingly clear that gardening can be a powerful tool for promoting wellbeing, reducing stress, and improving overall quality of life.
What are the benefits?
Physical exercise and wellness
Gardening is a fulfilling and physically engaging activity. It involves a range of movements which provide a form of low-impact exercise. These movements contribute to increased flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular fitness. Regular physical activity through gardening not only promotes physical well-being but also enhances mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, natural chemicals in the body that act as mood boosters, generating feelings of happiness and contentment and enhancing wellbeing.
Gardening activities and spending time in green spaces have garnered recognition as highly effective stress relievers, offering individuals a sanctuary from the demands of everyday life. The rhythmic and repetitive nature of tasks can be innately comforting and meditative. The process of engaging in these activities enables individuals to redirect their attention away from the burdensome stresses and pressures that often occupy their minds, creating a mental space conducive to relaxation and respite. Immersing in natural environments has been scientifically proven to have a direct impact on cortisol levels, the hormone closely associated with stress. Studies have shown that being amidst green spaces, such as gardens and parks, can significantly improve mood and lower cortisol levels in the body.
Sense of achievement and purpose
Gardening provides a tangible and visible outcome that can bring a profound sense of accomplishment and purpose. The journey from sowing seeds to witnessing their growth and eventual blossoming or harvesting of vegetables is a rewarding process. The sense of responsibility and care required to nurture plants instils a feeling of ownership and pride. Individuals experience a deep connection to the cycle of life, as they become active participants in the creation and sustenance of a thriving garden. This sense of achievement not only boosts self-esteem but also contributes to a positive outlook on life.
How to transform your garden to help relax busy minds
Transform your garden into a captivating haven by cultivating flowers that entice bees and butterflies. Not only will these enchanting creatures add beauty and vibrancy to your outdoor space, but they can also help you relax and find solace and boost your wellbeing. The gentle fluttering of butterflies and the soothing buzz of bees create a serene atmosphere that can have a calming effect on your mind and body. As you sit among the vibrant blooms and witness the harmonious dance of these pollinators, you’ll feel a sense of tranquillity and connection with nature. The act of nurturing your garden and providing a welcoming habitat for bees and butterflies can be a therapeutic and fulfilling experience, allowing you to escape the stresses of everyday life and find solace in the serenity of your own personal oasis. Try using our Seedboms, they are fun and easy to use and create a wonderful array of flowers. Pull the pin, throw the Seedbom into an area with soil, natural light and that can be kept damp. The outer shells will biodegrade into the soil, providing nutrients, and will leave only the wildflower plants behind for you to enjoy!
Creating a space to sit
Create a serene and calming space within your garden, offering a sanctuary for relaxation and nurturing your mental health and wellbeing. Designate a cosy corner adorned with comfortable seating, surrounded by lush greenery and fragrant flowers. This tranquil oasis provides a retreat from the demands of daily life, allowing you to immerse yourself in the soothing sounds of nature. As you sit in this peaceful haven, observing the gentle sway of leaves, the melodious chirping of birds, and the soft scent of blossoms, you can experience a profound sense of relaxation. The act of being present in nature and embracing its beauty can help reduce stress, promote mindfulness, and restore a sense of inner calm. Taking moments to unwind and connect with nature in your garden sanctuary can have a profound positive impact on your mental well-being, rejuvenating your spirit and providing a much-needed respite from the pressures of the world.
Don’t have a garden?
Give container gardening a try on your windowsills or balconies, even in the smallest of spaces, and still enjoy the numerous benefits of planting. You’ll be amazed at how much you can grow in pots or containers, bringing nature right to your doorstep. If you’re longing for a deeper connection with nature, take a leisurely stroll in the woods. Head to your nearest forest, nature reserve, or park and simply immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings. Being surrounded by the wonders of nature can instinctively satisfy your primal needs and bring about positive effects, even if you’re not consciously aware of it.
Guest post written by Rosie Buckley – The Writers Diary