The Psychological Benefits of Gardening

It’s more than just a hobby or a pitch to eat healthier, for many, gardening is part of their lifestyle.  Anyone can garden, if you apply yourself and get in tuned with Mother Nature.  You don’t need to have a “green thumb” in order to plant, feed, water, and care for something.

The best thing about gardening: the more you invest your time and energy into it, the more you get out of it.  Sure, your first attempt at growing a row of potatoes in the backyard may not produce edible results, but that doesn’t mean you got nothing out of the experienced.

Here are some psychological benefits that you might have missed or taken for granted about gardening.

Gardening brings Responsibility

This is why gardening is so beneficial for children.  It gives them something to care for that is a bit more forgiving than a living animal to watch over.  Plants do need love, attention, and time to grow and produce flowers/fruits.  When you neglect them, they wilt or retreat into the ground.  When you give them love on a consistent basis, they stand tall and proud.  They depend on your help to prosper, which can give you a sense of purpose in life.

Love is love, it is not tied to wealth, social status, appearances, or even species.  When a garden is tended to and the time and energy is invested in every little detail, it shows.  We all have that inner nurturing side to us that makes us feel wanted.

An Appreciation for Life

As corny as this may sound, gardening opens up an entire new way of thinking about life and how specials it truly is.  Grass on the ground is just messy carpet, trees are just props, and flowers are decorations for most of us on any given day.  When say that you should “stop and smell the roses” it is a way of saying you should slow down and rethink how you’re looking at something.  What if you literally stopped and smelled the roses?

Gardening forces you to stop viewing everything through the lens of a clock or digital measured progression.  You have to garden with care and intuition, not speed or precise metrics.  It can be a foreign concept, especially for those who grew up in front of a TV/smartphone/computer screen, but once you really sit down and “do” it, gardening can really make you fall in love with our planet.

Relaxation without Sleeping

Most people associate rest and relaxation with an evening on a couch or doing as little physical activity as possible.  Gardening will require you to get on your hands and knees, maybe haul some heavy bags or pots around, but its very nature is therapeutic and relaxing.  It’s rhythmic, quiet, and, most importantly, a controlled environment.  While watching TV or browsing the internet, we rely on that content to take our minds off of our work lives.  Ironically, there are plenty of opportunities for said entertainment to become a stressor, while the “work” of gardening can be a form of meditation.

There is order in gardening.  It’s just you and the Earth, mixing the fundamentals of a happy life together to be rewarded with beauty and a sense of accomplishment.  That’s pure happiness that cannot be priced or measured by any silly app or technology.


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