Gardens: good for your mind, body, and soul

Gardens: good for your mind, body, and soul

Elizabeth Walker, Staff Writer

Have you ever wanted to create something beautiful, but you lack the time and motivation to get the ball rolling? Growing a garden is a simple way to quench the yearning for beauty and purpose in your life. Most people create gardens out of pleasure, but this hobby is proven to have many increasing health advantages for young and old alike.

If you build your own garden, it is scientifically proven that you’ll reap many mental benefits. For example, tulips, hydrangeas, daisies, orchids, and many more have shown to be mood boosters. According to Dr. Loretta G. Breuning of California State University, flowers trigger oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine receptors in our body. Our brain expects the blooming of flowers to be something exciting or new, thus it releases dopamine. Our brain also releases oxytocin because of the trust and respect for the frailty that we have for the flowers, and it releases serotonin because your body feels like it’s doing something important and that gardening is an acceptable way to divert your energy. To put it in lighter terms, the “pretty flowers” make our brain happy. Furthermore, gardening can be an easy solution to relieve stress. Pulling weeds, digging in the dirt, and working with your hands are great ways to combat the stressful feelings that tend to present themselves at the end of the school year.

Maintaining a garden regularly will also have many physical health benefits to each individual. The US Department of Health and Human Services claims that gardening for 30-45 minutes a day can help lower your blood pressure. This is because being out in nature lowers your stress levels and, in turn, lowers your blood pressure because you’ll be calmer. Gardening also reinforces your hand dexterity as you age, because of all the intricate parts that go into gardening as a whole. Moreover, by working in a yard you can severely lower chances of stroke, dementia, and heart disease. Studies have shown that folks who are more active in their old age profit greatly and reduce their risk of these complications by almost 50%.  

Exercise will always be good for your health. A study by the American Council of exercise says that you’ll burn 300 calories an hour by gardening. I’m not claiming it’s the most efficient way to lose weight, or that you’ll suddenly wake up looking 20 years younger, but it’s a good way to burn excess calories by doing something worthwhile. Anything to get you active outside is always a great option for a healthier lifestyle.

There is a study called the hygiene hypothesis, which essentially claims that exposing your child to germs and dirt early in their life can be very beneficial to their immune systems. If you expose things to them in small increments, you can help them grow to be stronger and more resilient to different diseases that may present themselves later in life. So, growing a garden can be very good for not only your health, but for the people around you. Make gardening a family event, and bond over the creation of something magical.

Gardening isn’t just about deriving pretty flowers or yummy food from your yard. Considering it is your garden, you can plant anything you want in it (flowers, vegetables, or regular plants.) Gardens are so versatile, and each one is unique and delightful in their own way. This hobby allows you to explore your creative side, without any stipulations at all. To have the ability to create meaningful life out of a few seeds and a bit of hope is a feeling that cannot be paralleled.