Can Gardening Really Reduce Stress?
With 38.5 million UK citizens reportedly suffering from debilitating stress in the last year, it’s an important topic of conversation and really worth looking into all aspects of life that can help us reduce stress. At Zebrano, the thing we know most about is garden furniture and what makes people spend time outdoors, so could spending time in the garden really help to reduce stress?
The Effects of Stress
The impacts of stress aren’t just mental, according to healthline.com the impacts of stress on the body can increase risk of things like heart attacks, insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even fertility problems. With so much at stake, it is vital that we all find something that helps us reduce stress.
For many people, relaxing may be sitting in front of the TV or reading a book. But what about gardening? Many gardeners believe that this is the best form of relaxation, but of course, they may be slightly biased. So, what does the science say? A study published in the National Library of Medicine revealed that gardening does lower stress levels. The study gave participants a particularly stressful task to complete and then asked them to either complete half an hour of random gardening activities or indoor reading. Those who were given the gardening activities saw cortisol (a hormone produced by stress) levels reduce more drastically than those reading.
How Does It Work?
But how does gardening reduce stress? There are plenty of theories as to why people find gardening so relaxing and many raise excellent points.
There are several physical aspects of gardening and moderate exercise is proven to reduce stress levels and increase endorphins (a hormone associated with happiness). Plus, gardening involves spending plenty of time outdoors which is also proven to be relaxing and good for our mental health.
As a species that has a history of residing primarily outdoors, it is human nature to enjoy the sunshine, the passing of clouds, the noise of leaves and sticks crunching and the wind in our hair. All of these awaken our senses and our brains respond positively to these.
Another reason gardening is so relaxing is the nurturing aspect. Taking care of plants, watching them thrive and grow increases our satisfaction levels as well as our self-esteem.
For us, all of these aspects combined means that we believe people should be spending more time outdoors to improve their mental and physical well-being. Whether it’s spending time mowing the grass, watering the plants, or dining al fresco with friends and family, spending time in the garden is proven to have a positive effect on our brains and our overall stress levels.