Gardening to Treat the Mind, Body, and Soul


We will mostly all agree that gardening is a great way to get some exercise, stretch some muscles, and enjoy some fresh air healthy produce, but believe it or not, gardening can do much more for us than just that.

Gardening has been linked to improved mental health. It can be calming and relaxing, allowing the brain to rest and recuperate. Studies have been made that show an ability to calm dementia patients and those suffering from Alzheimer disease. Patients with these issues have shown a marked decrease in agitation and anxiety while gardening with a lingering effect for some time afterwards.

Many people relate gardening to a time in their lives when they were with their parents and even grandparents, when things made sense and were safe and familiar. Gardening is an activity that they relate to enjoyment. Patients who have been subjected to the impairments of dementia and dementia related illnesses, whose brains are impaired in some way or means tend to go back to basic instincts, childhood memories and find comfort there in those familiar and safe environments of the garden.

In a report made by CNN, “People in their 60’s and 70’s that were studied over the past 16 years showed a 36% and 49%, respectively, lower risk of developing dementia and dementia-related illnesses than their non-gardening counterparts.

Gardening has been shown to be a better stress reliever than reading. In a study conducted around 2014, one group of people were asked to participate in gardening activities for 30 minutes a day, while the other group was asked to read 30 minutes a day. The findings and conclusions were that the gardeners showed a marked improvement in overall mood than the readers, a much-decreased level of stress than the readers, and much lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their system than the non-gardening readers. (not sure if this would include reading about gardening or leafing through seed catalogs.)

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