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I’ve always found people who were more attached to nature than most, like my grandmother. These people have a genuine appreciation of the beautiful growing things around them, whether it be animals or plants. I think it makes them calm, peaceful, and just overall more emotionally stable people.
My grandmother literally spends hours and hours tending her plants. She’s also a very strong old lady. Coincidence? No!
There’s always been a belief that humans actually need to be needed. Such a feeling is as empowering as it is healthy. The ability to care for something that is unable to take care of itself creates a warmth in the heart that few other acts of kindness can match. Gardening is one activity that yields that same kind of feeling.
And while we can sit around all day talking about how good it feels, there’s another aspect that gardening benefits — our mental health. So, how exactly does plant therapy contribute to a person’s mental health? Read on, dear readers, so you too may benefit.
Plant Therapy Keeps Us in Tune with Nature
Plant therapy acts as a gentle reminder that we are not the sole inhabitants of the Earth. Loneliness, as well as self-absorption, are both contributors to depression. And well, there is indeed value in being able to appreciate growing things.
Gardening helps us direct our energy outwards rather than inwards. Making us less selfish and more aware of our surroundings and the beauty held within.
Plant Therapy Trains Us to Become Nurturers
Age does not matter when it comes to plant therapy. It helps bring out the caring side that every human being has. When you help things to grow, you also grow yourself.
Nurturing is a transformative activity that not only helps instill a sense of purpose within us, it also helps to boost self-esteem. To be needed is also a need.
Exercise, Sunshine, and Happiness
While it’s very obvious, it still needs to be said. Plant therapy encourages us to move, exercise and to spend time outdoors, even if it’s only within the constraints of a patio.
The exercise combined with the exposure to sunlight prompts the body to release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Both of these are responsible for the feeling of euphoria.
Not only that, but the physical activity involved in gardening also allows us to spend any excess energy, thus allowing for a more restful sleep.
Gardening is a Universal Activity
This means that anyone can do it. It does not have any restrictions. All you really need is the ability and patience to care for something other than yourself, the proper tools, and you should be set.
Whether you have a yard or a small outdoor space doesn’t matter, because there are plants for container gardening as well as backyard gardening.
Age, gender, religion, and whatever other categorizations you may think of do not apply here. And that’s the beauty of plant therapy. It’s easy to do, but the mental health benefits will take you a long way, especially if you live a stressful life.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.