7 Ways Gardening Can Prevent Depression ...

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There are plenty of ways gardening can prevent depression, many of which are often overlooked. Gardening isn’t just about mowing the lawn, pruning the shrubs, or planting flowers. It’s an art form that’s also a form of therapy. If you suffer from the blues or clinical depression, you may want to consider a few of these ways gardening can prevent depression (or even treat it). By spending a bit more time outdoors in your own yard each week, you’ll be a bit more chipper in no time!

1. Vitamin D Exposure

Vitamin D Exposure

Vitamin D exposure is one of the many ways gardening can prevent depression. The sun is your absolute best source for this mood-boosting vitamin. Vitamin D from the sun helps the brain produce serotonin, along with other mood-boosting chemicals, which lowers stress and promotes a sense of well-being. Just 20-30 minutes a day is all you need to get the benefits.

2. Activity

Activity

Being active in any form or fashion is a proven way to prevent depression. Gardening requires quite a bit of bending, squatting, and general movement. If you spend at least an hour or two outdoors each day gardening, you could even count it as a form of mild exercise. This is a great reason to add gardening to your day.

3. Quiet

Quiet

Have you ever noticed how quiet it is outdoors? Even if you live in a busy neighborhood, the outdoors can still be surprisingly peaceful. This allows you to think and process things in your mind that are bothering you. Depression often occurs because we can’t seem to silence the chatter in our minds. Nature’s quiet is often the perfect remedy, which makes gardening a wonderful way to get the benefits.

4. Accomplishment

Accomplishment

Many times depression can occur because we’ve suffered a loss or are at a standstill in our lives. If this is the case for you, gardening can give you the sense of accomplishment you need to get you motivated again. There’s nothing like seeing your home and lawn look a little bit better because of something you did. Even the simplest changes count toward making you feel accomplished. Trimming that bush back a bit, pulling those weeds you’ve been meaning to get to, or potting a bright new flower next to your driveway - anything counts, so get to it!

5. Nature

Nature

Nature is one of the most overlooked healing gifts we have. Whether it is the changing seasons, or a simple breeze, nature can bring healing to your soul pretty quickly. Gardening is one of the easiest ways to get the benefits by being active with the soil, trees, shrubs, and the ground. It gives you a sense of getting outside of yourself and your day to day worries by spending time with something bigger than yourself. Trust me and just give it a try!

6. Self-Teaching

Self-Teaching

Teaching yourself new things is another one of the best ways to prevent depression. Depression may sometimes come with a low self-esteem, or even self-pity. Don’t get into that rut! Instead, teach yourself something new, such as gardening! If you’re new to the hobby, start small by just planting some herbs or flowers. If you’re an experienced gardener, take it up a few notches and try something more advanced. Teaching yourself something is a great way to get out of a rut and give you some motivation for life again.

7. Relieves Stress

Relieves Stress

When you let yourself become so overwhelmed with stress you can’t even function, depression is a direct result. One of the ways gardening helps prevent depression is that it consistently fights and relieves stress. Because you’re moving around and giving yourself an outlet to process your thoughts, stress subsides much more easily than if you do nothing. Plus, at the end, you’ll have a fabulous lawn to brag about to your friends and family, or just enjoy for yourself!

Gardening might not be something you would think of initially as a way to prevent depression, but it does work. Plus, as a bonus, it’s free! There’s certainly nothing depressing about that, right? Do you garden? Have you experienced of these benefits from gardening?

Sources: mayoclinic.org, prevention.com