Want to improve your mental well-being without spending a fortune on psychotherapy sessions and medications? Your best bet is to spend more time gardening. The more you tend to your plants, the more likely you are to be at peace with yourself, reveals a recent study.
There have been several studies on the correlation between spending time in close proximity to nature and an improved sense of well-being and self-esteem. A new study has found that those who spend more time gardening, tend to be fitter and more physically active, and are less likely to be diagnosed with cancer and other chronic diseases. Their anxiety and stress levels were also significantly lower than those of their peers who did not spend time in the garden.
The research was based on a randomised controlled trial of community gardening. The research was conducted by a team from the University of Colorado-Boulder and funded by the American Cancer Society. The findings have been published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health.
Professor Jill Litt, who is associated with the Department of Environmental Studies at CU Boulder, told medical news portal Medical Dialogues that the research provides “concrete evidence” that community gardening plays a key role in preventing cancer, chronic diseases, and mental health disorders.
Here’s How Gardening Can Change Your Life For The Better
Gardening Promotes Healthier Eating
iStockThis one is a no-brainer. If you spend time growing fruits and vegetables from scratch, you will obviously end up having a more wholesome, organic diet than most.
Several observational studies have found that gardening enthusiasts do tend to eat more fruits and vegetables and have fewer instances of obesity and diabetes. The study led by the CU team discovered that those engaged in community gardening ate 1.4 grams more fibre per day than those who didn’t. Several health experts have extolled the benefits of a fibre-rich diet, such as higher metabolism, better immunity, etc.
An Inexpensive Way Of Staying Fit
iStockThat’s right! Gardening can be a great way of cutting the flab and looking fab without emptying your bank balance. The study found that people who engaged in community gardening increased their physical activity levels by about 42 minutes per week.
A Great Way Of Keeping Stress At Bay
iStockParticipants who engaged in gardening more had lower levels of stress and anxiety. Community gardening can also help people forge relationships organically. In simpler words, community gardening fosters connection. When a group of people come together to cultivate a piece of land, it instills a sense of purpose as well as feelings of belonging and acceptance.