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Gardening as Mental Health Therapy


If you are living in an urban area and you have a space and you have enough “spare” time what would you do? Of course, you would probably be thinking of gardening! Gardening is one of the oldest things people do that is basically the most essential part to our living. Aside from getting your supply of fresh healthy foods to nourish your body, you can also get other benefits that are so important for feeding your mind and soul. Do you have any idea what I’m talking about? Yes, your spiritual aspect. And in connection to this, we shall specifically explore in this article the benefits of gardening to our mental health. There are many scientific studies you can find in the internet today backing up the claim that not only gardening literally helps common modern day mental health problems such as depression, it can also help improve our cognition and judgement towards things. 


People do gardening for various reasons. For people in the urban areas, one of the main reasons is to have a so-called quality time and to deal with stress of everyday life such as too much work, traffic, people, vehicles, etc. In short, mental health. This activity helps them a lot in coping with many different stressors they face every now and then. To some, it even helps them deal with their serious depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Statistically, today cases of depression and other mental health issues are growing higher and higher every year, becoming a major problem. That is why urban gardening, especially organic, must be intensely promoted to the population. The only thing is that many of the people living in the urban areas don’t have much space to do it. This is one of the reasons why gardening has never been a popular option to people who have suffered mental illness. They have been chemically drugged instead, making them more powerless to do the healing themselves. And instead of surrounding us with natural parks or huge trees, we are given new malls and tall buildings for condominiums every year; not to mention congest us with more and more vehicles each month.

But for many people in the rural places, gardening is just part of the culture and they do this mainly to produce their own food. Basically, they have been raised by their farmer parents and this has been their main skill and activity their whole life. So, they do it not to cope with stresses because there are not much mental health problems compared to the cities. This is also partly because in rural areas, nature is still much larger, covering huge lands and there is not much vehicles and pollution. However, the problem is that many of the rural farmers these days have also become totally dependent to chemical fertilizers and pesticides; it would be so hard for them to produce food without using products from big agro-chemical industries. Good thing there are societies and groups that are promoting the revival of organic farming or gardening.   

Connecting to the soil is how we have evolved, and growing food naturally is how our ancestors used to do agriculture for centuries. The soil has a powerful positive property that could help our brain release endorphins and this neuro-chemical enhances our mood that is why so much like of being in green spaces, gardening has an incredible positive impact on our physical and mental aspects. However, a lot of things today has changed, and it would be so radically difficult for us now to reverse everything and practice the organic way as almost many people in the world have become so dependent to huge corporations when it comes to their food. Fortunately, there is still a chance for many. It is still somehow rational to hope that many people would one day decide to support each other for organic and natural practices. That’s why if you have enough space, do not hesitate to start a garden.

You can also join a gardening club in your area. If you don’t have it yet, you can start one! You can start by doing your own research and experimenting on the natural methods yourself. Once your garden flourish, you will be more inspired and have more motivations. Through years of applying this as part of therapy and recovery, gardening has now been known for contributing to the healing from serious depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, among with other chronic illnesses of this modern age. If you are currently having any of these, or just simple mental health issues and you want to help your self, you better do gardening. And if you would do gardening, we encourage you to choose the organic method. In this way, together we can slowly break loose from the practices that compromise our health.