Did you know its Stress Awareness Month? Root One supports and agrees with the increasing acknowledgement of the importance of exposure to plants, green space, and gardening and the positive impact it has on mental health. We hope to give you some unarguable reasons as to why getting out into the garden is valuable and hope to inspire you to take up this rewarding and entertaining activity.
Gardening is a healthy, low-pressure way to spend time outdoors and you don’t need a green thumb to enjoy the benefits of this hobby either. It might sound too good to be true, but just having contact with soil microbes is scientifically proven to be beneficial for wellbeing with effects comparable to Prozac, we can’t think of a better reason to get our hands dirty. On top of this, as we tend to the garden, serotonin levels increase and the circadian rhythms reset, meaning that we also get a better night’s sleep and feel better the next day as a result.
Taking care of a plant gives us a sense of responsibility, purpose and self-worth, the very presence of plants has been shown to reduce stress. Taking the time to examine the plants in your garden in a mindful way can reduce levels of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’ in the body and help you feel more relaxed.
In addition to caring for plants, growing your own food is a simple way to connect with nature and has a wealth of positive benefits for both mental and physical health, not to mention its sustainable, pesticide free, cost effective, tastes so much better and is higher in nutritional content. For more information on how to prepare your soil for planting click here.
If you don’t have access to a garden, don’t worry, you might be surprised at the range of herbs and vegetables you can grow in planters and window boxes, Kew Gardens have some great ideas on how to produce crops with little to no space.
No garden? No problem. Houseplants have been proven to reduce stress levels and improve cognitive function. Houseplants are the perfect way to add a touch of greenery to your living space, and many require very little maintenance such as succulents, cacti and yucca plants. As well as being beautiful, many house plants have the added benefit of boosting oxygen levels and removing pollutants and toxins from the air, such as the spider plant, areca palm and the snake plant to name a few!
Planting lots of flowers and plants is not only great for you but it’s also fantastic for local wildlife, it’s been shown that observing wildlife in their natural habitat, such as watching birds in the garden, contributes to feelings of well-being, relaxation and a sense of connection to nature.
By making a garden a haven for nature, people can escape the ever-expanding cities and find a sense of calm and safety, it can be achieved by simply scattering wildflower seeds or creating a pond or fountain which not only enhances the ambiance of your outdoor space but also provides psychological benefits, since being near water can promote calmness, focus, creativity and even improve quality of sleep.
You don’t have to be a gardening expert to enjoy the benefits that plants and gardening bring, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to create something that makes you feel connected and peaceful. Time in the garden doesn’t need a prescription and there are no limits on our daily dose!