Categories: Health & Beauty

Gardening helps ward off depression

If you’ve ever noticed that gardeners tend to be happy people, you may actually be on to something. A recent poll from Gardeners’ World magazine found that 80 percent of people who garden felt satisfied with their lives. Many people tend to flower gardens because they find it calming and therapeutic to just be outside and nurture a little plant from seedling into maturity. Being in natural, green spaces is good for the physical and mental health of people. With the constant stimuli and connectivity of technology, your body rarely has time to fully relax and destress.

Happiness grows in the garden
Scientists have found that the good feelings people get from tending their gardens may actually be caused by a bacteria found in the soil they are working with. As just another example that not all bacteria are bad guys, the researchers at Bristol University and University College London found that the bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae triggers the brain to produce serotonin. Reward areas in the brain are also often triggered when you successfully manage to achieve gardening goals, whether that’s introducing a new type of flower or harvesting your first tomatoes of the season.

Gardeners also develop a sense of optimism from gardening that extends into other areas of their lives. These positive feelings are often attributed to the biggest life lesson you can learn from growing perennial plants: this season may have been bad, but there is always next year. Sometimes, a poor display of color in the flower beds or a small harvest from your organic vegetable garden is just out of your control. Factors such as climate, weather patterns, pests and diseases can all have an effect  the outcome of plants. The acceptance that gardening teaches is a valuable lesson for life.