We have some great news for all the green thumbs out there!
According to the latest study, gardening can improve mental health, regardless of previous experience. Best of all, it doesn’t take too long for the effects to take hold — just eight gardening sessions!
But wait, there’s more!
According to PLOS ONE, the scientific journal where the research was published, you don’t even need to have mental health issues to reap the mood-boosting benefits of gardening. In fact, the study found that gardening was a lot more relaxing than other hobbies, such as artwork, for instance.
32 female volunteers (aged 26–49) were assigned to either art or gardening activities and were subsequently surveyed to determine their overall mood, stress levels, and anxiety. Among those, 15 were complete gardening newbies and had gardening sessions two times a week for a month.
To everyone’s surprise, they reported a notable decrease in stress and anxiety levels, including depression, whereas those working on art reported therapeutic improvements in both mood and depression; nothing like some peas and quiet!
Not only that, but gardening also has the added benefit of providing you with fresh, organic veggies. So it’s no wonder that some 20% of global food production comes from urban farming.
Although we don’t have a definitive answer, scientists believe plant cultivation is deeply embedded in our genes. Namely, humans have evolved from simple hunter-gatherers to more complex farming communities — hence why we have so many polytheistic deities linked with nature and harvest, in particular, through history.
Nevertheless, more studies (longer trials) are needed to determine the exact cause and limitations of this phenomenon before we can use it as a legit form of therapy.