Science has proven the effectiveness of Ecotherapy, showing that spending time outside in a green environment can reduce stress and promote clarity.
A University of Washington study found that being in nature rejuvenates and calms the mind, while Swedish research examining greenery in urban spaces discovered that people with access to green environments had significantly lower stress levels.
Additionally, being outdoors surrounded by leafy trees and greenery can reduce the symptoms of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
But if you really want to reap the benefits of nature, try gardening, as opposed to simply stepping outside. Here are 5 ways gardening is good for your health:
- It’s good for you physically: while it might not seem like you’re exercising, gardening is, in fact, a great form of low-resistance exercise. As well as toning the arms and legs, it gently works the abdominal and thigh muscles through bending and stretching movements that are part and parcel to gardening. On top of that, it improves balance and mobility.
- It enhances self-esteem and confidence: nurturing something and watching it grow naturally boosts feelings of pride and accomplishment, which in turn enhances self-esteem levels.
- It boosts your immune system: research published in Science Daily found that working in the garden strengthens the immune system because of the beneficial bacteria present in soil. It can also alleviate allergy symptoms, University of Copenhagen research discovered.
- It promotes mindfulness: the reason we always feel so good when surrounded by nature is because we are able to reconnect with both ourselves and our surroundings. By touching and working the earth through gardening, you enhance this connection and create inner peace. Stress and anxiety naturally lower in this kind of environment.
- It keeps you focused: a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that gardening can reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s by up to 50%. Other research has explored the benefits of horticulture therapy on the happiness of dementia patients.