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The 411 on Gardening for Stress Relief


When it comes to stress relief, gardening is more effective than reading, according to a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology.

Did you know that gardening and enjoying the tranquil beauty of nature can help you relieve stress? In a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology, Van Der Berg and Custers (the researchers) first asked their participants to perform a stressful activity. Then, they instructed the participants to do either 30 minutes of gardening or 30 minutes of reading.

Although both groups experienced reduced stress after gardening and reading, the gardeners had a significant decline in stress levels. Moreover, the gardeners were in a better, more positive mood. In contrast, many of the readers experienced a greater decline in mood.

Of course, the results of Van Der Berg's and Custers' research do not suggest that reading cannot relieve stress. However, caring for greenery has a bigger advantage when it comes to reducing stress and improving one's mood.

How does gardening relieve stress?

Here are some of the reasons why gardening is an effective stress reliever.

1. Sunlight can make you happier

During the winter months, when there are fewer daylight hours, about 5 percent of American adults experience a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Getting some sun is usually the solution, as it is an instant mood booster. In addition, sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, and breathing some fresh air from the outdoors is good for your health.

That being so, working on your garden — or even going out for a quick stroll — is an excellent way to lift your mood and get some vitamin D, which, according to recent findings, may help reduce COVID-19 risks.

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2. Surrounding yourself with nature is a form of escape

Enjoying the beauty of nature may help separate you from the stressors of daily life. Since we live in the digital age, for most of us, our day-to-day routine consists of hours in front of a computer, smartphone, or tablet. The problem, however, is that constant exposure, especially to social media, can be harmful to our mental health.

Most of us are always on the go these days. But one thing we should all strive to squeeze into our busy schedules is spending time in the great outdoors. If you can't go hiking or if you live in the city, having a garden and tending to it is a great way to connect with mother nature and escape the stressful reality of daily life.

You can learn more about the benefits of gardening from our previous blog post.

Where do I start?

Whether you live in an apartment, condo, or house, there's always a way to start a garden. It might seem a bit intimidating if you're starting with either nothing or an empty patch of land, but truly, finding a good website about gardening is a good place to start since it can give you plenty of information and inspiration. To speed up your research, check out these 37 best gardening websites.

May your garden bring you peace, joy, good health, and a whole lot of fun.


Marlene Bertrand from USA on May 10, 2021:

I started gardening in containers and enjoyed it so much that now I have three different types of gardens - vegetable, herb, and a small cornfield. As you mentioned, gardening is a very good stress reliever. I look forward to going out every day to do something in the garden.

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