Gardening: An Anti-Anxiety Technique

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gardening for anxiety
Photograph by jonsson from Göteborg, Sweden. Licensed under CC 2.0.

The title of this article may have surprised you: How on earth can something like gardening have any effect whatsoever on your anxiety levels? The truth is that any activity which requires you to become fully mentally engrossed in it is likely to be a great way of dealing with anxiety symptoms. Of course, you may have interests other than gardening – baking, working on hands-on projects, and even video games are all ways of taking a break from our day-to-day problems and becoming fully enveloped in what interests us. So, back to gardening – just how effective can gardening be in reducing anxiety symptoms? Well, let’s take a look now and see for ourselves.

The Therapy of Gardening

Gardening itself can be therapeutic for many individuals who suffer from anxiety. Why is this the case? Well, to answer that question, we need to see what goes into your average gardening project. Firstly, you are likely to be outside and breathing in fresh air. Many scientific studies have shown that fresh air can present a host of very important anxiolytic benefits for sufferers and non-sufferers alike. According to scientific research conducted by Novak et al in their study entitled Tree and forest effects on air quality and human health in the United States, the researchers discovered that trees – especially when planted in urban areas – had major effects on reducing airborne pollution and thus improve the physiological and psychological states of residents in those areas. You can reap those same benefits by simply getting outside and spending time among the flowers, plants, and trees. Another way to get these benefits is by engaging in an activity known as “forest meditation.” Read about that in our full write-up here.

What if I don’t have a garden?

For those of us who live in cities or other heavily populated urban areas, finding space for a garden can be a difficult task indeed. But, it is not an insurmountable challenge. After all, many of us who live in cities have access to community and urban gardens, the perfect spaces for exercising our creative energies, eliminating our anxious symptoms, and enjoying time well spent with other members of the community. Another option for those of us who have apartments or other living spaces which may not be as conducive to large-scale gardening projects is to examine urban permaculture and gardening. Here is a great book on the subject I can personally vouch for:

As you can see, there are a lot of creative ways you can take advantage of the anti-anxiety benefits of gardening without necessarily have a bunch of acreage to use for it. Also, for finding community gardens in your area, here is a great resource: Community Garden Finder. If you have any other suggestions or tips for individuals looking to implement gardening therapy in their urban homes, please do leave us a comment below! We and our readers would certainly appreciate it.

Here’s another idea…

Ok, we’ve covered a lot of ground here, but there is another idea I wanted to present to you before I signed off today. We’ve spoken a lot about the various herbs that can dramatically improve your life and take the edge off anxiety, but what if you were able to grow them from the comfort of your own home? This is certainly possible, and could be very interesting to do – growing your own natural remedies for anxiety! Now, if you’re looking to get started with this idea as soon as possible, I’ve found a couple of resources on Amazon that might be useful. I don’t know for certain if they cover the sorts of herbs we discuss on Natural Anxiety Meds, but it’s certainly worth a shot, and I’m sure the same basic principles apply to growing the herbal remedies we’ve listed on our site. Here’s the book:

Have Any Other Ideas For Us?

We’re always on the hunt here for new ideas. If you have a method of gardening or even another activity which you have found to be effective in reducing or even eliminating your anxiety symptoms, we would love to hear it. Please leave us a comment below!

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