Horticulture Therapy and Mental Health: How are they related?
If you are feeling blue or having issues with alcohol, cigarettes, or even drugs for that matter, then getting your hands dirty by gardening maybe one of your healthiest options.
According to Peter James, a study author and a research associate at the Harvard Chan School’s Department of Epidemiology, those who live near green environment showed a 11% lower rate of mortality.
This was further augmented by a King’s Fund Health by saying that regular gardening provides several benefits.
“… the work is shared across your entire body, from lifting pots with strong arms and legs to pruning and clipping with flexible hands and wrists or planting out with a repertoire of balanced bends and twists across your knee, hip and ankle joints.
Another research conducted by Carla Bezold, postdoctoral research fellow in Harvard Chan’s Department of Epidemiology, also did a similar study. It produced similar results:
“… teens living near the highest-quality green space were 11% less likely to be depressed than their peers who lived around the least amounts of lush greenery. The link between green space and lower odds of being depressed was strongest among middle schoolers.”
But how does gardening help those with alcoholism and other addictions?
Tony Wright is a testament to how influential gardening can be to get rid of both addiction and depression. He suffered both depression and alcoholism but “unconsciously” recovered from it through horticulture therapy.
The “therapy” started with him being asked to plant or trim bushes, or simply just watering the garden. Seeing how the plants grow healthier because of the regular care and attention aided to his recovery. He had severe issues with depression and alcoholism, but this regular routine helped him combat this.
Given these studies and research showing the positive effects of gardening, it’s high time to introduce gardening into your lives, especially if you feel like you are experiencing sadness or addiction.
Don’t know how to begin? We have several blogs to help you decide on which type of plant to consider when beginning your garden. Begin with these plants that can help reduce your stress.