Taking up Gardening to Reduce Anxiety

Last updated on July 4th, 2024 at 09:36 pm

There are few things as meditative as tending a garden and getting lost in the care of your beloved plants. People who garden and keep flowers tend to have lower rates of anxiety.

Anxiety is Natural

It is natural for people to feel anxious. Anxiety and fear heighten our alertness so that we can protect ourselves or flee from danger. However, when this feeling is disrupting your day-to-day activities and your worries are without a specific reason, you may be likely suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Mental disorders like this are generally not desirable for your overall mental health. Anxiety disorder can be really disruptive. Anxiety could be the cause of several factors such as stress, a chemical imbalance in the body, or trauma.

Hence, it is a complex emotional retort that greatly affects an individual’s brain and its overall nervous system. It triggers firing impulses to the body’s nervous system that emits warning signals causing physical and psychological pain.

Physical symptoms of anxiety may include insomnia, jitters, sweating, rapid heart rate/palpitation, shortness of breath, chest pain, diarrhea, and/or nausea. One may also experience a decreased sex drive and explainable fear. The experience can be a very distressing experience to patients.

Treating Anxiety

Procedures on how to relieve anxiety may start from identifying causes or symptoms of anxiety. Identifying causes and symptoms of stress are usually done so that proper treatment can be administered by relieving this distressing feeling. Medications are then usually prescribed to patients who have a specific anxiety disorder or generalized anxiety. Usually, these medications address the symptoms of anxiety while other medications directly address its causes. If such things are needed, the professionals at BetterHelp may be able to point you in the right direction.

gardening the mint

Relieving anxiety may also include the use of self-care treatment. This is where the patient does not need to see doctors in order to get rid of their anxiety. It is typically applicable for those who have mild anxiety. Self-care at home may include breathing exercises and eating nutritious food rich in much-needed elements of the body. Other methods include meditation, indulging oneself in a hobby, talking with a supportive person, watching TV, reading entertaining books, or taking a longer and warmer bath in a bathtub.

Gardening for the Soul

My dad used to tell me, “flowers are good for the soul”. And he was right. In addition to engaging with nature, gardening also has meditative properties. Meditation is a well-known treatment for anxiety and therefore, by proxy, gardening can assist with achieving a similar state of mind. Allowing oneself to focus on a single task such as gardening can be highly effective.

To release your anxious feeling, gardening can be a great help. This is simply an act of releasing your distracted thought while watering your outdoor plants. At times, this would help you in pinpointing the specific cause of your anxiety and addressing its possible solution. This would serve you as a guide in conquering your possible feeling of fear toward a specific thing.

Focusing your awareness on the present moment without thinking of the past or future is a great way to reduce anxiety. Gardening helps to achieve this state of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a well-known treatment for anxiousness.

Although gardening doesn’t necessarily bring to mind images of a hard workout, it can actually be quite anaerobic. Continuously changing from standing, kneeling, & stooping while using garden implements can help tone muscles. Even mild exercise is will known to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety & depression so it goes without saying that gardening will carry this benefit.

Woman gardening

Grow Herbs That Are Known to Reduce Symptoms

The use of herbs and medicinal plants could also help relieve anxiety. Herbs such as passionflower, chamomile, skullcap, valerian root, Kava-Kava, fennel and catnip have a soothing effect to the nerves when taken. Hence, supplements containing these ingredients are also made available in the market to help patients ease their anxiety. You could however, skip the supplements and grow these herbs on your own.

Growing your own therapeutic herbs can give one a sense of control over their situation. You’ll be able to take comfort that the work you do in your garden will be providing multiple paths of treatment for your condition. Not only will the activity of gardening alleviate your symptoms, but the resulting product will as well.

Other Ways to Relieve Anxiety

Avoiding alcohol and other stimulants when feeling a little anxious could also help you prevent further recurrence of this feeling. This is because stimulants such as caffeine produces a negative effect on one’s nervous system and could actually cause severe anxiety disorders. It could also increase heart rate or palpitation and jittery feelings that promote anxiety.

To relieve anxiousness, one could also seek behavior therapy or commonly known as psychotherapy or counseling. It would definitely help patients refocus their feelings away from negative thoughts and focus on the positive ones. One can change their negative look on their outside world by focusing on the positive. You can also help relieve symptoms by going for a walk through your garden or through your neighborhood.

Monitor Your Progress

Obviously if you absolutely hate dirt, then gardening will do little for you. It may even make things worse. Always keep track of your symptoms and react as needed. If you grow your own herbs, ensure you’ve followed the proper steps to prepare them for use. If you’re unable to treat yourself, see a doctor.

Alex Michaels
Freelance Writer

I'm a freelance writer from Israel. I like to write about just about anything. English is my 2nd language so please forgive me if my writing isn't perfect.

1 thought on “Taking up Gardening to Reduce Anxiety”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top