Gardening Makes Us Happier
From Daily Mail, a United Kingdom publication
Feeling a little down? Don’t reach for a glass of wine—head out to the landscape instead.
More than 90% of gardeners say the activity improves their mood, according to a survey for Gardeners’World magazine. The survey of 1,500 adults in the UK also found gardeners are less likely to display signs of depression. Moreover, 80% of gardeners feel satisfied with their lives compared to 67% of non-gardeners.
The findings are rooted in the good feeling that comes from nurturing something living, the gratification of passing on those seeds of knowledge, in addition to the natural optimism that comes from realizing that no matter how bad the weather there’s always next year, explains Gardeners’ World Editor Lucy Hall. “We have long suspected it,” she says, “but our research means we can definitely say gardening makes you happy.”
Professor of environment and society at the University of Essex, Jules Pretty, said: “Scientific research at a number of universities, including at the University of Essex, now clearly shows that engagement with green places is good for personal health. We also know that short-term mental health improvements are protective of long-term health benefits. We thus conclude that there would be a large potential benefit to individuals, society and to the costs of the health service if all groups of people were to self-medicate more with what we at Essex call green exercise. Gardening falls into this category – it is good for both mental and physical health, and all social and age groups benefit. It provides a dose of nature.
[Editor’s note] Combine the benefits of gardening with the benefits of a household pet—in my case Barney, my adorable golden retriever—and you’ll almost always have a smile on your face!