Study Proves That Gardening Can Make You Happier, Even If You Aren’t Dealing With Any Mental Health Issues

Psy Post

A new study has shown that people that tend to a garden gain a deep satisfaction from it. So deep, in fact, that it can even invigorate and exhilarate even those that don’t necessarily need it, or even those that are considered “skilled” or don’t know the ins and outs of gardening.

Considered an experimental study, this randomized-controlled trial was accomplished on indoor group-based gardening courses were compared to art classes in order to better understand if the moods of healthy women that had no prior history of requiring prescriptions for anxiety or depression could be improved as a result of gardening.

It’s not common for a study to look at women that are considered “healthy” and have no symptoms of mood swings, anxiety or depression, but rather see if there is something to be observed scientifically to see if there are margins for improvement even in the slimmest way possible, which will also mean the potential for others whose margin for improvement is bigger.

But for the University of Florida, “therapeutic horticulture” has long since been used as a method since the 19thcentury.

Principal investigator on the study, Charles Guy, from the University of Florida, shared, “Past studies have shown that gardening can help improve the mental health of people who have existing medical conditions or challenges. Our study shows that healthy people can also experience a boost in mental wellbeing through gardening.”

The study participants consisted of thirty two women between the ages of 26 and 49, who were either part of the art group that did drawing or printmaking, or the gardening group, that learned about how to sow seeds, transplant a variety of different plants, and even tasted the edible plants.

According to Guy, “Both gardening and art activities involve learning, planning, creativity and physical movement, and they are both used therapeutically in medical settings. This makes them more comparable, scientifically speaking, than, for example, gardening and bowling or gardening and reading.”

Although both of these groups showed a small increase in the moods of the participants, those that were part of the gardening group had improved feelings of anxiety as compared to those that joined the art group. Moreover, both groups also showed dose dependency, where they more they drew or gardened, the better perceived therapeutic effect on the women.

It’s not exactly understood why gardening has such a positive effect on people, but human have been interacting with plants in very sophisticated ways for over millions of years, even before mankind became the homo sapiens that the world now knows. In addition, the development of such studies as agriculture and horticulture have managed to change society forever, with studies even proving that the color “leaf-green” is considered incredibly soothing to the human brain.

Regardless of the reasons why, the study participants not only shared how much they enjoyed the gardening courses, but that they also plan to continue their gardening studies and habits long after the study has ended.

So if you have been thinking about starting your own garden for some time, perhaps this is your sign to head over to the plant store and begin your own gardening journey to happiness today.