New research has validated the emotional and environmental benefits of flowers, plants, and trees in men and women and it doesn't matter if you're young or "young at heart".
In a nutshell, trees, plants, and shrubs improve these emotional areas below. As a result of this it develops a more fulfilled and overall happier person:
- Emotional health (decrease worry and anxiety)
- Enhance innovation and ideas
- Build stronger communities
- Improve the economic value of homes
A study in the Netherlands indicated that gardening is better at relieving stress than other relaxing leisure activities. Two groups of people were required to complete a stressful task, one group did some gardening for 30 minutes while the other group did some reading indoors over the same time. The gardening group reported being in a better mood than the reading group, and they also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
The activity of gardening is also good for our bodies. It’s healthy regular physical exercise which helps prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, adult-onset diabetes and osteoporosis. Researchers at Kansas State University already have shown that gardening can offer enough moderate physical activity to keep older adults in shape. This was confirmed by another study where the researchers concluded that gardening is a great way for older adults to meet the physical activity recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine
Enhance Innovation & Ideas
A study that followed people in their 60s and 70s for up to 16 years found that those who gardened regularly had a 36% lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners, even when a range of other health factors were taken into account.
Gardening has been shown to help prevent dementia in seniors. Gardening requires you to think, learn and use your creativity. By keeping the mind active, it serves as a protective measure against such degenerative diseases.
Build Stronger Communities
We must also remember that we humans are social creatures, and we maintain psychological and emotional health by interacting with one another in some form of community. Gardening connects you with people and community gardens provide an ideal opportunity for people to interact with each other. Research indicates that local gardening brings about a better sense of community.
Improve the Economic Value of Homes
A study on rental properties found that landscaping was the improvement that had the largest positive impact on occupancy. Appraised property values of homes next to natural parks and spaces are typically 8 to 20 percent higher than properties elsewhere.
Properly selecting and placing plants can lower costs for heating and cooling homes by up to 20 percent or more. This can include deciduous trees for summer shade, evergreens for winter windbreaks. Estimates from Department of Energy computer models are that three properly placed trees can reduce average home energy costs between $100 and $250.
What do you love about gardening? What kind of happy memories have you created in your outdoor space? We would love to hear your thoughts on this post.