who has spent a long time in a garden can say that after a few hours
with their hands in the dirt, they feel rejuvenated and refreshed. Now,
recent studies on the effects of gardening and mental health are taking
giant steps towards scientific demonstration that these improvements
are not only a product of the placebo effect. In
several scientific studies worldwide, the researchers found that can
actually two biological, psychological and ways in which gardening can
improve the mental health of all. These studies suggest that the decision to add a garden space to live
outside of the door can play a crucial role in preventing most
debilitating ailments that seem to go with aging.
Gardening and dementia
Some research suggests that gardening can help reduce the risk of developing dementia. In two separate studies, researchers followed people in their 60s and 70s for up to 16 years. Their observations, respectively, found that those who regularly
landscaped had a risk 36% and 47% less than non-gardeners dementia,
although a number of other health factors were taken into account.
Although the results are far from definitive, they suggest that the
physical and mental activity involved in gardening can have a positive
influence on the mind.
And for those who already know the mental decline, even just walking in a garden, it is therapeutic. Many
residential houses across the country designed to accommodate people
with dementia, have now “roam” or “memory” in their garden areas. These
gardens designed for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other
cognitive disorders, allowing them to walk through them without getting
lost. The sights, smells and sounds of the garden promote relaxation and reduce stress.
Gardening and depression
One of the many scientific studies on the subject was held in Norway. The
study focused on a group of people diagnosed with depression,
persistent depressed mood, or “bipolar 2 disorder.” For the study, the
participants spent six hours a week of flowers and vegetables in the
gardens. The results were
clear. after three months, half of the participants experienced
significant improvement in their symptoms of depression. in addition,
your mood continued to improve three months after the end of the
gardening program. Some scientists suggest that it is simply the novelty of gardening subjects of the study that produced
the results; however, some experts have a much more radical explanation
of how gardening could relieve depression; Bacteria.
Bacteria in the soil and Mental Health
Lowry, Ph.D., assistant professor of integrative physiology at the
University of Colorado Boulder, was the mouse injected with
Mycobacterium, a harmless bacterium commonly found in soil and has been
found to increase the release and serotonin metabolism in parts of the brain that control cognitive
function and mood – like antidepressants increase serotonin they do.
it is important to note that exposure to such bacteria is by no means a
replacement for taking a prescription antidepressant. It
simply suggests that much of the reason why, as a society, are
experiencing depression at higher and higher rates is that we are no
longer exposed to these bacteria for votes to get our hands on the floor
when our society was less developed, most people spend at least part of
their time digging in the dirt or touching the ground, exposing them to
these bacteria. In modern times, most people do not make contact with the ground and
therefore no contact with the Mycobacterium we are accustomed, and this
can be a contributing factor to depression.
(For more on the bacteria in the soil and mental health, read this
blog written by Naomi Sachs in TLN: “Your in the dirt, bacteria in soil
can make us happier, smarter”)
further evidence of a causal relationship between gardening and mental
health, you can see the rapid growth and the gardening implementation as
therapy to help people with mental disorders. NPR
has addressed in his article entitled:. “Gardening Help can heal the
troubled mind” that analyzes a program called Hawaii Pacific Quest that
uses gardening to help troubled teens in the program, teens pose a
garden from flat
sowing little or no involvement with the staff. This allows teens to
solve problems themselves, relationships, and overcoming mental barriers
by engaging them emotionally. and the results are proving to be very
positive for teens who go through the program.
this program, gardening is used in a variety of unexpected places, such
as detention centers, hospitals, nursing homes and mental health of
veterans more. This growth in horticultural therapy is continued success of product when gardening as a therapeutic tool is used.
there is no evidence that gardening improves mental health, it is very
difficult to ignore the results, which are repeated across the nation. Gardening
focuses the mind, relieves incredibly damaging “fatigue attention,”
which is the result of prolonged exposure to screens, improving motor
function, reduces stress, improves the entire well-being. whether
the bacteria that appears to increase serotonin production, or simply
the joy and sense of accomplishment watching a seed grow into a plant
fully formed, gardening shows that a simple step that everyone can take
to reduce the risk of common mental health problems and quality of life.
Gardening: Studies Show Gardening Can Reduce the Risk of Dementia & Other Mental Illnesses
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