Why Gardening Makes Us Feel Happier and Healthier - Squire's Garden Centres

Why Gardening Makes Us Feel Happier and Healthier

We often encourage people to garden for the environmental and wildlife benefits. But what about us humans? Well, gardening is a very beneficial pastime. It is a proven and fantastic way to make us feel happier and healthier. Not only does it provide an escape from our fast-paced, technology-filled lives, but it also offers numerous mental, emotional, and physical health benefits. Seeing as our business is gardening, we are here to delve into how and why gardening is definitely something we think you should do for a happier and healthier life. Keep reading to find out why.

The Benefits of Gardening to Us

Gardening has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The act of digging in the dirt, planting seeds, and watching plants grow can be incredibly therapeutic. It allows us to disconnect from the constant notifications and distractions of our devices and focus on the present. This can have a calming effect on our minds and help us feel more grounded and at peace.

Furthermore, gardening also provides a sense of accomplishment. Seeing your hard work pay off as your plants thrive can boost self-esteem and confidence. It also gives us a sense of purpose and responsibility, which can be especially beneficial for those struggling with their mental health.

In addition to its mental and emotional benefits, gardening also offers physical benefits. It is a great form of low-impact exercise that can increase strength, flexibility, and endurance. The constant movement involved in gardening can also help burn calories and contribute to weight loss. Plus, spending time outdoors provides our bodies with much-needed vitamin D from the sun and greatly contributes to our moods.

Moreover, and perhaps surprisingly, gardening can also improve our immune system. Working in the soil exposes us to beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that can boost our body’s natural defence mechanisms. This can help prevent illnesses and allergies, leading to a healthier overall well-being.

All the Different Ways Gardening Benefits Us

Gardening holds the power to uplift our spirits in a multitude of ways, each of which contributes to our overall sense of happiness and wellbeing. Here’s a full list of them:

Connection with Nature

Gardening helps us to connect with nature. This intimacy with the earth calms us and helps to put things into perspective giving us a sense of peace, and contentment. Our brains and bodies evolved in, and with nature after all.

Nurturing Living Things

Being responsible for nurturing a plant from seed to full bloom provides a unique sense of accomplishment and joy. There is a profound satisfaction in the achievement and witnessing the fruits of your labour.

Physical Activity

Gardening involves a good deal of physical activity, more than one might initially expect. In some cases, depending on the job, you can burn as many calories as a game of badminton with a friend. Exercise produces endorphins – the ‘feel-good’ hormones – which naturally lifts our mood and spirit.


Gardening is a form of creative expression. Designing and maintaining your garden allows you to tap into your creative side, where you can experiment with different flowers and border designs, leading to feelings of excitement and pride.

Sensory Stimulation

Being outdoors, the vibrant colours of flowers, the scent of fresh earth and plants, the texture of leaves and the taste of home-grown produce all stimulate our senses, leading to a heightened sense of pleasure and contentment.

Social Interaction

Humans are social creatures, and it benefits us to be among people. Gardening can be a social activity, be it through joining a local gardening club, allotment, sharing cuttings and produce with neighbours, or as simple as doing it with family and friends. These interactions foster a sense of community and belonging, further enhancing our happiness.

Boosts Immune System

Gardening often means getting your hands dirty. Soil is full of bacteria and some of it, like the Mycobacterium vaccae, is very beneficial for us. It can boost our immune system and improve our resistance to allergies and asthma.

And if you happen to grow your own fruit and veg, you’ll have some of the freshest produce going packed with vitamins and minerals further helping your body stay nourished which in turn keeps your immune system strong.

Improves Heart Health

As we’ve highlighted already gardening is a physical activity and usually counts as moderate-intensity exercise working a range of muscles and increasing heart rates which is good for the old ticker. Though some jobs will have you working harder than others that’s for sure!

Enhances Strength and Stamina

All that physical activity involves a lot of bending, digging, stretching, and lifting. This not only builds strength but also improves endurance, flexibility, and motor skills.

Aids in Better Nutrition

This is a cheeky little entry because you only get it if you grow your own produce, and we’d like to encourage you to try! Why? Because home-grown fruits and vegetables are fresher, healthier, and tastier than their supermarket counterparts. They are free from harmful industrial pesticides and genetically modified stuff, which is much better for you.

Promotes Better Sleep

The exertion from physical activity, like gardening, can help us sleep better at night. Furthermore, as we typically garden during the day, it helps to reinforce our body’s natural circadian rhythm, which of course then helps us to sleep at night. This is particularly useful if you work in a dull space all day with minimal natural light.

Improved Hand and Wrist Strength

As we age, diminishing dexterity and strength in the hands can gradually lead to reduced movement or even significant disability. Additionally, as more and more of us work with a computer today, using a keyboard and mouse, the stress on people’s wrists have caused an increase in those diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome.  The various movements and tasks in gardening can keep hand and wrist muscles agile and strong for years to come.

Aids in Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

It is believed that gardening is an activity that can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The combination of physical activity, interaction with nature, and cognitive stimulation from learning a new set of skills, repeating tasks, adapting to changes in weather and the ongoing care of something can have a positive impact on brain health. One Swedish study found regular gardening may lower the risk of dementia by as much as 36%.

Making the Most of Time in the Garden

To fully reap the benefits of gardening, it’s important to make the most of your time spent in the garden. Here are some of our tips:

Set Time Aside

Setting a little time aside each day or a few hours each week and committing to it is better than reactively thinking each day to try and get out when you can.

Take Breaks and Enjoy the Moment

Instead of rushing through your gardening tasks, take breaks to have a cuppa, just sit and admire your surroundings. Use this time to practise mindfulness and appreciate the nature around you.

Involve Others

Gardening can also be a great way to bond with friends and family. Invite them over to help out in the garden or simply enjoy a cup of tea while admiring your plants. If you have children at an age that they can get involved, start them off by digging some easy weeds and involving them in growing flowers and some veg from seed. It will quickly become a fun family activity.

Try New Things

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of plants and gardening techniques. This can keep things interesting and allow you to discover what works best for you. Why not also try growing your own produce for the sense of achievement and nutritional benefits we mentioned earlier?

Read Outside Instead of Inside

Set up a table and try to read the paper or your emails outside rather than inside on the couch. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes a day it will be worth it and adds more time in the garden on top of the actual gardening work.

Garden Your Way to Better Health

As you can see, gardening is not just a hobby or a pastime, but a powerful outlet for improving our mental and physical well-being. So, the next time you feel overwhelmed or stressed out, head to your garden, pick up a trowel, and get to work, or just sit and relax for a while in your surroundings. We are sure you’ll see the positive impact it can have on your life almost instantly. Remember, a happy and healthy life starts with nurturing your mind, body, and soul – and gardening is a perfect way to do just that. Happy gardening!


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