Depression is a disorder that affects your mood thus causing an unending feeling of loss of interest and sadness. The disorder interferes with how you normally think, feel and behave. It also leads to a variety of physical and emotional problems that may trigger a perception that life isn’t worth living. There are many problems that may be associated with depression both at the family and country level.
To curb this, there have been attempts by all the relevant stakeholders to come up with ways to prevent or cure depression before it reaches critical levels. One of the solutions that have been researched and found to help with depression is gardening. This paper helps you to understand how gardening can help with depression through prevention and control.
A. How Gardening Helps to Prevent Depression
1. Gives a Sense of purpose
After retirement, many people find it hard to find their sense of purpose. This may be accelerated by the fact that many of the seniors find themselves alone at home because their children have grown and left. They may therefore feel lonely and not needed. Feeling unworthy can trigger sadness and excessive thoughts that can lead to depression. Gardening has proven to be a remedy to the problem because it helps the seniors to regain their sense of purpose as they nature the plants. Gardening keeps them responsible for the plants and trees and they get the reason to work up early every day to attend to the crops.
2. Keeps the mind Active
During the working years, the minds are usually very busy but this isn’t usually the case after retirement. Research has found that engaging regularly in activities that stimulate the mind helps to sustain cognitive health. This is because it increases the capability to fight mental problems like depression. Starting a garden helps to keep your mind active because there is a lot of learning that is involved. This is because you need to know your optimal conditions for growth and how to care for the crops.
3. Promotes Exercise
Exercising has been found to reduce the anxiety that can lead to depression, more so for the elderly. Gardening can help you to remain physically active thus playing a key role in delaying or even preventing the onset of chronic problems. Most chronic conditions can lead to depression. The movements that are involved in gardening, for instance, harvesting, weeding, pruning, rearranging, and watering help one to exercise.
4. To Feel Connected
You can’t undermine the contributions of social connection to mental health. Unfortunately, this network is broken at times especially after retirement thus feeling lonely and isolated. Gardening doesn’t not only help you to connect with living things (plants) but also build friends in the trade shows, online forums, and gardening stores which helps maintain your mental health.
B. How gardening Helps to Control Depression
1. Growing greater Happiness
Do you know that interacting with nature can help to increase your self-esteem and reduce anger thus positively impacting your emotion and behavior? Different researches have found that when you interact with nature around, the mind becomes more in touch with society. Exposure to the natural environment helps to better your emotion, psychology, and social benefits. Plants have the potential of influencing those around them because they are a symbol of life. The social bond with plants is very beneficial such that when it is absent, the society suffers. Therefore, the mental and social benefits that are influenced by plants can be reached by practicing and promoting gardening across the society which will see that most people participate.
2. Decreased depression
Walking in the garden and reflective journaling assist to decrease depression and especially among the older adults in society. Plant care and outdoor gardening expose individuals to sunlight which is the source of vitamin D. This vitamin assists in the manufacture of Serotonin which is a brain chemical that causes happiness. Plants have also been associated with boosting memory, increasing attention, and improving the overall mood thus helping to keep depression away.
3. Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Gardening provides a way to keep the mind and body busy in a high stressed environment and times. This is because hands-on practices like gardening enable the brain to focus on the task at hand. Living in a green space helps to lower depression symptoms, clinical anxiety, mood disorders in adults, and psychological distress.
4. Inhale Flowers Scent
According to Scientists in Japan, inhaling scents like lavender can influence gene activity and lower any stress and depression. Therefore, working in a garden that has plants with good scents can play an important role in fighting your anxiety and depression. This can even work better if you grow flowers that you love or, especially those that have been proven to reduce the challenges in mental conditions like depression.
In conclusion, depression can cause a big burden to both the families affected and the whole economy if the situation isn’t handled early enough. Gardening has been found to be of great help in helping to prevent and control depression in society. This is because it helps to keep people or victims busy by engaging their mind and body thus avoiding unnecessary thoughts or stress that can lead to depression.