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Gardening for Stress Relief

How and Why Gardening is a Natural Stress Reliever

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Updated April 29, 2012

Gardening for Stress Relief

Gardening can improve your mood and bring beauty to your yard. ©iStockphoto.com

Planting a beautiful garden can be a great way to relive stress! Whether you have a small patio to decorate, or a vast amount of space to tend, the act of making your particular stretch of nature into a haven can be a stress reliever in itself, and the garden that you create can bring you even more peace. Here’s why:
  • Sunlight: Just getting out in the sunlight can actually improve your mood! (In fact, there’s a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder that affects some people during Winter months when there is less sunlight.) Sunlight also provides an influx of vitamin D, and the fresh air that that goes with it is good for your health. Getting outdoors to work with your garden is a great excuse to get more of this good stuff.

  • Getting In Touch With Nature: Being in touch with nature and the great outdoors can help you feel more removed from the stressors of daily life. With the amount of time we spend indoors (at work, watching t.v., etc) many people feel an urge to connect with nature that goes unfulfilled. While you may not have the time to go camping or take a nature hike each day, having your piece of nature right outside your back door can help you feel some of this connection.

  • Creating Beauty: The beauty of nature is a great stress reliever in itself. (Just think of how many times relaxation has been connected with pictures of stunning landscapes or recordings of nature’s sounds.) Having your own bit of beauty available as a place for meditation, contemplation and relaxation can provide quite a bit of relief from stress. It’s all part of making your home a haven from stress.

Getting Started

Given the size of space you have to work with, your personal tastes and the amount of time and money you can devote to the worthwhile and fun project of fixing up your piece of the outdoors, you have many, many options to choose from. Getting started might seem a little intimidating, but finding a few good books or magazines on gardening can give you lots of information and ideas to work with. There’s also a great site on the About network devoted to gardening. It’s got plenty of wonderful information and free resources. Here are a few that can help you get going:
  • Landscaping For Beginners: This thorough article lets you know the basics, and is a relatively quick read.

  • Landscaping Design Ideas: A Photo Gallery: This gallery can give you ideas of what you like and what you don’t like in landscape design, so you can start envisioning what you want for your own home.

  • Free Landscaping E-Course: This e-course has daily lessons that continue for several months, to teach you little-by-little about landscaping and transforming your own yard into your ideal haven.

Once you’ve started, you should find that the act of creating a garden can bring you peace, and the garden itself can bring you joy! Have fun.

For more on stress management, subscribe to the weekly stress management newsletter and visit the Facebook Page About Stress. You can also enjoy these ongoing stress relief resources.

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