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Gardening & Mental Health watch

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    This might sound really silly, but I wondered how many people who struggle with emotion, depression, stress and other mental health issues turn to gardening or the outdoors for help or distraction?

    Might not be something you've thought of, but there is a growing consensus that it helps. With some even wanting gardening prescribed on the NHS!
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    I don't think it sounds silly at all! I can't say I'm a pro gardener myself, but I do water the plants in our garden sometimes! I know that my Mum, who suffers with depression enjoys gardening and it soothes and comforts her. Especially in the Spring. Sometimes she can't face getting up at all though, it depends how severe her depression is on that particular day. Each day is different with her.

    When I get down I usually find a lot of relief from going for a long walk in somewhere pretty, such as in the woods or a park, or by the sea. Hearing the birds singing and seeing pretty flowers and wildlife is really calming. There's something therapeutic about nature! I also find, for me and many others, being close to a pet is so helpful for emotional health. Some care homes for the elderly bring dogs and cats in and it often has a really positive effect on them. I read something about hearing a cat purring has healing properties! (Don't know if it's true, but nice thought!) sorry, went a bit off track from gardening there!


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    Not silly at all. My stepdad suffers from Parkinson's disease and through that he now has severe panics and depression. He did have these problems before but being diagnosed with a serious illness like that really made his MH condition get 100 times worse. He turned to gardening and keeping fish and it really helps him. Sometimes he can't do much physically in the garden when he has a bad day but even just putting in some plant, really helps him. The garden looked so dull and life less and not it has flowers every, a patio at the front and then a summer house at the bottom is being built so its definitely helped relieve his mental health symptoms. I think it done him good as he was outside in the fresh air and not cooped up in the house all day like he wanted to do at the start. Got him around wild life too and he now tells us every species of bird we have in our garden lol

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    Definitely not silly! I've never done a lot of gardening (except being dragged to my dad's allotment occasionally ) but I can see why it could be amazing- doing something physical where you can see the difference and can be thinking about other things is all good. It can also be pretty sociable if you have people doing it around you, doesn't have to be though. I love being outside which is weird because I generally prefer small spaces, I can't much now because of physical health stuff but used to just walk and walk- the fact I could take my dog who also helps a lot made it even better! I still do when/as much as I can but it's something I really miss.


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    There is actually a charity that deals with ex military personnel that have mental health issues and they have a residential block in a big country estate and a bit of land which the people staying there take care of and garden as a form of therapy. Anything nature related can be very helpful in my opinion. There's also the fact that lack of vitamin D is linked to all sorts of health conditions including depression so getting out in sunlight as much as possible is a very good thing.
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    (Original post by tinkerbelle2)
    When I get down I usually find a lot of relief from going for a long walk in somewhere pretty, such as in the woods or a park, or by the sea. Hearing the birds singing and seeing pretty flowers and wildlife is really calming. There's something therapeutic about nature! I also find, for me and many others, being close to a pet is so helpful for emotional health. Some care homes for the elderly bring dogs and cats in and it often has a really positive effect on them. I read something about hearing a cat purring has healing properties! (Don't know if it's true, but nice thought!) sorry, went a bit off track from gardening there!


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    This post basically said everything I wanted to. I don't have a garden but I really like to take time out and go for walks just listening to nature. I'm hoping to have a garden in the next place I move to - I used to help my dad in the garden and enjoyed planting vegetables. We'd end up with hundreds of potatoes and carrots to eat.

    I also have 2 cats and when I'm feeling **** they can really help. One of them loves cuddles and will lie on my chest and dig his face into my neck, I've only had him for 2 weeks but already he's helping so much.

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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    This might sound really silly, but I wondered how many people who struggle with emotion, depression, stress and other mental health issues turn to gardening or the outdoors for help or distraction?

    Might not be something you've thought of, but there is a growing consensus that it helps. With some even wanting gardening prescribed on the NHS!
    I had a friend in secondary school who said that gardening helped him out of his depression
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    This might sound really silly, but I wondered how many people who struggle with emotion, depression, stress and other mental health issues turn to gardening or the outdoors for help or distraction?

    Might not be something you've thought of, but there is a growing consensus that it helps. With some even wanting gardening prescribed on the NHS!
    Doing something active helps stress as it uses energy you are also nurturing something and you can see the fruits of your labour giving you satisfaction.

    Anything that gives these qualities will help


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    gardening is one of the worst activities for me, brings me back nightmares of spiders everywhere in the garden when I was little.
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    (Original post by tinkerbelle2)
    I don't think it sounds silly at all! I can't say I'm a pro gardener myself, but I do water the plants in our garden sometimes! I know that my Mum, who suffers with depression enjoys gardening and it soothes and comforts her. Especially in the Spring. Sometimes she can't face getting up at all though, it depends how severe her depression is on that particular day. Each day is different with her.

    When I get down I usually find a lot of relief from going for a long walk in somewhere pretty, such as in the woods or a park, or by the sea. Hearing the birds singing and seeing pretty flowers and wildlife is really calming. There's something therapeutic about nature! I also find, for me and many others, being close to a pet is so helpful for emotional health. Some care homes for the elderly bring dogs and cats in and it often has a really positive effect on them. I read something about hearing a cat purring has healing properties! (Don't know if it's true, but nice thought!) sorry, went a bit off track from gardening there!
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    That's interesting. I'm reading a book at the moment that touches a bit on the psychology of wilderness and environments. It says we may find certain natural places relaxing because they relate back to a time when were hunter gatherers and so certain environments felt safer or more dangerous. E.g. views allow for a long view to spot predators and dangers, so are relaxing.

    Totally agree with you about all nature, my cat helps me to forget about everything because he's just so fuzzy! And demanding. ...

    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Not silly at all. My stepdad suffers from Parkinson's disease and through that he now has severe panics and depression. He did have these problems before but being diagnosed with a serious illness like that really made his MH condition get 100 times worse. He turned to gardening and keeping fish and it really helps him. Sometimes he can't do much physically in the garden when he has a bad day but even just putting in some plant, really helps him. The garden looked so dull and life less and not it has flowers every, a patio at the front and then a summer house at the bottom is being built so its definitely helped relieve his mental health symptoms. I think it done him good as he was outside in the fresh air and not cooped up in the house all day like he wanted to do at the start. Got him around wild life too and he now tells us every species of bird we have in our garden lol

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    It's good to hear it helps your dad like that There is something rewarding in the looking after of something and then seeing the end result.

    It's a shame growing things is only taken up mainly by older people as it can be very fun and rewarding, and things like design make it more interesting.

    (Original post by furryface12)
    Definitely not silly! I've never done a lot of gardening (except being dragged to my dad's allotment occasionally ) but I can see why it could be amazing- doing something physical where you can see the difference and can be thinking about other things is all good. It can also be pretty sociable if you have people doing it around you, doesn't have to be though. I love being outside which is weird because I generally prefer small spaces, I can't much now because of physical health stuff but used to just walk and walk- the fact I could take my dog who also helps a lot made it even better! I still do when/as much as I can but it's something I really miss.


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    Yes, being outside is great. I think with gardening and growing things, people can be put off by all the work, but it can be very easy and I guess, looking after something until you get veg or flowers is good.

    (Original post by bioboaby)
    There is actually a charity that deals with ex military personnel that have mental health issues and they have a residential block in a big country estate and a bit of land which the people staying there take care of and garden as a form of therapy. Anything nature related can be very helpful in my opinion. There's also the fact that lack of vitamin D is linked to all sorts of health conditions including depression so getting out in sunlight as much as possible is a very good thing.
    That's very interesting. I know there are other charities too. I guess if there is enough evidence that it helps, others might give it a go too. Plus I guess, if you grow veg there is the reward of having very fresh nutritious food which is good for you.

    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I had a friend in secondary school who said that gardening helped him out of his depression
    That's good to hear. It's a shame gardening can be seen as something old people do. I think the word gardening doesn't really help, because plant design, for instance, isn't really about gardening although growing plants well is part of it.

    (Original post by paul514)
    Doing something active helps stress as it uses energy you are also nurturing something and you can see the fruits of your labour giving you satisfaction.

    Anything that gives these qualities will help
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    Very good point. I've always wanted to see any research studies into the benefits of nurturing and looking after something but haven't found it yet.

    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    gardening is one of the worst activities for me, brings me back nightmares of spiders everywhere in the garden when I was little.
    hehe - I used to hate spiders, but once you learn they eat the things that eat your plants, you have a whole new perspective!!
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    It seems like something that would really help, I read a book on mindfulness and it mentioned gardening!
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    (Original post by Queen Cersei)
    It seems like something that would really help, I read a book on mindfulness and it mentioned gardening!
    I'll buy you another orchid!
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    I'll buy you another orchid!
    Hahaha.... the 6 orchids I have owned have all died...
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    (Original post by Queen Cersei)
    Hahaha.... the 6 orchids I have owned have all died...
    :console: If it makes you feel any better, I'm still missing my conifers. :sadnod: :moon:
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    (Original post by Queen Cersei)
    Hahaha.... the 6 orchids I have owned have all died...
    (Original post by PayForItAll)
    :console: If it makes you feel any better, I'm still missing my conifers. :sadnod: :moon:
    You should all grow a window box of herbs like rosemary, thyme and lavender as they like being not watered... And you can eat them.
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    You should all grow a window box of herbs like rosemary, thyme and lavender as they like being not watered... And you can eat them.
    I grew lavender at home over the summer and it was so pretty!
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    I love lavender! It smells heavenly!


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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    This might sound really silly, but I wondered how many people who struggle with emotion, depression, stress and other mental health issues turn to gardening or the outdoors for help or distraction?

    Might not be something you've thought of, but there is a growing consensus that it helps. With some even wanting gardening prescribed on the NHS!
    Not silly since both fresh air and hobbies are good for dprseesion and other MH conditions. I'll be honest i've never really thought about it for myself, but after reading your post i'm thinking more about it and it seems quite appealing.

    You'd be responsible for caring for something else which is something people with pets say helps them too. It can also lead to being involved in a community especially if you go to an allotment (but also ust online gardening forums). It is actually rather good exercise too if your digging up beds and such which could help people who don't manage much exercise.

    That said, for me, I can't even keep a cactus alive so maybe it's not the best hobby for me. XD
 
 
 
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