Gardeners intuitively know that gardening provides numerous mental health benefits such as reducing stress, bringing people close to nature, and offers quiet and alone time. However, some new evidence has shown that gardening and being outdoors can help recover from addiction and improve mental health.
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When it comes to addiction treatment, gardening therapy is among the most effective, accessible, and affordable ways to improve mental health. After completing the program in rehab, you need to face the real world along with its challenges. But along with these challenges, there come opportunities to learn and grow as an individual who no longer has to depend on drugs, alcohol, or any other addiction type.
If you are looking for some new activities to try because you are now out of rehabilitation, you must try gardening therapy. It can provide advantages for both physical and mental health. Gardening is among those activities that are appealing and refreshing.
What are the five ways gardening can help your addiction recovery and mental health?
Gardening can be described as a relaxing physical activity, and when you perform it, you can get an optimistic view of life. However, it has also been determined that spending more time around nature can reduce stress, boost the immune system, and lower blood pressure. It throws a positive impact on your body and life, especially for those recovering from alcohol, drug, or any other kind of addiction.
Although gardening is a good source for addiction recovery, it can also help recover from any mental illness such as depression and anxiety.
Followings are some of the ways gardening can help your addiction recovery:
Eat healthier leads to better mental health
As long as you will start working in your garden, you can also reap its tasty benefits. The fruits or vegetables that you grow in your garden will be packed with more nutrients than those available in the market. Because commercial farms often harvest vegetables before they are fully ripened. Commercial farms are often sprayed with chemicals to make them appear more appealing. The fruits and vegetables you grow can be picked when they are supposed to be ripened by the sun.
As you grow healthier fruits and vegetables on your farm, you can get mental relief by engaging yourself in that activity. Along with this, you can also improve your physical health after your addiction rehabilitation.
Develop new skills
Gardening helps to recover from your addiction treatment, but it also helps to create new skills. Through gardening therapy, you can learn how to focus and pay attention to small details. Such little skills can aid you in working through your problems. When you grow a plant, you start caring for it, and the development of your garden is somehow related to your progress. Gardening and addiction recovery are very much similar.
Reduce stress during addiction withdrawal
Studies have found that when you cultivate a garden, it decreases your cortisol level. Cortisol is a hormone that your body releases during stressful situations. There was a study conducted in which participants were asked to perform a stressful task. They were assigned to do random outdoor gardening for half an hour.
After which, the researcher measured the participants’ cortisol level and asked how their mood was? The result displayed that the participants who perform gardening had a drop in their cortisol level.
During addiction recovery, it can be a very stressful time, and you might feel uncomfortable sensations because your body is not habitual not to have the substance in your system. So, while going through a withdrawal, it is necessary to get occupied in some activity.
Builds a positive habit
Gardening can be an excellent habit to develop, just like a regular walk or exercise. When you create your life around the right practice, you will have the chance to gain its rewards. You can feel that your overall mood and well-being have improved. Gardening will allow you to feel positive throughout the day. You will need to find motivation in your garden therapy and have to follow it daily.
Improve your mental health
Maybe you will find it weird, but exposure to dirt can be useful for your mental health. Research has shown that soil bacteria can improve your flexibility to stress. Some soil bacteria can make the neurons in the brain develop more serotonin. And it is essential to produce a sufficient amount of serotonin, or else it can result in depression. Exposure to microorganisms can provide many benefits.
Gardening therapy can help during addiction recovery and mental health; you will experience bringing plants to your life with great care and nutrition. The treatment can be a great source to develop confidence in you and bring awareness to understand what it means to care for anything. Although there are many activities to choose from for addiction recovery, gardening is one of them.
About the Author
Vishal Porwal is a passionate blogger who explores the field of addiction recovery. With the help of his blog, he provides information and knowledge about various types of addiction recovery.