There are many reasons why you might feel anxious or depressed. Finances, relationships, and jobs can take their toll on your mood. If not addressed, these can turn into disorders like chronic anxiety and depression.
There are several ways to improve your mental health, but not all of them include psychiatrists and prescriptions. Gardening has been shown to help improve your mental and physical health. But is taking care of your mood and spirit really that important?
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Your Mental Health Affects Your Whole Life
One reason why your mental health is so important is that it truly affects your whole life. Psych Central explains that problems like anxiety and depression can hurt your relationships, work, and even your physical health. How does it hurt your body?
- Stress makes your immune system weaker, making you more prone to colds and illnesses.
- It’s harder to find the energy and interest in taking care of your health through exercise.
- People tend to have a harder time falling asleep with these disorders.
- Many turn to food, alcohol, or drugs to feel better temporarily.
- You are more likely to skip doctor’s appointments to avoid any bad news.
Overall, poor mental health decreases your quality of life. That’s why you need to take care of your mood and spirits.
Bad Coping Strategies Make Things Worse
When faced with such sadness and anxiety, people tend to engage in some negative coping strategies. They might make you feel better in the short-run, but they make your mental health problems worse. Bad coping strategies, include eating too much, getting upset with family/friends, isolation, hurting oneself, driving too fast, etc.
One of the worst and most widespread problems is abusing drugs and alcohol. Both give a temporary respite from the mental health problems, but as DrugRehab.org explains, they can easily lead to addiction. This ends up making those problems worse. In fact, substance abuse is much higher in people who have problems like bipolar disorder. Going through treatment for addiction isn’t going to help either.
Gardens Help In Many Ways
When it comes to treatment for mental health issues, therapy and medication are important ways to get help. However, research now shows that gardening can do a lot for your mood and spirit. In fact, spending too much time indoors can lead to “nature deficit disorder” that makes things worse.
Gardening has been shown to make you happier. In fact, there are helpful bacteria found in soil that can improve your mental health. Spending time in a garden also decreases your cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress.
Your mind and body are interconnected, so helping your physical health can help your mental health as well. Here again, gardening helps. It’s a great form of exercise, it improves your immune system, and increases your flexibility.
Even Small Gardens Help
Everyone’s mental health needs help now and then. It’s a fact of modern life. If you are having some problems with anxiety or sadness, consider starting a garden. It’s much better than any negative coping strategy, and it can really help you feel better. Whether you have a big yard or just have room for a single pot on the porch, start a garden today so you can improve your mood and spirits.