A little while back I was out of town, and I called my wife one afternoon to say hi. Asking her how her day was, she responded “I got terrible new this morning, and I am having a great day!” (Insert head tilt, as that’s what I did before she could explain.)  After the disturbing news she decided she could let her anger and frustration boil, or she could do something to dampen it.

Her “something” was tending to the landscaping in our front yard. Through her slightly labored breathing I could tell she was still working as she told me about the removing of some shrubs and pruning of others, raking leaves for composting and planting daffodil bulbs. She was enjoying herself, and was not letting the morning news ruin her day or dictate her emotions. Feeling only slightly guilty that I wasn’t there to help, I enjoyed the rest of my trip, and didn’t give her actions much thought.

Today while driving I got to thinking about gardening as therapy. I knew this evening I could pull up numerous articles and studies on the subject, but instead I figured I would just ask my wife why she thought this works. Her response:

  • It’s physically active
  • You get to be creative
  • Fresh air and natural light
  • Surrounded by nature, even if its just in your yard.
  • Touching plants
  • Accomplishing something

In seconds she told me six reasons why gardening as therapy works. You can Google any one of these and you will find studies on how each one benefits our minds and bodies. And here you have them all wrapped up in one!

You don’t have to be a professional, and the results don’t need to be perfect. You don’t even need to finish every outdoor chore, just get outside, don your gloves and get started. Like my wife, you’ll be glad you did.


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