Using Gardening as an Antidote to Climate Anxiety

Naman Bajaj
March 15, 2024

You’re not alone if the current state of the planet is making you anxious to the point that it’s affecting your life or relationships. Climate anxiety, a chronic fear of environmental doom is finally being recognized by psychologists and other mental health experts.

Gardening is an effective strategy to cope with climate anxiety. Getting your hands dirty can help you clear your mind, ease the tension, and make you feel more peaceful and in touch with nature.

The health benefits of soil

Technology has dominated our lives and stress levels are at an all-time high. One solution is connecting with our roots (literally) by digging our hands in the soil and engaging in garden therapy. Studies have found that digging in the soil is a therapeutic experience that can help with the following:

  • reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • improve attention
  • interrupt harmful ruminations, a symptom of anxiety
  • lower cortisol, the stress hormone
  • increase overall life satisfaction and quality of life

Other studies have also determined that soil bacteria possess antidepressant properties and can increase serotonin levels, thereby helping to reduce stress and anxiety.

Gardening also provides you with tangible outcomes like a beautiful patio, fresh herbs, or even homegrown veggies. This gives a sense of accomplishment and a boost to your self-esteem as you can see your efforts come to fruition.

How to get started with gardening

If you're new to gardening and want to use it as a tool to alleviate your anxiety, begin with easy plants. Succulents such as aloe vera, cacti, and jade are good choices. They're low maintenance and quite resilient.

As you gain confidence, try growing edible plants such as basil and cucumbers. You can also plant flowers that will brighten your mood with their vibrant colors and fragrant scents.

This gardening journey will bring you closer to nature and serve as a therapeutic way to reduce stress and fight climate anxiety.

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Naman Bajaj
March 15, 2024

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