Mental health benefits of gardening

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – As Mental Health Awareness Month draws to a close, what better time to highlight an activity that can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Charlie Hall, professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University and holder of the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, joined First News at Four to share how gardening can not only benefit people’s yards, but also their well-being. .

Hall began researching the benefits of plants about 12 years ago when he noticed that plant sales were increasing. One of Hall’s most important findings was that levels of the stress hormone cortisol dropped dramatically whenever people worked in the garden or in nature. According to Hall, whenever someone has less stress, then they have a better quality of life.

Gardening doesn’t just help adults, it’s been shown to have benefits for kids too.

“Any time you have a school garden, much of the division that we have seen throughout society is mitigated at the school because of school garden programmes. What I mean by that is that when kids are outside and in nature, they care less about the color of your skin or the type of clothes you wear.”

If a traumatic event has happened to an individual or in a community, gardening can be used as a form of therapy to treat PTSD.

Gardens give people something to “participate in and get away from the stresses of life,” Hall explained.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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