18 days ago

How does gardening bring in mental peace? 

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Whenever I walk on the streets of Dhaka, I notice a rise in pot gardening. Landlords have extravagant rooftop orchards; red, yellow, and white bougainvillaeas peak through apartment balconies. 

If you are stuck in traffic on some polluted road, look around, and you will find Malabar spinach (puishak) creeping into the dusty grills of the house. Even the security guard in our home has a collection of leafy plants grown on ice cream cups. Greenery has always been connected with human emotions since the dawn of time. 

Introducing a little green in monochromatic lives brings vast joy. The absence of arable lands doesn't stop anyone from cultivating their love. These people are seeking mental satisfaction from the fruits of their labour. It provides them with that fulfilment, a complete feeling.

What is so fun about gardening? 

People who do gardening will tell you how much gardening means to them. To them, it is a form of art. They are passionate and dedicated. This practice is very sensory stimulating for its aestheticism. 

"It's the taste, the texture, the sensation, wind on your face and your hair, just feeling the elements of nature. And it helps people feel alive, awakening in some way," said Jill Litt, a senior researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health to the Washington Post. 

Gardening demands physical labour and commitment. Weeding, watering, pruning, digging, sowing and playing with dirt gives a unique thrill. And after days of hard work, when the fruit of your labour becomes visible, you can't describe how rewarding it feels. 

Gardening brings people together at the social yard. For instance, being an introvert, I don't go outside much to meet people. But gardening helped me get to know some wonderful people equally passionate about flowers like me. 

Sharing tips and tricks of planting creates harmony. Nahid Hasan is a final-year student at an engineering university. He started gardening to get out of the boredom. As a bonus, he got other benefits. He says, "My friends visit my balcony garden especially to pick some good pictures. It's their main attraction. Also, they collect flowers from me to give to their loved ones. The children of my building are also very fond of me because of my beautiful garden. People praise this. It feels great." 

Community gardening has also become popular recently. It is a place shared by a group of people based on trust, like a garden. This social growth is slow and steady, grounded by a shared purpose, a sense of belonging and learning. 

Gardening as a mental health toolkit   

Smells of nature may impact well-being, and nature sounds such as birdsong also boost mental health. Natural sensory stimuli may decrease mental fatigue by gently holding our attention. 

Looking at greens for a long time gradually improves your behavioural problems. This counteracts the mindless scrolling of this numb generation. Gardening reduces anxiety and depression. 

Bornona Ahmed works in a clothing brand as a sales girl. She has a fixed routine, which makes her life monotonous. To her, gardening keeps her life well-maintained. She says, "Being a salesgirl is tough. There would rarely be a happy day. Sometimes, the manager is not happy with my work. So, I have to carry the burden of a bad day, but when I return home and see my plants, it gives me joy. Gardening is my 'me time', the peace of my life that keeps away all the negativity from my life."  

Taking care of the garden should be a part of the daily routine. A depressed soul can find immense joy through gardening.

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