This is a syndicated post.
While much of the world got a hearty laugh out of the well-meaning gesture of college officials handing out Play Doh to students who were distraught over Donald Trump’s victory in the last presidential election, it was a nice thought. Actually, it did something to lighten the spirits of some people. However, it did little for those who were running around campuses destroying everything in sight. Some psychologists suggest that we forget therapeutic Play Doh and focus on growing plants instead. Here are just some of the reasons why gardening is actually therapeutic and great for our mental health.
1. Gardening Encourages a Sense of Responsibility
When you plant a seed and watch it sprout into a young seedling, you feel a sense of responsibility for that life that you’ve begun. Whether planting a start (seedling or clone) or starting from seeds, it’s the same sense of responsibility that a new mother feels when caring for her child.
2. Growing Plants Is Nurturing
One of the reasons so many students pursue online masters in counseling degrees is because of the way in which they want to nurture others to emotional health. Students at Bradley University, in the online masters in counseling programs, understand that counselors are nurturers by nature. They foster healthy ways of looking at things and healthy behaviors that enable their clients to grow into a whole and functional person.
3. Gardening Is Relaxing
What could be more relaxing than gardening? You are out in the sunshine, in nature, surrounded by the beauty of Mother Earth and there is little going on except perhaps a butterfly or two drinking from a flower nearby. Instead of listening to all the sounds of television, radio and internet babble, you can spend tranquil hours with nothing but nature surrounding you.
4. Working with Nature Gives Us a Connection to Other Living Things
It is said that working with nature gives you a sense of connection to all living things on earth. When was the last time you heard of a mass murdering gardener? Probably never! If you are depressed to the point where you feel isolated, gardening is one of the most therapeutic activates you can enjoy. You won’t feel like you are living in a bubble because there is life all around you.
5. Being in Nature Releases Those Happy Hormones
When studying for online counseling degrees, you will learn about those happy hormones. Did you know that studies have shown that working in nature releases dopamine and serotonin? Of course you actually need to be working hard enough to tell the body it’s time to produce and release them, but the very act of gardening is strenuous enough to accomplish that.
So then, if you are studying an online masters in counseling program, remember what you know about gardening. Want your clients to attain a sense of peace, tranquility and connection to everyone around them? Give them a plant to nurture. You’ll be a miracle worker in the first degree!