Gardening Makes You Happier In line with Princeton Research

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

As the sunlight shines through the spring showers that bring May flowers, we know summer is on its way. Although most of the world was confined to their homes during this global pandemic, stories of the unique ways people battle the physical isolation associated with staying at home have flooded social media websites. Gardening is one of those hobbies that has re-emerged in the past few months. A Princeton study published in Landscaping and Urban Planning looks at how caring for plants at home can have a positive effect on your mood.

The pre-pandemic study interviewed 370 different people living in Minneapolis-St. Paul discusses her emotional state and level of happiness throughout the day. Of the 370 participants, 118 were involved in home gardening. These home gardeners reportedly had high levels of happiness when gardening was measured against other everyday activities. This “emotional well-being” (EWB) recorded by the study was higher in vegetable gardeners than in ornamental gardeners. This may be due to the relationship you develop with your vegetable plants as you see them grow and mature over the course of the planting season.

In addition, the authors state: “Household gardening is the only activity in this study where women and low-income participants reported a higher EWB than men and middle / high-income participants.” Areas with no access to affordable, nutritious food), and these gardens help sustain their families’ diets. The rise of this type of urban agriculture / gardening has also occurred in the wake of the global movement in support of environmental activism. Young climate change activist Greta Thunberg was TIME’s Person of the Year 2019, and eco-friendly hobbies like upcycling and gardening are more popular than ever.

This report helps to combine these global incentives to support the home environment with the biological benefits of planting outdoors. Many studies have also found that exposure to direct sunlight increases levels of serotonin (the brain chemical related to your mood). This exposure to the sun while gardening can give your brain an extra boost of happiness. Not sure where to start building your own home garden? Read this comprehensive guide for the novice gardener.

A Princeton study published in Landscaping and Urban Planning links high levels of happiness with household gardening, and home gardeners have used social media to share their plentiful crops.

h / t: [Fast Company]

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