Gardening as Therapy

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Green Thumbs Up for Mental Health Benefits: When many people think of therapy, they are likely to imagine a therapist and client having a conversation while sitting across from each other in an office. While this is probably the most common scenario, there are, in fact, many other types of therapy that have been shown to have just as many benefits as the traditional type. Gardening, for instance, is a great way for people to improve their mental health.

Gardening can be done alone in a backyard or a window box, or even as part of an organized community gardening program like this one in England. Just letting go and plunging your hands into the earth can be freeing and relaxing. A sense of accomplishment can be found in seeing the immediate results of 15 minutes of weeding or pruning, or in a season’s worth of planting and nurturing. You don’t need a 10′ x 20? plot of land to reap the emotional benefits of gardening; a simple container of mixed flowers, plants, or herbs will do just fine. Summer is a great time to try out a gardening experiment.

The next time you’re looking for a way to unwind and care for your mental health, why not give gardening a try? For inspiration from a British Deaf gardener who is also a student in a Community Based Learning Program, check out this link to the “Gardener” poem , presented in written and filmed versions.

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