Your Health

Gardening and Mental Health

Young woman placing a plant in a pot
Photo: © Ketut Subiyanto /

Gardening has been around for as long as humans have been growing plants for their personal needs. Through the years, gardens have served not only as places to grow plants but as spaces for people to relax, to focus, and to connect with nature and each other.

Gardening can improve many aspects of mental health, focus, and concentration and also enhance the positive well-being of an individual. Some of the ways in which gardening helps include:

1. Enhancement of mood: Gardening can make you feel more peaceful and content. It enhances a positive mood and also helps in directing your attention towards immediate tasks and details of gardening that can reduce negative thoughts and feelings.

2. Self-esteem development or boost: Self-esteem is how much you value and feel positively about yourself. When you see your work pay off with healthy plants, your sense of pride gets a boost. Many people find a sense of purpose and meaning in looking after plants and feel that plants are like children that they are rearing.

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Dr Avinash De Sousa is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist based in Mumbai. He is the Founder of the Global Society for Digital Psychology and the Founder-Trustee of the Desousa Foundation.

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Prafulla Bhat is an indoor gardener, entrepreneur who is interested in using plants to decorate the home.