I promised myself I wouldn’t spend a ton of money on our yard this year. Since we rent, it’s a waste to invest so much on beautifying someone else’s property. It was a logical decision. Especially since we’ve been talking about buying a house. However, I’m currently rethinking that stance. With my anxiety flareups and COVID-19 isolation, I need something to entice me to spend more time outside. Besides, a garden is a little patch of serenity – natural Prozac. Don’t take my word for it though, scientific studies agree.
So what is it about planting a garden that is good for your mental health? Let’s take a look:
- Physical activity releases endorphins, making you feel happy
- Gardening reduces cortisol and relieves stress
- Microbes in the soil boost serotonin, decreasing feelings of depression
- Sunlight breaks down adrenaline and helps the body relax
Anti-Anxiety Plants for the Garden
Since I don’t want a full-blown garden, I’m looking for a few plants specifically known for their anti-anxiety properties. I did a few Google searches and here’s what I found:
We’re all familiar with lavender. It’s commonly used to scent baby products intended to induce relaxation and sleep. Lavender isn’t just for babies, though. Throughout history, lavender has received praise for its calming capabilities. The active ingredient, linalool, is responsible for this relaxing effect.
Chamomile is a great addition to an anti-anxiety garden. Its active ingredient, apigenin, works as a mild sedative. You must ingest the chamomile to reap its benefits, which is why chamomile teas are so popular (I’m partial to the lattes).
Believe it or not, peppermint is good for something other than mojitos. It’s reported to alleviate tension and stress. Those calming feelings are produced by menthol, a natural muscle relaxant.
Everyone recognizes roses as a symbol of love and beauty. But did you know their lovely scent inspires physiological and psychological relaxation? It’s true! The smell of roses has anti-anxiety effects.
Ever notice how relaxed you feel when the scent of rosemary fills your home as you cook dinner? There’s a good reason behind it. Research suggests the smell of rosemary improves cognitive function and reduces stress hormones.
Jasmine is world-renowned for its sweet, floral scent. A scent that impacts our central nervous system and alleviates anxiety. The smell is so amazing that it not only calms nerves but aids sleep and lessens feelings of depression.
People have used lemon balm since the Middle Ages in nerve tonics. Small studies have provided some evidence suggesting lemon balm boosts your mood while reducing stress. Unfortunately, ingesting too much lemon balm can agitate anxiety. You can avoid this by opting to keep it in the garden for its aroma, which is said to have the same impact as ingestion.
Pretty sure I can have all the plants on my list delivered for less than $100. I’m going to consider it an investment in my mental health. Anyone else gardening this year? Drop a comment below and let me know what you’re planting!