Gardening with KSAT: Feeling stressed? Gardening might help

Studies show gardening can have many mental health benefits

SAN ANTONIO – When people ask me why I love gardening? My answer is always, “It’s my escape.”

Whether I’m rushing out to get to work or letting my dogs outside, I love opening my front door and stepping out and seeing my flower garden for that brief moment.

It gives me a sense of peace, almost reminding me to take a deep breath. Another favorite part of mine is that it’s one-on-one time with nature.

I love discovering the Monarchs and caterpillars, to the family of toads living in my plants.

Science shows that gardening or just spending time in a garden or with plants doesn’t just reduce stress, but it also has several benefits for your mental health.

Texas A&M AgriLife experts say it can help fight depression, anxiety, ADD, PTSD, promote creativity, reduce the effects of dementia and even boost your self-esteem.

One study shows participants found spending time gardening just twice a week for an hour to an hour and a half helped them with their mental health.

So here is the good news. You don’t even have to be an experienced gardener or have a garden. Researchers say this is because just being in a garden helps you relax, by being in such a beautiful and tranquil place. It makes you feel peaceful in your minds and souls.

But why does being around plants make us feel good? A study out of Florida suggests the answer might be found in the important role of plants in human evolution and the rise of civilization.

The study says as a species, we may be innately attracted to plants because we depend on them for food, shelter and other means of our survival.

If you are a beginner gardener and want to some tips on soil, how to plant a veggie garden or pollinator garden, check out the Gardening with KSAT segments here.

About the Author:

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.