LETTER | Gardening can improve your mental state in facing Covid-19

Khairun Niza Abdul Razak

Modified 4 Jun 2021, 7:04 am

LETTER | In response to Covid-19, many of us are experiencing new pressures. We have to adapt to a lifestyle of the new norm. Everyone has been trying to find a way to cope with this “new normal” and the unsavoury feelings it’s bringing up.

Fortunately, gardening is something we can continue to do, and it is important that we do so. Gardening won’t erase all of our problems but, for sure, working with plants will bloom your inner peace just like how flowers bloom in the garden and unfold their own beauty.

So, how exactly does gardening help to improve one's mental state?

A healthy body is a temple of a healthy mind. When you are gardening, you are always doing something physical. Whether you are watering the flowers, carrying soil or merely cutting excess twigs, when you work in your garden, you are doing physical activities and exercising. This in turn creates a healthy body. This contributes to the peace of mind that you are looking for.

Besides, looking at natural greenery is relaxing. Even a five-minute exposure to a natural scene can reduce our stress symptoms because being surrounded by plants helps lower blood pressure, increases higher pain tolerance, reduces anxiety, and relieves fatigue.

Gardening will keep your mind busy. This way, instead of thinking about your problem, you will soon find yourself thinking about the things you need to finish in your garden. In short, gardening keeps you occupied. When your mind is occupied, there is no more space for you to think about your everyday struggle free of worries or conflict. Even though the work is quite tedious when gardening, the positive effects on your mind and body are vital to your well-being.

Hopefully, if you are not a gardener, this can inspire you to make that decision to make the lifestyle change and be a gardener!

KHAIRUN NIZA ABDUL RAZAK is with the International Islamic University Malaysia.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.