In this article, we will take a closer look at how we can boost brainpower in a garden, and why exactly gardening can be so good for our brains and minds, as well as the rest of our bodies.
There are many benefits of gardening, including benefits to our health and wellbeing. In the modern world, our lifestyles and a disconnection from nature can leave us feeling foggy and sluggish. When it comes to trying to boost brainpower, as with so many things, gardening helps.
Gardening can help you to:
Get Regular Exercise
One of the main benefits of gardening is that it gives us gentle exercise, keeping us moving on a regular basis and getting us outdoors. And exercise has been shown to improve our brain’s capacity and help keep us healthy in mind as well as in body.
You might not think of gardening as great exercise a lot of the time. But it can be better exercise than you might think and those hours in the garden can soon add up and make a big difference to your health, thought patterns and brainpower.
Keep Your Mind Sharp
Gardening requires several brain functions and this activity helps to strengthen and boost brain power.
We need to retain information, learn new skills, and undertake a range of different mental activities when gardening and these things help to exercise our brains as well as our bodies, bringing many benefits of gardening to the forefront. This helps keep our minds sharp.
There are many examples, in gardening, of skills or lessons we might learn. If we are particularly interested in boosting brainpower in our gardens, we can set ourselves new challenges in the garden to keep ourselves sharp.
For example, we might set ourselves the challenge of learning the names of all the plants within the space. We might learn to recognise the different songs of the different birds in our areas. Or we might learn how to propagate specific plants that we grow to fill out new areas of our garden… to give just a few examples.
Gardening is also an activity, or rather a range of activities, that helps us to be mindful, and concentrate on the here and now. Gardening can bring focus back to the small and the slow, letting you yourself zero in on what really matters – stilling your thoughts and settling your mind into a better rhythm.
Being in a garden and undertaking simple chores can help to improve our concentration, and help us prevent our brains from flitting here and there and losing focus.
Boost Problem Solving Skills
Activities involved in gardening, such as planning what to plant and where, and scheduling what to do and when, can help improve problem solving skills.
This is good for boosting brain power as it helps us to work on the mental agility and mental resilience we need to tackle whatever problems and issues may come our way.
Get Enough Vitamin D
Another of the most important benefits of gardening is that it helps us to get outdoors, and while we are outdoors in the sunlight our bodies are able to synthesise Vitamin D. Getting enough sunlight and enough vitamin D boosts our brain cells, allowing them to function better.
Stimulate Your Brain and Senses
We not only give our brains a workout in a garden by undertaking design and planning jobs, and working our way through the common problems that can arise. Our brains are also stimulated in a garden by the many sensory inputs we experience.
In a garden, we are surrounded by the sensory inputs of the natural world, which can not only help us to feel closer to nature and more connected, but which can also give our brains more stimuli to keep them busy and working well.
Creating a sensory garden can allow you to make sure you gain as much as possible from the stimulation of your senses in your space. When we create a space that engages our visual sense, our sense of smell, our hearing and even our senses of touch and taste, we can boost brainpower even more and make the most of our outside spaces. This is especially beneficial for teenagers, as it can help them focus, control their emotions, sleep, relax, and enhance their overall well-being.
A stressed brain is not one that will be functioning at its best. Unfortunately, all too often in our modern world, stresses and strains of daily existence can get on top of us.
Gardens are known to be soothing spaces, where many of those stresses and strains can simply melt away. So gardening can bring us a lot of stress reduction simply from letting us focus on the here and now and spend time in a natural and relaxing environment.
Garden problem solving and the characteristics of gardening also help us to develop better coping mechanisms – handling stressful or difficult situations better when they do arise. This too reducing stress and therefore helps boost brainpower too.
Improve Overall Wellbeing
Whenever we are thinking about boosting brainpower we need to think holistically and remember that though the brain may be where we want to see improvements, all of the body’s systems are interconnected and overall health and wellbeing will influence every part of the whole – our brains of course included.
Gardening can help to improve our overall health and wellbeing. From how well we sleep, to our diets, to our movement, mobility, balance etc… gardening can bring major benefits. And with that boost to overall wellbeing, we can certainly begin to see improvements with our brains and in our thought patterns and how we think.
Reduce The Risk of Developing Dementia
Dementia is caused by damage to the brain cells and regularly gardening can reduce the risk of this happening as we age. By giving our brains a good workout and remaining healthier in body and mind, we can reduce the chances of developing dementia and other similar issues as we get older.
Plants That Help Boost Brain Power
I can talk about the benefits of gardening on the brain all day, however, interestingly, it is not just gardening itself that can boost brain power but also the plants that we might grow. There are a number of different plants that you might grow in your garden that have been shown to help improve memory, concentration and brain power in general.
Some examples of plants that have been shown to be beneficial in this way are:
- & Blueberries
In more general terms too, growing our own at home can allow us to focus on boosting brainpower through eating as healthy and nutrient-rich a diet as possible.
By growing a wide range of different fruits, vegetables, herbs etc. we can make sure we have easier access to the foods that are best for our health and well-being. And if we learn how to make the most of all the produce that we grow, we can ensure that we eat as well as possible all year round.
Having your own food producing garden can allow you to withdraw your financial support from damaging systems, and eat fresh, seasonal produce that has not had to travel miles, but rather metres, to reach your plate.
Gardening for health might mean a reduction in stress, as you and your family become more self-reliant, which as mentioned above also boosts brainpower and helps keep us healthy in body and mind.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.
To get in touch, visit https://ewspconsultancy.com.