How Gardening Promotes Peace

During last spring’s COVID-19 quarantine, many people took up gardening as a new hobby. My mom, for example, began growing broccoli, basil, and two varieties of tomatoes. Due to the pandemic, interest in farming and/or gardening has experienced a boom among Americans. For some, this is a way to pass the time, but for others, this is a new method of sustainability––especially after mass hysteria led to shortages in grocery stores. In my opinion, COVID-19 is another example of how people tend to turn to gardening during times of great stress. 

Gardening has long been associated with lowering stress levels and anxiety. A study conducted in 2010 instructed 30 test subjects to perform a stressful task, and afterwards randomly assigned them to 30 minutes of either reading or gardening. Both of these activities resulted in decreased levels of cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone; however, those who gardened had a more significant decrease in cortisol. The study’s abstract claims, “these findings provide the first experimental evidence that gardening can promote relief from acute stress.” 

aloe plants by window Photo by Aneta Pawlik from Unsplash

Gardening represents an escape for many people. With the rhythmic nature of gardening, thoughts come and go, almost like meditation. I started to grow mint in my apartment to reap some of these rewards. Progress is slow, but definite, and I have already integrated the plants care into my morning routine. Personally, with school and the threat of COVID, it’s a moment of peace before my day begins. If you are looking for a bit of peace and quiet, my sincere advice to you is to try and grow something.