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Social and therapeutic horticultures gives these individuals a chance to participate in a meaningful activity, which produces food, in addition to creating skills relating to responsibility, social skills and work ethic.
† The same is true for juvenile offenders. Gardening therapy, as vocational horticulture curriculum, can be a tool to improve social bonding in addition to developing improved attitudes about personal success and a new awareness of personal job preparedness.
The mental benefits donít end there. Increased abilities in decision-making and self-control are common themes reported by staff in secure psychiatric hospitals. Reports of increased confidence, self-esteem and hope are also common in this environment.
Prison staff have also noticed that gardening therapy improves social interaction of inmates, in addition to improving mutual understanding between project staff and prisoners who shared outdoor conditions of work.
† Itís interesting that studies in both hospitals and prisons consistently list improving relationships between participants, integrating with community, life skills and ownership as being some of real benefits to participants.
But in addition to creating a myriad of emotional and social benefits, health benefits of being outdoors, breathing in fresh air and doing physical work cannot be overlooked. In most studies, participants noted that fresh air, fitness and weight control where prime benefits that couldnít be overlooked.
† Although unable to pin down a solid reason, studies have shown that human being posses an innate attraction to nature. What we do know, is that being outdoors creates feelings of appreciation, tranquility, spirituality and peace. So it would seem, that just being in a garden setting is in itself restorative. Active gardening only heightens those feelings.
† With so many positive benefits to gardening, isnít it time you got outside and started tending to your garden? Next time you are kneeling in fresh dirt to pull weeds or plant a new variety of a vegetable or flower, think about tranquility you feel while being outdoors in your garden. Let act of gardening sooth and revitalize you. Soak up positive benefits of tending to your own garden.
If you have someone in your life that could benefit from garden therapy, contact your local health unit to find out more about programs in your area. Not only will enjoyment of gardening help bond you together, but it will also create numerous positive mental and physical benefits for both of you.
So get gardening today for both your physical and mental health. Youíll enjoy experience so much that youíll immediately thank yourself.
Valerie Giles operates the Grow Your Own Garden Website which focuses on gardening products, flower and vegetable seeds, atio furniture and garden accessories. Everything you need for the gardening season.http://www.grow-your-own-garden.com