Many studies have been made on how gardening can positively influence the physical and mental wellness of gardeners, especially those that are having difficulties. Gardening therapy for teens has specifically shown great promise as an effective way to help combat behavioral issues and to improve the self-esteem of adolescents.
Is your teen struggling with:
-Defiance, rage, anger?
-Depression, anxiety, stress?
-Family conflict, sibling rivalry?
-Addicted to their screens? (smartphones, video-gaming, TV)
Gardens have been shown to reduce stress and depression, as well as promote productivity. Research shows that spending just a few minutes outdoors, surrounded by grass, trees, and plants can boost a teen’s ability to focus and concentrate, but can how can you convince your teenager to detach from their devices and dig into the flowerbeds?
In recent years, the concept of gardening therapy has gained popularity as a means for teens to overcome physical, emotional, and behavioral barriers in their everyday lives. This is why we have seen many residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools not only include art therapy and animal therapy, they are now also adding gardening therapy to help troubled teens.
Benefits of Gardening for Teen’s Mental Wellbeing
1. Improves mood.
Gardening can make you feel more peaceful and content. Focusing your attention on the immediate tasks and details of gardening can reduce negative thoughts and feelings and can make you feel better in the moment. Just spending time around plants eases stress for many people.
2. Boosts self-esteem.
Self-esteem is how much you value and feel positively about yourself. Helping a plant grow is a big feat. When you see your work pay off with healthy plants, your sense of pride gets a boost.
3. Improves attention span.
Gardening can change how well you pay full attention to a single activity. If you struggle with staying focused on tasks, conversations, or topics in your daily life, gardening can help you learn to concentrate on what’s right in front of you without getting distracted. Studies show that outdoor activities can reduce similar symptoms of ADHD.
3. Provides exercise.
Things like weeding, digging, and raking are a good exercise. Regular exercise reduces anxiety, depression, and other mental issues. Gardening also promotes outdoor time, which is one thing many teens are lacking with the rise in screen-time. It offers a healthy dose of fresh air, sunshine and overall physical activity (body and mind).
4. Encourages social bonds.
Plants can be a great tool for bonding with aloof kids or to help teens connect in a way that doesn’t involve arguing. Being part of a larger group can benefit your mental health by increasing your social connections and your support system.
Never doubt the benefits of enrichment programs in residential treatment programs. If you are considering teen help for your child, always learn more about their extra-curriculum activities. It’s important to have these to stimulate your teen in a positive direction.