The Offices of Jessica C. Sullivan LCSW, PLLC

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We are all constantly looking for ways to improve our mental health. Some people go on runs and other people listen to happy music; most people have found an outlet for their stress that relaxes them and brightens their mood, but some are still searching for that one hobby or activity to help them destress. As the weather warms up and we are able to go outside more, taking on a new hobby outdoors can be a welcome change both mentally and physically. Horticultural therapy, which is the practice of using plants and garden landscapes to increase your well-being, is one relaxing and healthy way to benefit those with mental health issues and individuals who are anxious or stressed. 

One of the great benefits of gardening is being outside! Being in nature and under the sun helps boost the hormone serotonin, which helps you focus and relax while also enhancing your mood. Exposure to sunlight during the day, especially in the morning, will also help you fall asleep easier at night and have more regenerative sleep. Health benefits of being in nature also include reduced blood pressure and heart rate in addition to relaxing your bodies muscles. 

Gardening has a variety of benefits for your mental and physical health. By creating arrangements of flowers and putting in time to learn how to care for different plants, you are able to improve your decision-making abilities and will start to appreciate nature more fully. Participating in this creative outlet will allow you to see your results as you work and provide you with a better sense of accomplishment and self-worth. One of the beauties of horticulture therapy is that there are endless ways to arrange your flowers, so you are able to be as creative as you want!

While you are gardening, you can work together with other people to cooperate and share ideas and responsibilities. Working with your hands in fresh air with other people helps create a close-knit bond and a feeling of being valued within a group. The physical aspects of horticulture therapy also function to reduce stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression while contributing to an overall feeling of happiness and satisfaction. So, if you’re looking for a new hobby to reduce stress and increase self-esteem, try starting a garden or caring for some plants this summer!

– Haidyn Emmerich
Nourish Your Mind Blog Contributor
Neuroscience & Psychology Student – Syracuse University
Want to learn more about Horticultural Therapy? We’re here for you. Start your therapeutic journey with us today. 
Reach out via call or text (845) 547-0479, email [email protected] or visit