Mother with daughter. Workers with flowerpoots. People pours flowers.

Five Surprising Benefits of Gardening

In this article we explore how gardening can help individuals and families improve their mental health and create stronger connections.

Gardening is a wonderful activity that not only provides fresh produce but also benefits our overall well-being. Studies have shown that caring for plants and soil can increase confidence, gratitude, responsibility, and compassion. At Grow Life, founder Karl Ebeling has witnessed firsthand the positive impact of gardening on foster children. In this blog post, we’ll explore how gardening can help individuals and families improve their mental health and create stronger connections.

Here are five therapeutic benefits of gardening:

1. It Can Reduce Anxious Thoughts and Feelings

Gardening is a great way to relax your mind and help reduce stress and anxiety. According to Healthline, “Studies have found gardening and horticultural therapy can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve attention, interrupt harmful ruminations…lower cortisol [stress hormone], [and] increase overall life satisfaction.”

Caring for a garden provides a sense of responsibility, an opportunity to work with your hands, and something to look forward to every day that will provide something great down the road. It is also a grounding experience that connects you with the earth—which is a classic technique for calming anxiety. When combined with therapy or other doctor-recommended necessary treatments, gardening can be a game-changer for people who suffer from anxiety or depression.

2. It Promotes Connection to the Earth

Connecting with the earth is crucial for anyone, and gardening is one of the best ways to get that connection. When you’re gardening, you’re often on your hands and knees touching the dirt and plants. You connect with the earth on a literal level, and it can be a very healing and grounding experience.

3. It Fosters Connection and Healthy Relationships

Gardening in a group setting is even better than gardening alone. If you have a family, spouse, or group of friends, getting together to plant and care for a garden will strengthen your relationships and foster meaningful connections.

Karl recalls bringing his son to help a family member get their yard ready for a wedding reception. Because of his software development career, Karl’s son worked on a computer every day and struggled with anxious feelings. There were many family members at the house helping with the yard work, and at the end of the day, he expressed that he felt uplifted.

Karl also shared a story about growing up in Pennsylvania, where he and a group of friends grew and sold produce. He says, “I will never forget the feeling that I had. We had comradery. We were a team. And I really believe we’re lacking that in our society today.”

4. It Instills a Love of Nature

We live on a beautiful planet, but sometimes we fail to appreciate or recognize it. With all of the distractions we face, we can go days without taking a moment to watch a beautiful sunset or take a deep breath of fresh air.

When you are outside working in the garden and planting new life, you gain a new appreciation for the earth and what it provides. Staying connected to nature is also one of the best ways to stay grounded, which can help with various problems or difficulties.

5. It Helps People Slow Down and Reduce Screen Time

Life is fast-paced. Kids and teenagers have demanding schedules between dance, sports, AP classes, homework, lessons, and other extracurricular activities, and parents are responsible for getting everyone where they need to go. We go in ten different directions at all times, and it can be overwhelming. And when we do have a few seconds of free time, most of our attention is directed to our phones—whether it’s social media, answering emails, or watching funny videos.

When you are working in the garden, everyday distractions take a back seat—giving you the chance to slow down. Take a break from the real and online world. It is good for the soul, and connecting with the earth is always a good idea.

Whether you have a big backyard or a tiny apartment, you can still benefit from a garden. You can find community gardens, hang planters in your house, put some small pots on your back porch, or build planter boxes in your yard. The opportunities really are endless, and even when you start small, you will see benefits.

If you want to learn more, listen to the episode “The Therapeutic Effects of Gardening” on the Not by Chance Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

In this article

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Dr. Tim Thayne Presents:

How Parents Can Put A Stop To Their Teen's Self Destructive Behaviors WITHOUT Conflict Or Walking On Eggshells

Mike Christian

Back-End Developer & DevOps​

Mike is one of those brilliant, self-taught, back end developers that you always hear about. As a youth he could trust that “My mother would love me no matter what . . .” When he isn’t cranking out new code, Mike keeps up on the newest technologies and every Tuesday and Thursday nights he trains SpeedSoft with his team.

Rafael Pampoch

Web Developer

Rafael has his degree in Marketing and Advertising and years of experience with our dev team. As a teen he could trust that “The most important thing in life is love, and the most valuable things are our family and friends.” When he isn’t working on making the website and mobile versions of Trustyy seamless and functional, he unwinds by exploring nature. His favorite activities are climbing mountains, camping, going to the beach, swimming, playing the harmonica and always learning new things.

Afton Wilde


Afton’s experience is in marketing and bookkeeping.  As a teen she could trust that with her parents “Feeding the horses and milking the cow each day before school–not after–was a must.”  When she isn’t busy with keeping Trustyy’s lights on, you’ll usually find her baking up a new treat or working on a sewing project.

Nicoli Cristini

Marketing Assistant

Nicoli has a degree in Multimedia Production.  She has worked with our team of developers for three years.  She learned to trust her own parents when they taught her “Things won’t come easy and that working hard will bring me great blessings!”  When she isn’t putting together beautiful marketing pieces for the Trustyy App she likes to take pictures, play the guitar, piano, and drums, and meet up with her family to laugh over the silly things they did as kids.

Adriano Rodrigues

Mobile Developer

Adriano is certified in Analysis and Systems Development.  In his family he could trust the fact that “One difficult experience teaches me that failure is not the end, but rather an opportunity for growth and learning.”  When he is away from his work in making sure the Trustyy App buttons and bells and whistles are working properly, he likes to go to the gym, to the beach to surf, on walks with his dog, or go out with his girlfriend.

Lucas Baumgart

Product Designer

Lucas’s work experience is in User Experience, Interface Design and Product Management. As a teen he could trust that “In my home honesty was highly valued and lying was not tolerated.”  When he isn’t at work making sure the Trustyy App is easy on the eyes, Lucas likes hiking, gaming, going out for dinner, and spending time with family.

Cadu Olivera

Front End Developer

Cadu has his education in Analysis and System Development.  While growing up he could always trust that “My parents would be there to support from playing soccer at the park to learning to ride a bike.”   When he isn’t making sure things are easily navigated for our Trustyy App users, he likes to play beach soccer and enjoy music of any type, but specifically rock, country, R&B, and pop.

Mike Curi

Back End Developer

Mike is one of those brilliant, self-taught, back-end developers that you always hear about. As a youth he could trust that “My mother would love me no matter what.” When he isn’t cranking out new code, Mike keeps up on the newest technologies and every Tuesday and Thursday nights he trains SpeedSoft with his team. 

Roxanne Thayne

Co-Founder/Chief Marketing Officer

Roxanne received her bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education.  She has worked in publishing and marketing for the past 14 years.  In her family Roxanne says she could trust that “Her grammar and posture would be consistently corrected, to help her to become a lady.”  When she isn’t busy writing and beautifying things for the Trustyy App, you can find her reading biographies, practicing yoga, or gathering the family to talk business, celebrate wins or just plain hang out.

Sidney Rodrigues

Co-Founder/Chief Technology Officer

Sidney has a bachelor’s degree in Web Development and has worked in technology for 16 years, building apps for the last 10 years. Growing up he could trust that “It was always expected that I would fix anything related to technology.”  When he isn’t managing the development of the Trustyy App, you will find him spending time with his wife and kids. He loves to make Brazillian BBQ with his family.

Jim Lee

Co-Founder/Chief Product Officer

Jim has a degree in Design and over 25 years of experience creating SaaS products and managing talented product and development teams.  In his years at home as the oldest of five he could trust that “Each child got a weekly ‘night-up’ where we got to stay up late with a parent and do anything we wanted with them.”  When he isn’t looking 10 miles down the road for what will come next on the Trustyy App, you will find Jim canyoneering, doing photography, watercolor painting, or keeping up on the latest gadgets and technologies.

Eric Turner

Co-Founder/Chief Operations Officer

Eric earned his degree in Communications, Public Relations and Advertising, then added on an MBA.  He says he could trust that “His parents were honest people who kept their commitments–especially to their kids.”  When Eric isn’t keeping everyone at Trustyy on task, he is an outdoor enthusiast, year around, rain or shine, cold or hot, with biking in the summer and skiing in the winter.

Tim Thayne

Founder | Chief Executive Officer

Tim earned masters and doctoral degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy, and has 30 years of experience working with families.  While growing up Tim says he could trust that “My mother would love me no matter what, and that my dad would require that I respect my mother.”  When he isn’t busy guiding the vision for the Trustyy App, you can find Tim working around the house and yard, taking care of his sheep, dogs and horses, or enjoying a game of Corn Hole with the family.