People love to grow for a variety of reasons, and often we start with a specific goal in mind like growing some fresh basil to add flavour to our cooking or trying to improve the aesthetic of a room. Gardening can quickly evolve from that purpose, into gardening simply for the love of gardening. The benefits of gardening go far beyond just the output as well, and it has been well documented that gardening can provide significant physical health benefits, but today we’ll be looking at the mental health benefits.
Mindfulness has become of greater focus now for everyone, with stress and burnout becoming increasing concerns. From professional athletes to business moguls, being mindful has taken many forms. Taking the time for 10 minutes of meditation a day is a popular method; however, it can be expressed in a variety of ways. Cooking, being in nature & gardening are all great ways of practicing mindfulness, activating our senses of smell, taste, touch, sight & sound.
2020 has seen a rise in gardening for mindfulness both inside & out. Thinking about which plants to place where, how best to nurture them, how much water they need, how much sun they need. These thoughts place us in the moment, and as previously mentioned help to activate our minds and our senses.
How does gardening & growing help us to be mindful? Besides activating our senses, it also helps us form a connection with the things around us. Planting seeds & helping them grow creates a bond between yourself & the plants that grow. It allows creating a deeper connection to the things in your home & garden. Not only does it engage our creative side but also our analytical skills. Gardening is a great way to activate your critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well.
To make the most of our time gardening inside & out, there are a few things to remember. Recognizing that every plant & environment can be different. Often it can be frustrating when a plant doesn’t grow how you may have intended, but that is the beauty & challenge of gardening, no two plants grow the same, conditions can’t be exactly replicated. That is what helps to create a bond between us and what we grow as it is unique, much like us!