by Doreen Layman, Landscape Manager, Murray’s Landscape Services
Stepping outdoors into your landscaped garden can lift your spirits. Research has shown that spending time outdoors is great for our body and minds. Those who follow such practices like Yoga are taught that nature helps us ground our energy.
Exactly how do we benefit from spending time in nature, especially through gardening?
I recently read an online article from “Psychology Today” that gives us a more detail explanation on how gardening can aid our mental health and help us heal. This article outlines 10 reasons, and I found the following reasons spoke to me.
1. Gardening Helps Us Let Go
It is said that most of our suffering comes from trying to control things that we cannot and that we have to accept the limits of what we can control in our lives.
Gardening helps us practice letting go and watching nature take over. Gardening allows us to prepare the best environment for our plants, and then stepping back and letting nature take over from there. Some plants will thrive, some will not.
As a result of this, we must move away from our perfectionism. Trying to be perfect, to match up to high expectations, can lead to frustration, unworthiness, and strained relationships. Gardening allows us to step away from being perfect.
Watching a plant and garden grow and change over time allows us to develop a “growth mindset”. Letting us realize that we are always growing and changing, and this is beautiful. We are constantly learning and changing, just like our garden.
2. Gardening Deepens Our Connections to the Planet
Gardening also allows us to connect to the world we live in, on a physical level. To touch the plants and soil is more soul feeding than staring at a computer or phone screen all day.
Digging in the soil and watering the plants improves our connection to the Earth.
3. Gardening Benefits Our Mental Health
Weeding and watering the garden also puts us in a meditative state. We are focusing on the present moment, and thus our minds are not dwelling on what could have been or what will be.
We are present and mindful as we work in our gardens. Surrounding ourselves in greenery and beautiful flowers which touch all our senses reduces anxiety and stress.
Growing food that we can eat, and the pride of all that we have accomplished in our gardens, is soul feeding to say the least!
4. Gardening Benefits Our Physical Health
Also, let us not forget the exercise that gardening gives us. We bend, stretch and crouch while planting, pruning, and weeding.
Not having to drive to the gym, but just stepping outside into our own backyard for exercise is rewarding.
Give Gardening a Try!
So when the growing season is upon you, remember that just outside your backdoor is the potential to harness your soul’s growth.
By planning and planting a garden along with working and learning how to grow certain plants, you delight in the satisfaction of creating something beautiful. Something that releases us from the mind’s worries and lands us in the mist of happiness and gratification.
Give it a try. I bet you will love it!