Mindfulness in the garden

The coronavirus pandemic has set off a global gardening boom. Whether it’s fear of an impending apocalypse, not being able to find what we want at the supermarket or simply having more time, an increasing number of us are turning their hands to growing their own fruits and vegetables. These emotions and thoughts can lead us to be anxious and fearful about gardening.

Mindfulness in the garden means to give your full attention to the gardening  and enjoying the experience. Be in the moment and enjoy everything that your surroundings offer and the sensations within your body.

When I am in the garden, I used to have my mind wandering. It would think about things I needed to get done, past happenings and even negative thoughts. Does your mind do this also?

These thoughts you’re experiencing are not beneficial to the therapeutic advantages of gardening and I used to find they would work against those benefits. Gardening has been proven to de-stress you, lift your depression and make you feel more relaxed. These mind wonderings however, are more likely to increase your stress, anxiety and stop you from looking at the task on hand in anything than a positive way. This is better known as self-sabotage.

Let’s stop this before it takes hold and to that aim here are a few things you can do to improve your experience and your well-being.

Stop occasionally take a deep breath in. Now let it out. You may notice a difference in how you feel already. Your breath is a powerful tool to ease stress and make you feel less anxious. Some simple breathing exercises can make a big difference if you make them part of your regular gardening routine.

This simple exercise will help you focus on the task at hand in a more positive light.

Shift your attention to your tools. Hold them, actually feel them. What are they made of? Do they have an odour? How do they feel in your hand?

What are the smells around you, the flowers and Mother earth also? Is the smell healthy, productive and smelling fresh, clean and pleasant or does it have little odour? What sounds are you hearing? Is it bird song or twitter or chirping?

Notice the other workers around you, the bees and other insects, and what jobs are they doing?

Look inwards, how are you feeling emotionally. What are the physical sensations of your body?  

Feel the sunshine warm your skin, feel it soaking up those rays and feel your day brighten.

This will help to nurture your mental health and enjoy every moment you spend in the garden.

Happy Gardening

Susan