Mindful gardening is a therapeutic mindfulness activity that empowers you to find balance as you journey through life. The simple act of immersing yourself in gardening helps you become aware of your inner strengths.
You release negative energies as you consciously devote time to put your mind into gardening. Aside from finding balance and clarity, there are many ways mindful gardening can help you.
But before we deep dive into these benefits of mindful gardening, let's define mindful gardening.
What is Mindful Gardening?
Mindful gardening is the conscious act of being emotionally and physically present in carrying out garden activities.
So, here are 5 amazing ways mindful gardening can help become better:
1. Improves your self-esteem
"The soil is a natural antidepressant and has special microbes that release serotonin to help heal your mind naturally." — Nikki Garden
Nikki Garden shared how the simple act of planting, nurturing, and seeing plants grow can positively impact your mind and self-esteem. Gardening has been scientifically proven to improve your mind and self-esteem.
Mindful gardening gives you this sense of fulfillment knowing that you can reach your full potential if you put your mind to it. Gardeners who spend time in the garden are less anxious and their mind tends to improve.
Plus, mindful gardening helps reduce depression which can negatively affect your self-esteem. Because when you're anxious, depressed, and fatigued, your self-esteem suffers.
But through mindful gardening, your self-confidence is boosted.
2. Nature is healing
"Nature is healing. Sometimes mindful gardening comes as a form of escapism for me – I often spend hours gardening. Especially on low days, gardening allows me to shift my focus and nurture something to live." — Chauntelle JN Lewis.
Chauntelle JN Lewis shared how mindful gardening brings her healing through escapism. And she ends up healing from those things after mindful gardening.
Mindful gardening goes as far as healing your mind, which is where bodily healing starts from. Once you start practicing mindful gardening, you'll start experiencing mindful healing. After which every other form of healing takes place.
3. Helps you practice gratitude
Mindful gardening has a way of making you count your blessings rather than your worries. A blossoming garden gives you a true reason to be thankful for both the big and small things. Research has found that working with plants in the garden has psychological, social, and spiritual benefits. Research participants said that gardening activities helped them to develop patience and peacefulness, and relieve stress.
If you've noticed, when you're grateful, all of your anxieties are suppressed. You're not worried about your shortcomings because you're more thankful when you spend time in the garden.
Mindful gardening also helps you meditate better. While meditating in the garden, note the things you're grateful for to remind yourself of those forgotten wins.
4. Positively impacts your physical health
"As I take care of my plants, they take care of me. Watching things grow has also taught me patience." — Jean Wandimi
Jane Wandimi started practicing mindful gardening in 2020, and that has been the best thing to happen to her.
According to medical studies, green spaces positively impact your physical health. And a garden is one of the green spaces where you get this health benefit.
As mentioned earlier, whatever improves your mind, has the power to improve your physical well-being. You're healthier in and out when you make gardening one of your mindfulness activities.
5. Less screen time
"Just the act of distracted jumping around on social media causes mental unrest. And social media content is a significant cause of anxiety and depression and increases feelings of loneliness." — Kathy Morelli
Kathy Morelli shared how turning off her social media consumption helped her beat anxiety in 2021.
A report from DataReportal has it that the average American spends more than seven hours before a screen daily. That's a whole lot of time to spend looking at a screen, which is unhealthy. If you'd like to reduce your screen time, mindful gardening is a healthier option.
Mindful gardening immerses you into nature, taking all of your concentration, which helps you unplug from the internet. I mean, less internet enables you to focus more on the things that matter.
When you spend time weeding, planting, nurturing, and pruning your garden, you shut the world out to focus on the task at hand.
How to be Mindful While Gardening
1. Give it your undivided attention
You can't possibly practice mindful gardening when your mind isn't fixed on the activity. To effectively practice mindful gardening, you can learn to practice the mindfulness skill of being in the present moment, or what is called One-Mindfulness. It's a gentle method of learning bring your mind back to the present moment as you go about your tasks in your garden.
2. Keep your phone out of reach
You're likely to be distracted by your phone if you take it to your garden. So, you have to leave your phone inside to enjoy alone time with your plants and crops.
If you must take your phone, you can put it in a Do Not Disturb (DND) mode to avoid getting notifications on your apps.
3. Be patient with the process
If you're new to gardening, patience is one of the core things you'll learn. Your efforts won't bear fruits immediately, but through patience and nurturing, you'll get your rewards.
Mindful gardening increases your patience level, making you a more patient and peaceful person.
Mindful gardening can gradually turn your mental and physical health around if you invest time into it. To learn more about mindfulness, visit the Heartlife Holistic Mindfulness Guide.
Siu, A., Kam, M., & Mok, I. (2020). Horticultural Therapy Program for People with Mental Illness: A Mixed-Method Evaluation. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(3), 711. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030711
Thompson R. (2018). Gardening for health: a regular dose of gardening. Clinical medicine (London, England), 18(3), 201–205. https://doi.org/10.7861/clinmedicine.18-3-201
Wood, C.J., Pretty, J., Griffin, M. (2016). A case–control study of the health and well-being benefits of allotment gardening, Journal of Public Health, Volume 38, Issue 3, 17 September 2016, Pages e336–e344, https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdv146