Why more women should use mindful gardening to feel calmer and happier
The positive wellbeing effects of gardening are well researched but as a busy woman with a lot on your to-do list already, doing the garden can feel like yet another thing to get done.
My 5 minute mindful gardening techniques and activities enable you to do something that will make you feel great whilst you tend to your green space in the short amount of time you have available to you.
Here are 5 ways mindful gardening can help you.
Increases feelings of hope and pride
Women have a very strong connection with Mother Nature, but this bond can be easily ruptured due to the fact that many of us spend a lot of time indoors.
You can repair this bond by gardening mindfully every day.
Every seed that is sown, every bulb that is planted, every flower that blooms reminds you that no matter what is happening in the world around you, Mother Nature keeps on growing, blooming and evolving. And if she can do it, so can you.
The glow of pride that washes over your entire body when the green tip of a seedling pushes its way through the soil, when you bite into a home grown cherry tomato or inhale the scent of your first bunch of home grown sweet peas is something that every woman should experience every day and learning how to garden mindfully can help you do that.
Helps you to live in the present
It can be so easy to spend your time worrying about things you’ve still to do or overthinking about situations that have happened in your past. As a result your brain is jam-packed with things that you actually have no control over.
By practicing mindful gardening you are training your brain to stay in the present moment, to notice the wonder all around you and free up that delicious space in your brain.
Mindfulness meditation as a practice is hugely beneficial for our wellbeing, but when your brain is going at 100mph, emptying your mind of thoughts can feel impossible.
Mindful gardening is an entry level point to mindfulness. It keeps your brain just active enough that it doesn't freak out about the fact there’s not constant stimulation but it helps you to access the flow state and find calm.
Gives you more energy
Mother Nature is a huge source of energy, she created you after all. So it's logical that when you need to re-charge your energy stores you ‘plug in’ to her to do so.
Instead of reaching for the coffee at 3pm try this 5 minute energy boosting exercise.
- Before you start, rate your energy levels on a scale of 1 (Low) to 10 (High).
- Do a big exhalation or sigh.
- Choose one plant in your garden and notice everything about it.
- The shape of the leaves
- The smell of the flowers
- Touch the stems. Are they smooth or rough?
- Close your eyes and run your fingers through the leaves, what can you hear?
- If the plant is edible what does it taste like?
- Notice any sensations in your body. Name them if you can.
- Now rate your energy levels on a scale of 1 (Low) to 10 (High) again.
Helps you to reconnect with yourself
As a human being you are designed to feel a full spectrum of emotions. Happy yes, but also angry, frustrated, sad. Society would have you believe that you are to feel happy all the time and that if you dare to feel anything else you are somehow failing at life.
This leads to you shutting down any ‘negative’ emotions and ignoring the associated uncomfortable sensations in your body.
Over time this leads to you feeling disconnected from yourself, not trusting your intuition or judgement.
Mindful gardening allows you the headspace to be able to process ALL the feelings, to feel them in your body (not just your mind) and to move your body in a way that helps them to flow through instead of being stuck inside you screaming to get out.
When done with the support of a trained practitioner your connection to your desires, dreams and needs is restored enabling you to lead a truly fulfilling life.
Supports you to overcome perfectionist tendencies
Women are under so much pressure, to be the best mum, hardest working employee, a top notch friend, doting daughter, supportive sister. IT’S FUCKING EXHAUSTING.
My belief is that this is a hangover from the ‘good girl’ mantra of the 80’s/90’s. When you did something that your caregiver approved of you got praise in the form of being called a ‘good girl’. You were too scared to be the ‘bad girl’ because it often meant you would have affection withheld and as a small child no affection= danger because we are so reliant on our caregivers to look after us at that age.
Fast forward to now and we are still shit scared of being the bad girl, so we want EVERYTHING we do to be perfect so we can be the good girl (safety).
No matter how much you try you can’t create the ‘perfect’ garden, slugs and snails will always munch your lettuces, aphids will always cover your plants and bindweed will forever be strangling your foxgloves.
Mindful gardening allows us the headspace to be inquisitive about these feelings as they come up, to process them in a safe space, begin to unpick them and move beyond them.
If you’d like my support with overcoming perfectionism, reconnecting with yourself and increasing your energy levels then please book a chat with me here to discuss how I can help you.
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