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Hands-On Tasks Like Gardening Could Be Meditation

By Sandy Schroeder

If you are one of the many who grow something outdoors every spring, this year should be no exception. In the midst of so much stress, gardening may prove to be a wonderful meditation, an escape from the stress of isolation.

Think about how you feel when you are planting, watering and trimming plants. Time slows down, the sun feels wonderful, and time flies as you tend your plants. You may have a simple windowsill herb garden, or rows of tomato plants with lots of other veggies. Or this may be your first time out there as you learn how to garden with your kids. Ask the nursery for help and pick hearty plants.

My son has been gardening since he was a teen. He lives in a cold climate and starts his garden early, preparing small seedlings in January and having them ready to plant when the weather warms. He always has the tallest tomato plants and the best produce in the neighborhood.

How It Works As Meditation talked with Carla Manly, PhD, a clinical psychologist who recommends gardening as a form of meditation.

If you think of meditation as sitting quietly in a secluded spot, gardening may raise questions. Manly points out the object of meditation is to let go of tension, anxiety and sadness. When we move outside and start digging in the dirt, that may happen. A couple blissful hours may help you relax and ease your worries. Hands-on effort which focuses on the task at hand can create a sense of accomplishment and a wave of relief from the constant worry and tension that so many of us feel right now.

What Else Works?

The sense of making a difference that comes from gardening may also be present in other hobbies or skills. Writers, artists, wood carvers, and glass blowers often talk about the complete absorption of their work. Whenever we immerse ourselves in a task, a form of meditation might emerge too. If you think about it, you may do many things that qualify as meditation.

  • Do you like to go for quiet walks at the end of the day?
  • Do you knit or sew things for friends and family?
  • Do you play the guitar, piano or another instrument?
  • Do you bake wonderful treats for family and friends?
  • Do you read to your kids?
  • Do you love long soaks in the tub?
  • Do you spend hours in the kitchen cooking sauces or soups?
  • Do you paint, sculpt, sketch or doodle?

Whatever engages you and absorbs your time in a fulfilling way may be actually working as a meditation to ease stress and help you process your thoughts. Keep up the good work and enjoy the results.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wellington, Fla.

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