Therapeutic horticulture for realistic optimists: one step closer to good life
I would like to suggest instead of working hard at positive thoughts and attitude to implement some positive activities in our daily routine. Training happiness or love is sort of strange. We can certainly find happiness within ourselves, but since we are also very social creatures, our happiness, feeling of fulfillment, pride, love, satisfaction with life and desire to embrace life as is will quite often depend on relationships, appreciation of other people and interactions with them whether in a small family circle, in a larger social group or even global context.
The one person who we can always count on is we, ourselves. It can be extremely hard to make one feel happy and satisfied with the current life settings if the situation is far from brilliant. We should never envy other people because we simply don’t know what their secret struggles are and who they are fighting them with or for. From reading other blogs and from personal experience, I’d say we should
rely on ourselves for the most part;
ask for support and advice people who we trust, and
always treat the situation realistically and appropriately.
Plenty of people suffer from pain, severe disorders, disturbances, stress, nervousness, anxiety, sleeplessness, mental disorders, obesity, diabetes, liver or kidney diseases, cardiac and vascular illnesses, post-disease traumas and simply fear from life once they have experienced unpleasant treatment from somebody, bad situations and accidents or loss and detachment from people who they cared a lot about. That is painful, devastating and overwhelming; and although, we tell ourselves to forget and live our life as if nothing ever happened, it takes time and huge effort to either start everything from new, or correct whatever we are able still correct, change and adjust.
After a very bad accident about 2 decades ago, I can hardly recall any single day when there was no pain. It can be extremely bad or just irritating, but it is always with me. Multiple surgeries and long treatments were the reason I became type I diabetic. Quite honestly, it’s not a pleasure, even though nobody would notice any visible changes in me. It is tough because there is no such a thing anymore for me: do whatever you want since there will be sequences. I cannot skip any step of my strict schedule not even one day and say I’m going to take a rest now, and who cares what happens. Well, I do care and I also love life even with all its troubles, will all its restrictions and limitations. There are many. I don’t find hard the meal part or choosing the right foods. I’ve never had any excess kilogram or high blood pressure. That’s the good part, but it does not prevent me from experiencing hypoglycemia time to time because I’m very sensitive to lots of things now. The large number of previously broken joints and bones cause pain, and because of other accompanying problems, there is more or less pain all the way.
I am writing in my other blog how art can be an extremely useful tool for maximizing our potential and doing something valuable which brings in our life a lot of good things: there are many people who attend my classes, I would not met them without my love to art, all the beautiful paintings make every room very attractive, and there is always something great to do assuming I have enough energy.
Many people do gardening, love flowers, plants and nature, and that is fantastic! Gardening can mean many different things: gardening for profit, gardening to provide oneself or family with clean and nutrition-rich produce, gardening for fun and as a hobby and gardening as therapeutic horticulture. You probably have not heard that much about the latter before, but this means using your garden, balcony, backyard or any natural space for growing plants, vegetables, herbs, flowers, herbal teas and similar, and do this all for therapeutic purposes. “Hortus” means “garden” in Latin, and that’s why we call it horticulture (cultivation of a garden). Horticulture has extremely long history and it deals with multiple food growing, exploring and enriching, and non-food aspects, including psychology, design and even treatment.
One does not have to be a scientist to see how many beneficial effects gardening has on the person who loves it.
How could gardening for therapeutic purposes help somebody who is not a gardener and doesn’t want to be one, but would love to still enjoy being out in the nature?
Beautiful and delicious
We are spending enormous time in buildings and in vehicles nowadays. Huge part of our life. We have lost the connection with natural processes and we have forgotten that nature has and always had a cure for everything. The truth is, we simply walked away from it being sure that chemicals will replace anything we need and technology will make our life a dream. That did not quite happen and the easy life came at a very high price: epidemic numbers of incurable and difficult curable diseases, damaged DNA and inherited conditions from which children suffer all their life long.
Most people have forgotten or never known how that feels: to touch the soil. Well, they should try that because the Earth has incredible powers, and it can do both: cleansing and re-energizing. Therefore, people who would benefit most from growing something or participating in outdoor gardening activities are first of all small children, kids, adolescents, elderly and sick people or those who suffer from mental conditions.
Contact with soil, plants and flowers can be not only of huge aesthetic value, but it also contributes to everything we so badly want emotionally and physically: get rid of stress, sleep well without pills, become more confident, happy and satisfied with life by watching the growing and life cycle in the garden.
Here is what clinical research has found: therapeutic horticulture can help with
reduction of pain and stress, improvement of attention and focusing ability, decrease in agitation and anxiety, improvement of the quality of life;
gaining new skills and regaining the lost ones, improvement of memory, sense of responsibility and social interaction and many more depending on the person who needs some relief.
My beautiful garden: there is always only good news
How does the therapeutic horticulture work for me, although, I do it mostly for pleasure and I simply need to have a garden? I have always had one and have made numerous new gardens anywhere I lived, always from scratch. I take care about my flowers, plants and herbs every day and every moment when I can afford to be outdoors. If I cannot walk or something else is wrong on that day, I can sit there and simply adore all shapes, colors and the natural perfection. The morning dew or afternoon heat, the mystic colors through foliage at sunset, the first berries or tomatoes: that is a source of endless calm, happiness and satisfaction. Being out in the garden re-energizes, takes away pain and cheers me up even in the worst days. I am drawing and painting my garden, flowers and vegetables, and garden becomes my art and inspiration. Well, it is an integral part of my life. It can replace so many things which I cannot do, attend or go to. I will return to this theme throughout the blog some time because it is essential for me to share with others how much such simple pleasure can give us.
Beauty and health plus energy