I would like to suggest implementing a few rewarding activities in our daily routine.
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. Therefore, we need a strong support. A strong something to hold on, or somebody who is always up to the challenge, who we can always rely on, who we can trust completely.
There is a person who we can always count on. This person is us. It can be extremely hard to make somebody else feel happy and satisfied with the current life settings if the situation is far from brilliant. However, it is practically always possible to make ourselves satisfied with life.
In order to avoid disappointments, I’d say we should
rely on ourselves whenever possible;
ask for support and advice people who we trust when we feel lost, and
always treat the situation realistically and appropriately. problems don’t solve themselves, we do.
Plenty of people suffer from pain, severe disorders, stress, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, mental disorders, obesity, diabetes, liver or kidney diseases, cardiac and vascular illnesses, post-disease traumas and simply fear from life once they have experienced an unpleasant treatment from somebody, bad situations and accidents or loss of and detachment from people who they cared 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 to 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 pain is always with me; my nasty companion, never leaving me alone. Multiple surgeries and long treatments were the reason I got into complications. Quite honestly, it’s not a pleasure, even though nobody would notice any visible changes in me. It is tough because I am on a strict schedule which doesn’t allow for any deviations. So, what do I do?
I love life even with all its troubles, with all its restrictions and limitations. There are many. However, I choose not to focus on limitations, but my abilities, talents and rewarding things.
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 a lot of satisfaction and fulfillment in our life. There are many people who attend my classes, I would not have met them without my love to art and teaching.
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 and similar, and doing this all mainly 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 treatments.
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 indoors: in buildings and in vehicles nowadays. That is a huge part of our life. We have lost the connection with natural processes and we have forgotten that nature has and always has 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-to-cure diseases, damaged DNA and inherited conditions from which children suffer and will keep suffering as adults all life.
Most people have forgotten or have 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?
I do it mostly for pleasure and I simply must 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 some time again because it is essential for me to share with others how much such simple activity can give us.
Beauty and health plus energy
5 thoughts on “Therapeutic horticulture for realistic optimists: one step closer to good life”
I think our likes are very similar.. growing our own food and Curly Kale is a favourite 🙂 and so so good for you.. 🙂 And grounding ourselves in the garden is connecting to earth’s energy which is healing. Have you watched the film Grounded? its on YouTube about healing when you ground back with earth.. remarkable stories..
Loved this post.
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Thanks so much! I have made many gardens because I have lived in many places, and every time I start a garden from zero. I love everything that grows there, love kale, too, very delicious! I agree about the Earth energy, we really need that. Unfortunately, I rarely watch anything, neither on TV or YouTube.
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After my husband went through chemo he started a vegetable garden. It has been very therapeutic for him. A few days after major surgery last week he was back in the garden and has spent hours in the kitchen canning tomatoes, many from his own garden. He attributes his ability to bounce back so quickly to his daily walks and his diet which is high in fresh vegetables and what he likes to call ‘real food’.
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Thanks! That just confirms my ideas that we have to go away from ready to use foods to our own grown foods, because that way one knows clearly what is in that vegetable or fruit. I couldn’t agree more about the health benefits which a garden or taking care of plants provides us with! I am happy to hear he is doing so well because of his passion. I can see also how much my own food improves just about anything. That also involves all the great energy we are able to receive while doing something or simply relaxing among plants. It is such a pleasure!
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