Every family is its own story, what role do you play in yours?

You have heard the phrase, ‘What you give your attention to, grows.’ Deepak Chopra. The same goes for your mental health. In the last month of quarantine, planting seeds, growing vegetables from cuttings, and watering plants has dramatically increased the joy factor in my household. I will share with you the why and the how of growing indoors physically, mentally and emotionally.

Why grow plants? Research supports the beneficial impact of growing plants on our mental health.

  • According to a recent survey by Arboretum, 42 per cent of 2,000 participants said that being around plants improved their mental health.
  • This figure was even higher in London, where more than half (56 per cent) admitted plants make them happier.
  • Studies have shown that interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress – in fact they can have a soothing effect. Studies have also shown that being around plants may also help with concentration and memory.
  • The study reveals both gardening and reading decrease cortisol levels. However, stress levels decrease significantly more with gardening. Likewise, the study participants enjoyed a fully restored positive mood after gardening.
  • Gardening and being around plants strengthens attention span, which can aid concentration and learning. 

Growing Vegetables from Cuttings

Here is a quick way to grow vegetables from cuttings:

Lettuce Makes More Lettuce

Lettuce: Simply cut the base off of a strong head of lettuce. Put it in a cup of water and within a few days you will see sprouts of new lettuce coming up. Change the water every week or so and then when ready, plant the bulb base in soil indoors or out and make salads when you desire them! This can also be done with Onions, Garlic, Celery, Chives, and more.

Planting from seed: Buy some seeds online or from a local store. Save your egg cartons and plant a few seeds per the instructions. Keep the soil moist without overwatering and you will grow tiny sprouts! Either transfer them to a larger pot after they grow a bit or plant them outside in a planter box or pot.

So what is it about watching something grow that improves our mental health? Every spiritual tradition speaks about the vital importance of presence. Presence is not just meditation. When all of our senses are involved, presence is inevitable. We put our hands in the soil, plant seeds, water them and watch them grow. Connecting to the earth is grounding, and brings awareness of where our food comes from. It’s easy to talk about, but when you are the gardener, there is an alchemic shift in being deeply involved.

What we give our attention to, grows.

We are all about watching growth and transformation. Whether it’s plants, animals, our children or our inner psyches, we thrive on watching and experiencing growth. We watch movies and shows for the same reason. Watching people and things evolve. We thrive on it and emulate it.

There is also a symbiotic relationship between watching plants grow, and plants growing from our talking to them. (It works with humans too:). In a study performed by the Royal Horticultural Society, researchers discovered that talking to your plants really can help them grow faster. Watching plants grow equally improves our mental health.

In these times of uncertainty, it feels good to focus on wonderful growth opportunities. Plants, seeds and growing food from cuttings is a great way to start. See how it makes you feel and let me know in the comments what you discover!

Post gardening me

If you’re not on my calendar and want to be, I am offering tele-medicine Video sessions through state of the art HIPAA compliant software. I am also offering EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing on Video. Book an online session or FREE 15 minute consultation here: https://valtate.com/

?Valerie Tate

Sources: Experts tell us how surrounding yourself with plants can help your mental health – Almara Abgarian; How Plants Improve Your Mental and Physical Health by Hillside; It’s True—You Really Should Talk to Your Plants Colleen Vanderlinden

Valerie Tate

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