Do you need a mental pick-me-up?
If you feel like life is too hectic, you’re not alone. At times we all feel stressed and overwhelmed with responsibilities.
In a 24/7 connected society, we need a form of escapism. Starting a new hobby can be a great way to take your mind off things and restore your sanity. One of the healthiest, most accessible hobbies is indoor gardening.
Starting an indoor garden can help you feel more connected to nature and the environment around you. On top of that, you get to enjoy delicious fruits, vegetables and herbs grown right in your home.
Here’s how to unlock your happiness using an indoor garden:
1. Grow something you love and you'll feel great doing it
Horticulture is for people who want to be happy. When we talk to indoor gardeners, they tell us how much they enjoy the process and how nice it is to come home after work and see their favorite plants growing.
Some even say that indoor gardening has helped them deal with difficult situations in their lives: depression, grief, illness, and so on. Picking out plants for your indoor garden can be exhilarating. You can choose from a wide variety of different plants and colors to decorate your home with.
One of the best things about indoor gardening is that it’s all inclusive. Even those who live in apartments or don’t have an extra moment to spare can benefit from growing their favorite plants. From the busy executive to the harried mom, those whose lives are jam-packed with demands and responsibilities, those who feel lonely and isolated... anyone can find meaning and purpose in their indoor garden.
Indoor gardening is a way to invest yourself in life and watch that investment pay off, little by little, day after day. It’s a way to live in the world and feel part of it, not just a spectator. It’s one of those activities that makes you feel grounded even as you're reaching toward the sky. We need such activities now more than ever.
2. Grow plants for aromatherapy
When you think about the benefits of indoor plants, what comes to mind? For many gardeners it’s about visual appeal or nutritional value. Those are awesome benefits… but a benefit that’s commonly overlooked is aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy has been practiced for thousands of years to enlighten the mind, soothe the soul and heal the body. There are many ways to incorporate this practice into your life, but one of the easiest is through herbs. Herbs are simple to grow indoors, especially with a fully automated indoor garden. Herbs come in a variety of appealing scents and require very little upkeep.
There are many herbs that work well for aromatherapy purposes. Choose ones that have strong scents that appeal to you.
Some common aromatherapy herbs include lavender, peppermint, rosemary, sage, basil, lemon balm, catnip, marjoram, and thyme. These herbs are all part of the Click & Grow collection and can easily be grown in a smart garden. They can also be used for incense.
As author and alternative medicine advocate, Deepak Chopra, once remarked: “Aromatherapy is extremely useful. If you want to go to sleep at night and you have an aroma that calms your mind, it will help you sleep.” Take pleasure in growing plants for their aromatic qualities.
3. Motivate yourself with reminders of what you're growing
There's something about growing plants that adds an extra pep to your step. It's probably the sense of accomplishment you get from watching them grow. Indoor gardening is also a kind of instant gratification, because you can see the fruits of your labor just by looking at them. They’re right in front of you throughout the day.
Indoor gardening can often reawaken your love for nature and the peaceful state of mind that comes with it. Stay motivated by reminding yourself of what you're growing and why you're growing it. You can be proud of yourself for taking a step towards greater well-being.
Many Click & Grow community members like to give their plants names. A sticker or a small sign with the name of each plant is a good idea, as well as a few post-it notes with facts and figures about the plants you’re growing.
If you find writing facts and figures on post-it notes uninspiring, you can also take photos of your indoor plants and use these as reminders instead. When you view the photos you’ll be reminded that each plant has something interesting about it, such as how it looks or where it came from.
4. Learn about plants and their benefits
A problem many of us have is we don't exercise our brains enough. We use our brain for work and that's about it. After a long day at the office, we go home, sit down on the couch and zone out. Without a hobby to occupy our minds, it’s easy to ruminate and dwell on the stressful day we’ve had.
You can change all this by learning more about plants and how to grow them at home. It will be a new, rewarding experience. Lose yourself in an interesting book about nature. Read about the wonders of plants and how they impact our lives.
According to research by the University of Sussex, reading can lower stress by up to 68%. The conductor of the study, Dr David Lewis, commented that ‘by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book, you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world..’
Learning about plants is much more than just reading their care instructions. It's about learning how to understand them and connect with them so that you can take care of them properly. Plants are the best gift you can give to your soul.
An indoor garden inspires you to learn about plants and how they grow. It also gives you time to appreciate the beauty of nature. It encourages a deeper appreciation of what we have and how we take it for granted.
5. Enjoy fresh, brain-boosting food
You can tell how happy someone is by seeing how much they smile. But you can also tell how happy someone is by seeing what they eat. If you keep a food diary for a week, keeping track of everything you eat and how it made you feel, you’ll probably notice that some foods make you feel better than others -- more alert, calmer, happier.
You don't need to keep a food diary to know that fresh vegetables boost your mood more than potato chips. If you’re like most people, your diet isn’t what it could be. Growing delicious fruits, vegetables and herbs in your indoor garden will make it easier for you to eat well.
Science also supports the idea that eating fruits and vegetables is good for mental health. Simple brain boosting herbs you can grow in your indoor garden include: garden sage, holy basil, rosemary, lemon balm and peppermint.
Getting enough exercise, hydration and sleep are also important factors in improving your mood. Nutrition is also key. By growing fresh, chemical-free food in your indoor garden, you’re already a step ahead of the game.
So, what are you waiting for? Start an indoor garden today and watch how it enriches your life!
Image credit (top to bottom):
onthebrightside.sg / Salvatore Cerullo
aloe.from.the.other_side, Yolanda Fong