Happiness

Gardening for Mental Clarity

“Never underestimate the healing power of a quiet moment in the garden.” -Anonymous

A woman smiling with plants and gardening tools

The Need for Mental Clarity

There are a number of things that people do to try to gain mental clarity and experience a change in perspective. Some of these strategies people take can help relax the body and clear up the mind to think in a different manner. Other strategies involve cognitive rest to allow the mind space to think and operate at a different level (often thought to be an altered state or a clearer state). While these strategies differ, the people that use them will differ on what they find most impactful and helpful when trying to find mental clarity. In this blog, we will discuss gardening for mental clarity.

What is Mental Clarity?

Mental clarity is a state of mind where thinking is focused and clear. If one has mental clarity, they have the ability to think about the task at hand and stay “locked in” to whatever they are trying to focus on. Mental clarity involves not being distracted and, when distraction comes (as it inevitably will), being able to stick with what one is thinking about without getting lost in the distraction. 

Furthermore, having mental clarity means having the mind be sharp and effective, thinking at an effective capacity. It may seem apparent why one would want to achieve mental clarity, as this helps with thinking through problems (especially complex ones), making effective decisions, and with planning and learning.

How Do People Achieve Mental Clarity?

There is good news and bad news when it comes to how to achieve mental clarity. The good news is there are a lot of ways to achieve mental clarity. The bad news is that not all of these ways of achieving mental clarity work for everyone. People are different in what works to calm them, help them focus, and to think clearly. What works for you may or may not work for someone else. On top of that, what works in one situation to gain mental clarity may not work in another situation even though it is the exact same strategy. 

It is important to understand that there are several means to achieve mental clarity and it is best to have a few to utilize when mental clarity is needed…

Some of the ways that individuals achieve mental clarity include taking a walk, being in nature, gardening, meditating, listening to music, exercising, and cooking. This list is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a list of some of the most popular ways people may try to gain mental clarity. All of these strategies (and others not listed) have different mechanisms in which people may find mental clarity. 

Using Gardening to Help Achieve Mental Clarity

Depending on who you ask, gardening may or may not seem like it would be beneficial for seeking mental clarity. For some people, gardening is a chore and is viewed as a form of work. For these individuals, who think of gardening as labor some and unenjoyable, it is unlikely they will achieve mental clarity. However, on the other hand, those who find gardening relaxing, peaceful, and even enjoyable may find that gardening helps enhance one’s mental clarity. This is because it allows the mind to rest and allows the individual to do something that they find tranquil and soothing. 

Hands holding a small plant in dirt outside tranquil

Soothing the mind is a great way to allow space for the mind to work and find clarity. Gardening works as a tool for achieving mental clarity because it can be somewhat mindless work (especially for those who have been gardening for a long time) which can allow the mind freedom to think about what one needs to think about and focus on. It also works as a tool because of the enjoyment factor, it often takes people to a state of bliss which frees the mind to function openly and freely, devoid of distraction.

Gardening requires being outside. Being in an outdoor setting, in nature, can increase feelings of freedom, peace, and independence from the rest of society. All of which can increase inner self-peace and mental clarity.

How Does Gardening for Mental Clarity Work?

To have gardening work as a means to achieve mental clarity, it is important that the individual who is choosing to garden is prepared for the work. If the individual does not truly want to be gardening and is not open to the process, then it is unlikely that they will see much benefit from it. However, if the person is ready to garden and not feeling inhibited, they are more likely to see benefits in their mental status. 

It is also important that the individual is comfortable. If the individual is uncomfortable – say from an injury causing pain while gardening, or if it is too hot outside and the individual becomes uncomfortable because of the heat and sweat involved in gardening – then this can become a distraction and make gardening unpleasant, which can take away from the mental clarity that one may achieve. 

Who Can Benefit from Gardening as a Strategy for Mental Clarity?

Father and daughter gardening together looking happy

Gardening can be good for anyone! This is one reason that gardening can be such a great strategy for gaining mental clarity. However, gardening will be especially beneficial for those who enjoy this type of work. Whereas, those who find gardening miserable will probably not see the benefits of gardening as those who enjoy it will.

Garden for Your Self-Sanity

If you need to gain some mental clarity, there are many strategies that could help. One of these is gardening. Going out and experiencing nature can be great for the mind and body. It can help relax the mind and allow one the mental space to think and focus on what is needed.

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