This Article is About
mental health
symptoms of depression
friends and neighbors
flower garden
psychiatrist
Starting Seeds Promotes Mental Health
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Starting Seeds Promotes Mental Health

Is there a relationship between starting seeds indoors and mental health?

I would affirm that all aspects of gardening promotes a sense of mental well-being, relieves stress and empowers an individual's self-esteem. There are few activities that reward your efforts so generously.

The famous psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Menninger, once prescribed cleaning as a therapy to relieve symptoms of depression for his patients. It makes sense that a bright and organized living space would make a person feel better. What additional benefits might a person imagine when the reward for their activity is flowers, fresh vegetables and compliments from their friends and neighbors?

Looking outdoors in the winter and seeing a snow covered flower garden may be depressing except that starting seeds turns the view into anticipation of the coming adventure. You may ask yourself, "How will that garden turn out this year? What seeds should I start?"

I like to go through photos of my gardens from years past to see what improvements I might consider. Some gardens have been so spectacular my only desire is to have them back like they were. To replicate my prior success. In other photos I see things I would like to change to suit me better. Dreams are only dreams unless they are given feet to walk with. Planning your spring gardens allows your dreams to open the doorways of hope.

I remember the day when I discovered the synchronicity that existed between myself and my garden. It was a period when I was suffering from acute turmoil in regard to personal tragedies in my family. It seemed like the whole world was crushing down upon me. Somehow I found myself in a flower garden pulling weeds. With each weed I pulled it seemed as if, from a long list of worries, one would vanish. Then another, and another. When done pulling weeds I stood back satisfied with my garden. It didn't seem as if I could think of anything else.

When working with my seed starting trays, plants and duties related the same kind of relationship exists. Each plant is a symbol of hope. Every problem solved wipes out a worry.

I know people have differing interests and find hobbies where there are parallels to the kind of satisfaction I find in gardening. But instead of waiting until spring invites seeds to be planted I start seeds indoors and accept the spring invitation by placing a healthy, flourishing transplant in the ground. So I think there is a good case for the assertion that starting seeds indoors promotes mental health.


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