Gardening as Therapy in a Polytunnel

Those of us who love to garden already know that it can be a therapeutic activity. The physical tasks, the repetition, the soothing presence of nature, the attention to detail, care for living things, the rewards for hard labour... all of these combine to create an activity that can do us a lot of good, mentally as well as physically. A polytunnel, then, has the potential to be more than just a practical place where you can grow your own food – it can also be a place of growing and healing. It can be a place of therapy – to heal, help and nurture body and mind.

The modern world can be a stressful place. It can be difficult to escape the treadmill and take some time to work on you. But it is important for all of us to work on our own personal development. This development should not only include outward achievements but should also be focussed inwards. We should all think about our cognitive processes, and how we can work to improve our patterns of thought. We should all take some time out every now and then to really think about how we think, and how those thought patterns alter our mood and how we behave. A polytunnel garden provides the perfect place to do just that.

When we are sad, depressed, lonely, angry or frightened, we often tend to retreat from the world. This tendency can sometimes make us feel cut off – alone – isolated. Working in a garden can be a way to regain some sense of connection with the wider world – working with living plants and beginning to understand that we are a part of an interconnected ecosystem can help us to feel more rooted and less alone, even without other human contact, which is sometimes the last thing we may want. It is possible to feel alone in a crowd, but to feel a profound sense of togetherness when entirely alone. Nature is a wonderful thing. A polytunnel is the perfect place to allow it to work its healing magic.

When things have been going badly in our lives, it can be easy to dwell on the negative, to focus on your negative emotions and on the past, or dreams of the future, rather than the positive and the present. Polytunnel gardening can focus you on the present and make you more mindful of each precious moment. It can help to orientate you towards small, achievable goals and will reward each effort with a rewarding harvest.

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