My Garden

In our lives today we live at the most stressful pace imaginable.  The only time we tend to stop is when or if we take a holiday.  the number of times I hear a wife complain that her husband spends the first 4-5 days of holiday never leaving the room – just asleep!  Why?  The next most popular one is – why do I get sick as soon as I go on holiday?  The reasons are very simple ones actually.  It is a clear indication of how you live your life, day in, day out.  If you are continually at a highly stressed level, coping with work (and I include the job of being a housewife and mother in this!); dealing with the anxieties of paying the mortgage, rising fuel prices, rising food prices, falling house prices etc etc, then you can only survive by keeping it at bay.

How do you do that?  You make a subconscious choice which you alert your body to – that you really don’t have the time to deal with anything else currently.  So it gets shelved,  so to speak.

The one time of year when you get to take a full break away from work, telephones, internet, e-mails, mobiles etc has now appeared.  You are actually about to stop!  So what does your body do with that?

You have a very wise body – luckily for you!  As soon as you step off that ‘plane and don’t do  anything that you would do normally – your body recognises the  change in procedures and says to itself – whoa!  we have a chance to do some repair work here and now!  Quick!  Start!  So how does that manifest itself as far as you are concerned?  First, there is the resting and repairing period – ie you sleep the clock around!  Immune system re-booting itself.  Second, the clearing and cleansing process – you get a nasty cold or feel like you have the ‘flu – but really it is your body taking the rare opportunity it gets to detox and repair!

What about if you gave it that time a little more often during the rest of the year instead of saving it until your holiday?  Your precious time away with your loved ones – ruined for at least half of it?  There is a way you know.

What you are seeing in these pictures is my garden.  Please understand, I am not advocating that you suddenly expend all your energies day in day out in a garden!  What I am trying to show you is that what is outside can help to relieve your stress – that is what plants give to us.  The very act of being outside in a garden, tending anything for even a small amount of time does make the difference.  I am not here talking about the weekly chore of cutting the grass which is abhorred by most as a necessary evil that just has to get done – even I don’t enjoy that though I love the finished effect!

How does it make you feel when you look at the pictures I have posted here?  Does it help you to relax just by looking at them?  Memories of warm days and the sound of bees and the smell of the flowers?  The pleasure of growing and picking your own fruit and vegetables for the table?

There is a joy that comes to a lot of people when tending a garden even if they didn’t realise they had it!  It comes of being outside – in the sunshine – in the open air – touching the growing plants, smelling the flowers – being a part of nature – which is a part of us.

Have you ever noticed that if you go for a walk with your dogs (or not), and you walk in the woods or somewhere that there are trees – that miraculously you feel less stressed, less worried, less tense, even less angry?  I am sure you have – give thanks to the trees!  Their job has always been to help us – not just to give us oxygen to breathe but to help absorb ‘stuff’ we really don’t want – our negative emotions!  Think I am losing the plot?  No – not really – just try it for yourself to find that I am right!  It is something that has been known for hundreds of years.

Got computer overload?  Filled up with the radiation exuded by a computer or mobile phone?  Take off your shoes and socks and walk on some grass – stand on the earth – the radiation will drain out of your body and back into the earth!  Try it and see!  I have had nothing but positive reactions whenever I have suggested this to patients!  It works!

Next on the list are our furry friends – no – not the hamster!  The dog!  They are here for us and always have been!  Perhaps not in the way that most people think about them – they are man’s best friend in truth – if we carry too much emotional baggage – they will try and lighten the load for us by carrying some of it.  If you dog gets sick – have a look at what is happening in your family life – emotionally – this is where the dog tries to carry it for his loved family.  Too much anger, too many arguments – this will affect the health of the dog who loves you.  Consider what you are doing to your dog as well as doing to yourselves everytime your voices are raised and the dog cringes and disappears into its basket!

Taking these guys out for a walk every day allows me to see the world through their eyes.  The joy they have in every smell, every leaf, every sound – particularly pheasants in the case of one of them!  They make me laugh – their antics have me in stitches and grooming them every night is the quiet time we have together.  It has to be done or they matt up badly – but no bad thing as we spend that time together.  My best friends as they are with most people.  Just understanding that they are man’s best friends in the real sense of the word – they carry your baggage for you!  Deal with it yourself – don’t dump it into your dog!

Take yourself out for exercise – go to the gym – whatever it takes – exercise is not just for increasing your heart rate and circulation – it also releases your stress – filling you with endorphins instead (feel good hormones).  Undertaking this on a regular basis, spending time outside on a regular basis, time within your garden, time walking with your dogs, time away from the day to day stresses – all this will allow you to have a holiday that you will enjoy- rather than a time when you are sick so your body can recover!

I hope that this helps and educates and is of value to you – that is my only intention!

With love Jane