Written by: Jennifer Dennis
Article source: Supplied

The ongoing pandemic and its accompanying effects on our lifestyle has certainly affected our mental health, so much so that stress levels in the country have increased by 56%. Stress, if unaddressed, ultimately affects our physical health, as it can lead to severe diseases such as heart complications and high blood pressure.

Thus, the need to find ways to slow down and relieve tension cannot be understated, and one way to do so is to immerse yourself in nature and commune with God, thus allowing yourself to retain your sense of wonder and care for His creations. You don’t have to go far to do this, too; as long as you have a garden, you can make a space that is perfect for meditation and communing with God. Here are some steps that you can take to create a peaceful and relaxing garden.

Clean Up and Declutter
A messy space leads to mental overstimulation, which in turn makes it difficult to focus. Clutter can also have negative effects on your memory and cognitive skills. As such, your first step in creating a peaceful and relaxing garden is to clear up any clutter. Cleaning up your garden can refer to the act of removing any trash from it, but it can also mean removing any unnecessary elements from it.

Remove weeds and other unwanted plants from your garden. If you have a water feature, such as a pond, make sure to clean that up too to control algae growth. Cleaning up your space and removing clutter allows you to also remove distractions, thus your garden becomes a perfect space for you to focus as you commune with God.

Have a Dedicated Meditation Area
In some cases, it might not be feasible to have your entire garden as a space for relaxation. Perhaps there may not be enough shade to protect you from the sun, or there aren’t any fixtures to protect you in case it rains. As well, ambient noises can also distract you, as studies show that background noise activates the same region in our brain as the sounds we actively choose to listen to. Just like clutter, these distractions remove your focus from your prayers.

In this case, what you can do is to have a dedicated meditation area. It can be a simple gazebo or a covered seating area, but it should be placed in a spot in your garden that is as far away from sources of noise as possible. You can even use plants to reduce noise; for example, your shed can have a living green wall with ferns to reduce sound reverberation. Having this dedicated space in your garden ensures that all your attention is on God while you are praying.

Integrate Soothing Sounds
Completely soundproofing your garden, however, can be expensive or impossible. What you can do, then, is to mask background noise with soothing sounds. Studies show that nature sounds can help you improve your focus and concentration. Nature sounds also physically alter our brains’ connections, reducing our natural fight-or-flight instinct, which in turn lowers stress and allows you to be more present.

Thus, if you have an existing water source in your garden, you can add a feature that allows water to flow continuously through it, such as a fountain. Add a wind chime to your gazebo, or plant bamboo along your perimeter. You can also install birdhouses or bird feeders to encourage wild birds into your garden. Not only will sounds of birds help you relax, but you extend some care to these creatures, too.

Having a tranquil space in your garden has lots of benefits. Not only does this beautify your space, but it also provides you with a perfect space for relaxation and praying.

Feature image: www.pexels.com

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