By Holly Numan
Like a garden, our minds need work, care, and attention. When weeds begin to grow and take over, we dig them up or apply weed killer. When bad thoughts, anxious or depressing, grow in our minds, we can take a similar approach and address them with the proper tools. Weed killer for an anxious worry could be some thought challenging to help bring anxiety down. Digging out the weeds of depression could mean working on your self-care routines and incorporating enjoyable activities to change how we feel.
Gardens can also be frustrating and not cooperate with what we are trying to do. The arugula you had plans for may wilt or get eaten by a cute woodland creature. You have to decide either to cry and get mad about it or to accept that maybe this year was not the year for arugula to grow. Same goes for events that happen in our lives; we have the choice to get upset and let it ruin everything, or we can accept what happens and try to move on from it.
When you decide to plant a garden, a lot of planning is involved. You have to decide where your going to set it, what you want to grow, and how much time you’re going to give it care and attention. Are you going to have flower garden, to attract butterflies maybe? Or are you planning on growing food to eat fresh when you want?
But the first step to any garden is going to the store to get your supplies, and for our minds, that first step could be seeking help. By reaching out for our mental health needs, we are gathering the tools to cultivate our minds to grow in healthy ways, like a garden having the right supplies to succeed. The Wisconsin Anxiety and Depression Clinic can help you gather the supplies and tools you need to tend your mind’s garden, weed killer and all. Give us a call or drop an email today.
For the more ideas and articles on how to tend your garden mindfully, read The Mind is a Garden ― What are you Planting? (seekerproject4se.org), 10 Mental Health Benefits of Gardening | Psychology Today, and Garden Your Mind | Little Green Thumbs.
Andrew Bailey has been practicing psychotherapy for over a decade. He has worked with patients of all ages, and at all levels of care. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders, but treat co-occurring disorders as well.
Holly Numan is an intern at WADC working on her Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Having years of work experience at different levels of care and with different populations, she is able to apply that knowledge and bring her insight into working with clients.