Happy at Home

5 garden habits can bring greater health and happiness

January 6, 2020. By Isara Ongwiseth: We all think of ways we can turn over a new leaf in the new year. If your goals include greater health and happiness, these 5 simple, work-free habits can help.


Open the Front Door

It’s easy to go from building to building, exiting and entering our homes through the garage. This keeps us from fresh outdoor air, and limits our healthful interactions with nature and neighbors. Simply opening the front door can help. Take it to the next level by sweeping the front porch – some say it brings good energy into a home. We can attest to it bringing good energy into our hearts and minds.



Walk Barefoot

The practice of “grounding,” simply walking barefoot on the earth, is thought to plug us into the earth’s energy. It may sound too-good-to-be-true, but National Institute of health data backs it up. One study refers to grounding as “electric nutrition” that can reduce inflammation. Others show a variety of helpful outcomes from lower stress to improved sleep. So far, we’ve yet to see one describe the delight of feeling Carex pansa meadow grass tickling an instep. They’ll get there.



Say Hi to Someone

One of the top contributors to happiness and longevity is social connection. Simply sitting on a front porch or working in a front yard edible garden can spark interaction. No neighbor about? No problem! Your plants are likely in the midst of deeply important plant-conversation with one another. Why not join? It may lift your mood – and your voice is good for them!



Listen to the Birds

If you are lucky enough to live where birds do, take a listen. Birdsong has been tied to lower stress, better moods and concentration – even better business. Once you become accustomed to tuning into their station, you may notice the genre entering unexpected public spaces as cities, hospitals and workspaces experiment with playing birdsong to create atmospheres of calm and focus.



Watch, Wait, Wonder

The garden can be yet another task list, a space we walk through without noticing – maybe, on a good day, a place to stop to smell the salvia. Or we can make it our own, personal Disneyland. We commit to experiencing delight and awe each time we enter the garden, knowing that if we “watch, wait and wonder,” as we might with an infant, we’ll see, smell, feel and hear all we need to go out into the world at peace.