Soothe Yourself, Browsing Among Plants and Flowers

Blog #3 in the Soothing Series: Gentle ways to regain your composure and find some inner peace

Sometimes, attaining a state of relaxation seems impossible. Even if you know the benefits – quality sleep, resistance to infection, less muscle pain, better problem solving – you cannot get to a relaxed state from your stressed state. Fortunately, even if relaxing seems unattainable, soothing yourself can reduce your stress level by a degree or perhaps two.

Sometimes simple soothing strategies are not going to meet your needs.  At those times, get expert help.  Call your doctor, your therapist, your pastor, or get yourself to an emergency room.  Be safe.

Soothe yourself when you have had a difficult day, have too much on your plate, or perhaps are experiencing a period of intense change.  You deserve it.

Years ago, I supervised an office serving patients with occupational injuries.  If stress had me in its grip, it had the whole office too. For everyone’s sake, I frequently needed soothing. Down the road, just a little too far to walk during a quick lunch break, was a nursery with a long greenhouse.  If I ate in the car, I could use my lunchtime to browse.  The greenhouse smelled of warm earth and growing things.  Sometimes there was a great variety of plants and flowers. Other times the plant of the season filled the greenhouse; geraniums for Memorial Day, poinsettias in December.

I love flowers, and still visit greenhouses whenever I can. Choosing flowers to purchase is a lengthy practice.  It is the process itself that I find soothing.  Enjoying the feel of having flowers around me, drawing on their energy, breathing in their scent, I am completely present in the moment, with no thought of what else is on my ‘to do’ list.  Responding to their colors and textures, I smile with delight. If I see the gardenias my mother adored, the orchids I carried at our wedding, and the zinnias that grew in my first garden I acknowledge the inner warmth generated by fond memories.

How to choose which of these lovelies to take home with me? Although I can’t always buy something, I try to as often as possible.  I want to support the greenhouses that soothe me so, at least in my own small way.  When I can’t afford flowers or a plant, simply the process of being present with flowers is enough to soothe my mind and spirit.  I can, alternatively, run in on my lunch hour, grab a plant or bouquet, and run back to my work.  In desperate times, that is better than no flowers at all.

Try it for yourself. If you have ten minutes available, browsing is the thing to do. Prowl the aisle, the displays, and the merchandise.  What do you like? What shapes, colors, textures, scents please you?  Which is the ideal plant, the ideal flower, among hundreds of similar plants and flowers? 

Soothe yourself. Enjoy browsing among plants and flowers. And when you do, please tell Calm & Centered readers, in the comment section, about your favorite plant or flower.

In peace,


Photos credits: Me! From my newest favorite place to browse, Newton Greenhouse

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