The last few years have been stressful. That may be an understatement, for sure. And that can make those in Longview and Tyler, Texas (and all over) who have slight to severe struggles with anxiety, well...struggle.

Many East Texans with whom I've spoken have told me they've been battling anxiety in a way they never have before.

It makes sense if you think about it. Whether we're talking political tensions, previous pandemics, or wars involving a superpower that we'd long thought had evolved toward more diplomatic approaches--I mean, it's kind of a lot.

I've struggled with light bouts of anxiety in the past, but I confess lately it's been more intense. But--the good news is, I'm finding a very helpful way to soothe my anxious mind: Garden Therapy.

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I've always had it in my heart to be more of a "green thumb." My parents always seemed to have a knack for it that I somehow failed to inherit by genetic means, unfortunately. I used to love watching them in the backyard, transforming the space into something more beautiful. Lovely.

Every spring this longing intensifies. This year, however, it's stronger. I deeply believe that getting outside and gardening is one of those stress-relieving silver linings.

It has always been that way for many people, and this year it seems many of us may need it even more.

I've always felt that nature is therapeutic. There's something deep within us that needs to be in touch with the earth and things that grow and move, organically. I would even daresay that at least some of our issues with anxiety in the United States and other highly industrialized nations are due to having lost touch with the natural world.

Even on days when I hesitate to want to do outside and "get my hands dirty," every single time I do, I find by the end I'm less stressed, happier, and exhausted--but in a good way. Of course, that doesn't even account for the sheer joy of watching things you've planted come to life.

So, since I've been feeling extra-anxious lately over the loss of life and health and general stress around the world, I'm going to do my best to bring something beautiful to life--including more peace of mind.

Have you ever found gardening to be soothing to your anxiety? I'd love to hear from you. Shoot me an email:

Ya know what else really helps? Spending time with our furry friends. Heck, why not take them with you? Check this out:

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