A walk through the woods can do more than just get your heart rate up and fill your lungs with fresh air; it can actually teach you about how to live a happier, simpler, and more fulfilling life. In this blog post, we’re taking a look at seven lessons you can learn from plants. They’ve been doing all this learning, growing, and improving thing for a long time, and they have a few helpful tips for us.
Leave the shadows and look to the light
As the sun moves across the sky during the day, many flowers and plants will turn to face the direction of the sun. Even plants sitting on a windowsill will grow toward the sunlight. It’s important that you identify and move toward the sunlight in your life. Reach for the people and things that bring you light, even when life feels dark. It’s challenging but worth it.
Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes
A garden wouldn’t be nearly as lovely if all the plants were the same. The varieties of shapes, colors, sizes, and smells all add to the magic and beauty of it. Just like every flower, tree, and bush, every person is different, and they each have something unique to offer. Embrace your own individual beauty and always remember that the world is a much better place because you’re in it.
Small growth is still growth
Most plants grow in tiny increments. If you observe a little seedling’s progress from one day to the next, it’s hard to notice any difference at all, but if you look at the same plant one year later, the change is clear. Likewise, it can be common to overlook the growth in your life. It’s hard to see progress over the course of a week or even a month, but if you look back at where you were five years ago, you can see how far you’ve come. Progress is still progress, no matter how long it takes you.
There’s more than meets the eye
Night-blooming jasmine is a beautiful white flower that—as the name suggests—blooms only at night. During the day it hides its petals inside a small green bud. It would be easy to pass over this plant and think of it as plain or even unsightly without ever knowing of the spectacular beauty hidden inside. How often do we do this with people in our lives? It’s so easy to meet someone and immediately judge them, but the truth is there’s always much more than meets the eye.
Getting cut back can actually make you stronger
Every experienced gardener knows that pruning certain plants is essential for them to reach their fullest potential. At first it may appear to be a step backward, but it will actually help the plant take many steps forward. When you face trials or setbacks in life, remember that they can lead to better things, a better you. Sometimes losing your job or having a difficult conversation is just the thing you need to wake up and take your life in a new and better direction.
Adapt with the seasons
Plants are experts on knowing when to bloom and when to hunker down and protect themselves. In the fall and winter, deciduous plants shed their leaves and petals and hibernate through the dark and cold months. In the spring and summer, they open up and bloom, soaking in as much sunlight and energy as possible. It’s important to allow ourselves the same care. When life gets hard, it’s okay to protect yourself, regroup, and push through. Likewise, it’s also important to bask in the sun and recharge when the opportunity presents itself.
Take time to nourish yourself
Without the proper balance of sunlight, nutrient-rich soil, and water, a plant will suffer and may even stop growing. Similarly, for you to thrive, you need to make sure that you’re getting the nourishment you need. And that doesn’t just mean eating fruits and vegetables. You need to spend time doing things that feed your soul—reading books, sleeping, listening to music, spending time with people you love, playing outside. If you’re not making time for what you love, you’re limiting your happiness.