Practice Mindfulness with Houseplants

A small succulent on your desk can actually transform your day.

A few weekends ago, my husband, stepdaughter and I strolled through our local botanic gardens, taking in the crocus, tulips, apple blossoms, budding trees, the first tender sprouts of new spring plants.

On our way out, we walked through the atrium where they were having a Spring Plant sale. Hundreds and hundreds of small succulents in cute pots filled the room. We were charmed. We each picked out a plant and decided we’d keep them on our desks: Lily’s in her room and Joe’s and mine in our offices.

Turns out we stumbled upon a lovely mindfulness practice with those little houseplants. We’ve talked about how much peace they bring us, how much simple beauty. Plants purify the air and cleanse away stress. They create a feeling of sanctuary. A small potted houseplant can also be a lovely reminder to pause throughout your day.

4 Steps to Practicing Mindfulness with Houseplants

1. Get a Small Succulent. Small because you want to be able to sit your plant on your desk or workspace. A succulent because they’re easy to manage. Find a pot that sparks joy. Part of the pleasure of this practice is having something beautiful to see.

2. Keep Your Plant Pruned and Healthy. Succulents are slow-growing and super easy to care for, so you shouldn’t have much to do. Pull dead leaves and keep your plant watered and clean. Think of it as your little bonsai.

3. Be Mindful, Take Your Time. Caring for your plant can be a mindful practice. Don’t rush. Pause and breathe. Be present. Really notice your plant as you water it and clean its leaves. Succulents can surprise you with spontaneous blooms and impressive hidden growth.

4. Use Your Plant as a Focus for Meditation. This is so easy. Give yourself a quiet minute or two several times a day. Pause, breathe, relax. Move your houseplant to a spot in front of you and rest your eyes on it. You don’t have to do or think anything. Let your thoughts come and go. Breathe. When your thoughts wander, gently bring your attention back to your plant.

The key to all of this is gentle focus. As you use your little succulent as a focus for your meditation, you’ll find that even a quick glance at it can give you a moment of peace. Your houseplant will become a visual reminder of that quiet space in your mind.

Photo Credit: Kira Roark

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