Their interaction with plants trains them to be here and now. They slowly start to pay attention. Things like, what’s the tea today, now I can taste coffee and enjoy it.

For the first weeks, the participants often spend their garden hours lying down alone in the garden, either in a hammock or on the ground. Because the program operates year-round, they wear large insulated snowsuits as needed. “Many cannot feel anything” due to severe depression, said Pálsdóttir. “They’ve almost lost sensory contact from the chin down. As part of healing, the body and the brain connect again. Their interaction with plants trains them to be here and now. They slowly start to pay attention. Things like, what’s the tea today, now I can taste coffee and enjoy it. It helps them calm down.”

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams

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