According to a study in Scientific American, orgasm and meditation elicit similar results in the brain by reducing thoughts surrounding our sense of self (i.e., the thoughts that flit around our brains nonstop like, Am I thin enough? Am I getting enough sleep? Was I social enough at that last party? Did I look okay?)
However, I argue that mindful gardening (a form of meditation) is better than orgasm since you can practice it for hours and, as one blogger pointed out, you don’t usually have to shower afterwards or worry that you’re pregnant.
Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present. This means paying attention to the sensations in your body and the sights, sounds, and smells around us. It’s a form of meditation that I find a lot easier than completely emptying the mind. With mindfulness, you can even choose a topic to contemplate or “be mindful” about such as having compassion for others or feeling thankful.
Rather than sitting still on a giant, fancy pouf, you can practice mindfulness anywhere! I’m best at practicing mindfulness when I’m performing simple tasks such as folding laundry, washing dishes, or gardening. When I try to sit still and practice mindfulness as a strict form of meditation, my mind drifts to all the tasks I feel I should be doing instead. Practicing mindfulness while instead performing those tasks frees up my mind from the guilt of sitting around and doing nothing.
Mindful gardening is especially rewarding because it brings me closer to nature. I love the feel of the sun on my skin, surrounded by the smell of tomato plants and nutrient rich earth. The best task I’ve found thus far for practicing mindful gardening has been handpicking blueberries.
Though it’s a simple task, picking blueberries requires you to stay focused, keeping your attention on the one blueberry you’re pulling from the plant and trying not to get the stem with the blueberry. If you’re distracted by another patch of bigger, bluer blueberries (as I constantly am), you could fumble the one blueberry you’re trying to pick and lose it among the dead grass below the blueberry bush.
I like this form of mindfulness because I can always tell when my mind is straying whenever I drop or fumble a blueberry. It’s easy to simply refocus on the next blueberry and keep all my attention on it.
After a few hours (or event 10 minutes) of mindful gardening, I find myself feeling more centered and able to fully focus on the next task. My mind doesn’t immediately switch back to shuffling through 8,000 self-involved thoughts and I have some peace for some time afterwards.
So while an orgasm might be great, it’s a fleeting feeling, as is the euphoria that follows it. Why not follow it up with some mindful gardening that will leave your brain feeling even more refreshed for a longer period of time?
But maybe put on some clothes first.