The Stress-Relieving Power of Plants!

 

Nature lovers know the importance of being surrounded by natural beauty. From camping, to gardening, to raising houseplants, embracing a green thumb opens you up to many relaxing hobbies! 

In fact, research has shown that surrounding yourself with plant-life both inside and outdoors can significantly improve your wellbeing! (2) 

You’ve read about the perfect House Plants for BeginnersNow, let’s learn about the benefits that indoor greenery can bring to your mental health! 

 

1. Reduces Stress 

 

“Step outside and get some fresh air!”  

We often hear this when stressed from work or personal troubles. But what if you could bring nature indoors? Would indoor plants have the same effect as an afternoon walk? 

Well, one study explored the difference in stress levels between performing a common computer task and re-potting a houseplant. Researchers measured participants’ blood pressure and their own self-reported rating of “comfortability” while performing either the computer or plant task. They found that subjects who did the computer task experienced a steady rise in blood pressure from start to finish. However, those who did the plant task experienced a drop in blood pressure. (3) 

This is one of many studies that observe the benefits of caring for indoor plants to help reduce physical and mental stress. In fact, houseplants have been shown to work so well, companies may benefit from incorporating them into the workplace, as shown in the next section. 

 

2. Enhances Job Satisfaction & Productivity  

 

Our environment plays a major role in our mood and motivation, especially at work! Yet, most people don’t decorate or beautify their workspace the same way they do their home. One study found that workers with live plants in their office-space or window views of nature from their desk reported higher job satisfaction than those without it. (1) 

Indoor plants and views of nature also increase worker productivity and attention. (2) Workers in offices with poor lighting and minimal windows used more sick leave than those in "greener" workplaces, as well. 

Overall, views of greenery, both indoors and outdoors, have been shown to reduce stress and increase the ability to focus at work.  

 

3. Decreases Depression and Anxiety Symptoms 

 

Though treatment for mental health disorders varies person to person, increased access to green spaces can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders in adults. (2)   

For example, one study compared household medical records to the community’s proximity to open green spaces, such as community parks. Residents with small amounts of green space accessible within a half-mile of their home had a greater risk of depression and anxiety, compared to residents with higher amount of green space available. 

Raising houseplants in your home can offer similar mental health benefits! If you live in a metropolitan area or don't have access to outdoor greenery, bring nature indoors and create your own green space from the comfort of your own home!

 

4. Increases Life Satisfaction 

 

When it comes to overall well-being, plants can greatly increase your life satisfaction. People who regularly engage with nature enjoy higher self-esteem, improved mood, and reduction in anger- this includes indoor nature! (2)  

There’s an overwhelming amount of research that shows the mental health benefits of surrounding yourself with plant-life. 

 

Final Thoughts 

Whether you’re a die-hard nature lover or new plant-parent, we hope you learned something useful in this article and that we've inspired you to connect with your own green-thumb!  

For more plant-related content, see our Houseplants for Beginners blog and find the perfect beginner houseplant for your lifestyle! 

Share how you engage with nature to improve your mental health with us @livetrulyfe on Instagram and Facebook

 

References: 

  1. Dravigne, A., et al (2008). HortScience horts43(1), 183-187. https://journals.ashs.org/hortsci/view/journals/hortsci/43/1/article-p183.xml 
  2. HallC and KnuthM. (2019) Journal of Environmental Horticulture. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344010151_An_Update_of_the_Literature_Supporting_the_WellBeing_Benefits_of_Plants_A_Review_of_the_Emotional_and_Mental_Health_Benefits_of_Plants 
  3.  Lee, M. S., et al (2015). Journal of physiological anthropology34(1), 21. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40101-015-0060-8