Why Houseplants are Great for Mental Health
Many studies have shown that humans as a whole are less stressed and generally healthier when we are close to plants. Houseplants can boost our overall happiness and wellbeing in many ways, some of which are surprising! Here are eight reasons why houseplants are great for our mental health – caring for nature can help us care for ourselves.
They promote mindfulness
Studies have shown that the simple act of caring for a plant can help to lower blood pressure and calm us down in similar ways to meditation. Watering, pruning and tending to our plants is a welcome distraction from stress and anxieties of work, constant use of technology and general worries. While you're focused on looking after your plants, you're in the present moment and giving your mind a well-earned break from overthinking.
They help us breathe easier
Houseplants improve air quality through the simple act of absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and replacing it with oxygen. They can also humidify the air, which helps with skin and respiratory issues through the process of transpiration. Transpiration refers to water movement through plants and subsequent evaporation of the water from their leaves, stems and flowers. Cleaner air leads to a healthier body, which leads a healthier mind!
They help us get physical
The simple process of watering your plants, dusting off their leaves and shifting them to different locations to catch some sun can help you get a little exercise and movement into your day, which many of us aren't getting enough of when working from home. Incorporating a few stretches, plant lifts, and even turning on some music and dancing around the house as you do it can turn your plant care session into a productive and mood-boosting workout.
They're beautiful to look at
Did you know that even looking out a window at a green space can improve your mental health? Being surrounded by beautiful plants can help us feel better and lift our mood without us even realising, and being happier in your living space can have tangible physiological effects like reducing blood pressure.
They release phytoncides
Phytoncides are natural chemical released by plants, which act as a defence against disease. These compounds work to help protect our immune systems as well the plants!
They're a link to the natural world
With work and general life admin taking up a big chunk of time for most of us, and so much of our day spent at computer screens or on our phones, we can end up feeling disconnected from our environment. Houseplants are a great reminder that nature is just outside our doorstep and something we should appreciate, enjoy and care for as much as possible.
They're something we can feel proud of
Seeing that our plants are thriving gives us a wholesome ego boost that can empower us more deeply. Looking after our plants provides us with a reason to get up and get moving as we nurture them, learn more about them to provide the best care and perhaps share that knowledge. Next time you see a new leaf sprouting or a flower bud unfurling on your houseplant, feel proud!
We can learn from them
Tending to plants requires care and patience, and so do people. Sometimes plants take a while to grow, sometimes they don't thrive in specific locations, and they might not always bloom big and bright, but they're still beautiful in their own way, and these factors can mirror our own lives. We need to love and care for and be as understanding of ourselves as our plants. And while we're at it, drink some water!