The Mental and Physical health benefits of surrounding yourself with plants!
Surrounding yourself with Houseplants and Terrariums is an incredible way to improve both your mental and physical wellbeing.
THE MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF HOUSEPLANTS
A study published in 2015 in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that interacting with plants in an indoor setting induces physiological and psychological relaxation, your mood will improve and daily stress is relieved. In the study, participants were given two different tasks: repotting a houseplant or completing a short computer-based task. After each task, researchers measured the biological factors associated with stress, including heart rate and blood pressure.
They found that the indoor gardening task lowered the stress response in participants. The computer task, on the other hand, caused a spike in heart rate and blood pressure, even though the study participants were young men well-accustomed to computerised work. Even if they had never repotted a houseplant before, this was the least stressful task out of the two.
Having plants around when working will increase your focus on the task at hand, a small cluster of houseplants or Terrariums are the perfect desk accessories. Even just the colour green can diffuse anxiety and help promote a calm environment.
Using your hands to repot your houseplants or make a Terrarium will also help your mood; contact with soil and a specific soil bacteria, Mycobacterium, triggers the release of serotonin in our brain. Serotonin is a happy chemical, a natural anti-depressant and strengthens the immune system, which in turn can lead to many physical benefits.
THE PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF HOUSEPLANTS
The physical benefits of having Houseplants in your home is just as extraordinary as the mental health benefits.
Flowers and Houseplants have long been taken to people in hospitals, but actually why is this?!
Having a houseplant in your vicinity can in fact reduce headaches and fatigue by up to 25%, blood pressure can also decrease as a result of the calming effects of plants
A study at the Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan found plants are so effective at helping patients recover from surgery that they recommend them as “noninvasive, inexpensive, and effective complementary medicine for surgical patients.” The study found that viewing plants after surgery reduced blood pressure and lowered levels of pain, anxiety, and fatigue.
One thing we haven’t touched upon yet is how houseplants have the ability to clean the air, this itself can lead to so many other health benefits.
Over 4 million people worldwide die prematurely due to indoor air pollution, having houseplants in your office can clean the air by up to 25%.
But how does this work? By taking in the Carbon Dioxide that we exhale and producing oxygen through photosynthesis - houseplants are our best office friends. They also remove many harmful chemicals from the air such as Trichlorethylene, Benzene and Formaldehyde, whats more the
roots and soil of houseplants reduced airborne volatile organic
compounds (VOCs) significantly.
In the 1980’s when offices started to implement greater insulation and buildings were becoming completely airtight, with lack of windows to open, instead pumping recycled air around the building, many employees started to get symptoms such as scratchy throats, eye irritation and headaches, this in turn was know as Sick Building Syndrome.
Because of this many organisations started working on ways to introduce cleaner air into these environments, namely implementing Houseplants into the space.
Taking a moment in your day to check over your houseplants and water them or prune them or just wipe their leaves is the perfect way to take a moment of calm, it will in turn help you to focus better throughout the day, increasing your productivity but decreasing your stress.
In Japan and Korea there is an activity called Shinrin-Yoko, Shinrin means Forest, Yoko means bath. So basically forest bathing.
This is all about being surrounded by nature, heading into the forest, not to run or exercise but to open your senses, feel, smell and listen to the forest, reconnecting to nature and bridging the gap between us and the natural world, it is medically prescribed in Japan and Korea to treat mental illness.
If you are feeling anxious go and find yourself a green space or take a moment and practice some breathing exercises surrounded by your houseplants. Make time to reconnect with nature!
Looking for bringing wellbeing into your work place? Our workplace workshops are a wonderful option.