Eight (8) months into quarantine with limited movement and for others, almost total seclusion. It is no wonder cases of anxiety and depression is on the rise. With no clear answer as to how the pandemic will end, people have found a way to redirect their anxiety or should I say, found a way to adapt. Taking care of house plants is on the rise!
There has been a growing trend towards the cultivation of indoor plants as a way to reduce psychological and physiological stress. Afterall, our nature as human beings is to nurture and care. So if it cannot be done by being with relatives and friends, it can be done by taking care of other things – pets or house plants.
A study commissioned by online magazine Healthline concluded people could reduce their psychological and psychological stress by exposing themselves to plants. Another study, published in the “Journal of Health Psychology,” compared the effects of outdoor gardening to indoor reading. The study reveals both gardening and reading decrease cortisol levels. So, whether you choose to read or to take care of plants, both activities are good for you, specially these days.
In social media it is very common to see native as well as imported plants on sale in the FB Marketplace. And it is amazing to see people who lost their jobs make money cultivating plants and selling them online. Afterall, buying and selling online has been our way of coping with the pandemic too.
Here are some proven benefits of house plants to take mental note of:
- It lowers anxiety – in the study commissioned by Healthline, it appears that constantly being around plants help people feel more relaxed, thus decreasing the levels of anxiety.
- It increases attentiveness and memory – just being around plans, whether indoor or outdoor, helps improve memory and attention span by 20% so if you are preparing for a big presentation or intending to take an exam, surround yourself with plants for an extra boost.
- It increases productivity – the study shows that employees were more productive even when just a few indoor plants were added to their workspace. Working from Home? Bring the plants inside but make sure they are suited for indoors.
- It reduces stress levels and boosts mood – caring for plants can reduce psychological and physiological stress as compared with doing mental work. It may be because caring for house plants suppresses sympathetic nervous system activity and promotes comfortable, relaxed, and natural feelings.
- It sparks creativity – people are 15 percent more creative when surrounded by greenery and natural elements, according to the same study. So, if you are having a writer’s block or can’t think of a creative solution to a business problem, take a stroll down the community garden (or stare at your neighbor’s beautifully manicured lawn) to create that spark you are looking for.
Quarantine or not, house plants deliver well in improving mental health. So, go ahead and support the garden club. Or hit the FB Marketplace to start your plant collection. And win that inner peace and sense of accomplishment that comes with nurturing house plants. It is a sure fire way of insuring that your mental health stays healthy.
Healthline, April 2019
Journal of Health Psychology