How Plants Are Taking Care Of Your Mental Health

Many people find comfort and tranquility through tending to their plants.

When you’re near your plants, all that stress and anxiety that you carry with you gets alleviated. Planting, nurturing, and tending to plants can be a process of taking your frustration and turning it into something productive and beautiful.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 in Americans are living with mental illness.  With so many Americans impacted by mental health issues, it’s about time we have an open conversation about the ways in which various treatments may help. Check out these reasons why plants could help with calming your anxiety and are fantastic for your mental health.

Plants and Your Mental Health

Great For Productivity and Memory

A study conducted by the University of Exeter found that in offices where workers were allowed to decorate their space with plants, productivity was boosted by 38% while creativity jumped by 45%. Overall, well-being was boosted by 47%.  An article in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture found that plants are great for enhancing one’s memory.

Other studies also show that plants are fantastic for elevating mood levels.  Especially now that more people are working remotely, it’s crucial that our living environments enhance our ability to be great at our jobs. We may not have access to state of the art office amenities, but we can do small things like get a plant to upgrade our living spaces.

If you just got a fiddle leaf fig for your home office, you can check out the Fiddle Leaf Plant Resource Center for more information on how to stop leaves from dropping, treat brown spots, and more.   

Dive into the reasons why and how plants are taking care of your mental health. Discover how plants can boost your mood and more.

Decreases Level Of Stress

We live in a world with nonstop stimulation. And now that many of us are working from home, it’s more important than ever that we find a sense of peace where we live.

The Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that interacting with plants may decrease your level of stress.  Why? It could be due to that taking care of plants suppresses sympathetic nervous system activity while encouraging feelings of comfort and relaxation.

Fiddle leaf figs are particularly great because they require a consistent level of care that can give your life some more structure. Having a regular routine is fantastic for your productivity and managing stress. 

Do you often feel like you have no time for yourself or your thoughts? Getting a plant offers a chance to take a step back from it all and just refocus on ensuring that this other living thing thrives. It could be a good feeling to step out of yourself and see things in the bigger picture. Especially during a time of transition, such as a breakup, getting a new job, or moving, you can use a sense of consistency. For instance, bringing a plant with you to your new space can remind you of the memories from before. Instead of getting overly nostalgic and not moving on, you will have a small, gentle reminder of your old life. 

Plants Are Fantastic For Improving Your Ability To Focus

We’ve all been there.

We have a list of things to do and despite how hard we try, we can’t just sit down and get it done. This can be highly frustrating and impact our ability to be great employees, partners, and friends. Though it can seem daunting, there are some practical solutions.

Did you know that plants can actually help with your ability to focus? The Royal College of Agriculture conducted a study that concluded that in classrooms containing plants, students had 70% better attention skills.  Between social media, the news cycle, and friends constantly calling and texting, it can be difficult to focus our attention on one thing at a time. Whether it’s feeling very stressed, not getting enough sleep, or just having general anxiety, there are numerous reasons why you might not be able to focus.  

If you’re struggling with concentration, getting a plant can help.  Check out the Houseplant Resource Center online to learn more about how to take care of this new addition to your household. Discover how plants and your mental health are intertwined.

Help You Become More Creative 

Creativity has been linked to boosting your happiness, decreasing your risk for dementia, and overall improving your cognitive ability. 

Having an outlet for creative expression has also been shown to be a method of overcoming trauma. With so many benefits, people should be open to new approaches to increasing your creativity. A 2015 study conducted by Human Spaces found that when workers are in an office that contains greenery, they are 15% more creative. 

Do you have a painting studio or a home office where you go to write poetry and stories? Decorating it with a plant can be a great way to boost your creative juices and get you to express yourself.  Whether it’s dancing, painting, writing, or ceramics, whatever you choose as a creative outlet can have a fantastic impact on your mental health.

Can Positively Impact Your Relationships | How Plants Are Taking Care Of Your Mental Health

With so much dating resulting in breakups, it can be worth reassessing your own approach to relationships and what you can do to be a better partner.   Through tending to a plant on a consistent basis, you learn how to manage something with patience and an open-mind. You learn that you cannot rush things and that in order to have success, you must accept a little bit of failure on the way. You also develop an ability to care for another living being and to occasionally leave your own anxieties and worries aside. These are all skills that are necessary for a happy relationship.

Studies show that patient people have better mental health and make for better companions.  On top of that, being in a good, supportive relationship can make you feel happier.  Though there are numerous methods to becoming a more patient partner, friend, neighbor, and sibling,  getting a plant is a practical way to work on skills that can apply to all of your interpersonal relationships. 

Dive into the reasons why and how plants are taking care of your mental health. Discover how plants can boost your mood and more.

A Great Way To Meet New People

Social isolation is a serious issue that can make people feel depressed and increase their risk of dementia, heart disease, and stroke.  On the other hand, socializing on a regular basis can improve your mental and physical health.  Do you find it hard to meet new people? One survey found that 45% of respondents are trying to find new companions.  So, if you feel isolated and alone, you should know that there are a lot of people who are open to making new friends! 

Though taking care of a plant may seem like a solitary activity, it can actually open you up to meeting a lot of new people who share the same interests. There are Facebook groups, discussion forums, and messaging boards where people exchange tips and information on how to take care of plants.

Additionally, you should check if your local nursery has any events that you can attend to meet new people. Even having an interest can increase your likelihood of striking up a bond. If you are out and about and find someone to talk to about taking care of plants, you have established a mutual interest that may lead to a stronger, long-lasting bond. You will be surprised to see how many people also have plants and will appreciate any pointers and you taking time out of your day to stop by and help them out. Though our lives are often structured around work, your colleagues may like talking about other things besides your nine to five. Having a plant gives you a fantastic, uncontroversial topic to discuss at work outings. 

You Will Learn How To Overcome Challenges

When you’re feeling sad, life can also seem overwhelming. You may feel like there’s too much to do and there’s no way for you to maintain your mental health and accomplish all of those complicated tasks. Goal-setting can be a method to get a handle on your mental health and boost your confidence. 

Even if taking care of a plant may seem small, being able to successfully do something on a consistent, daily basis can positively impact your overall well-being and give you reassurance that you can tackle things that may seem larger and daunting. Especially if you are trying to turn your life around, getting a plant can be a good first step to making lasting change. On the other hand, if you already have a plant, taking a moment to think about the good job you’re doing taking care of it can give you an appreciation of how far you’ve come. 

Having a plant can be a fantastic way to improve your happiness and mental health. In addition to boosting your cognitive abilities, it can make you more creative and organized. If you don’t feel great and want to talk to someone with professional expertise about it, you should look into signing up for online therapy. You can get insight into your emotions and work through your issues. Everyone deserves to feel in control of their mental health. Whether it’s getting a plant, exercising, eating well, or talking to a professional, there are numerous ways to achieve happiness.