You’ve heard the saying ‘to be at one with nature’, right? The feeling you get after walking through a forest or hiking up a mountain. How the fresh air and greenery clear your mind and give you an unmistakable sense of calm.
It’s something many of us fail to make time for in our busy schedules. Instead of being around greenery, we’re concentrating on screens, dashing from meeting to meeting and running countless errands. When do we really get time to ‘be at one with nature?’
Although they can’t give us the same experience as walking outdoors amongst nature, house plants can actually provide many similar benefits. Not only do they spruce up your interiors, but their very presence can also instil a sense of calm and help to reduce anxiety. Here’s how…
1. They remind us of the outdoors and a simple way of living
Bringing the outside in can invite a sense of calm by reminding us of the outdoors and a more grounded lifestyle. Green is naturally a calming colour which brings a sense of tranquillity to a space, this, in turn, can help to reduce stress levels.
Author and wellness consultant, Emma Mills says that “By bringing the outside in and enriching our indoor spaces with houseplants, this reminds us of a natural simple way of living. A pace of life that is slower yet still incredibly intelligent, beautiful and efficient.”
The Journal of Physiological Anthropology reported that “interacting with indoor plants (i.e. touching and smelling them) can reduce both physiological and psychological stress.” Being around natural greenery instils a sense of calm that we don’t get from other stimuli.
Furthermore, the physical act of potting the plants can also positively impact our mental health. This is because soil contains ‘outdoorphins’, small microbes found outside which have been scientifically proven to reduce negative feelings and boost our mood.
So, rather than buying your plants already potted, why not get a little green-fingered and do it yourself. Buy in the soil, pots and plants and feel the benefits of those outdoorphins!
2. They balance our energy
Countless studies have shown that when in a room with plants, people feel less stressed. Nature boosts our mood and can even make us more productive, hence why plenty of offices have their fair share of plants.
What’s so special about indoor plants is that, in a world of technology and screens, they ground us and bring us back to basics. They invoke a sense of mindfulness and an appreciation of nature that we don’t get from social media, for example.
The very act of watering and caring for a plant takes you away from your daily schedule. It gives you a short break from the tasks at hand and takes your mind to another place. If you work from home, having plants around your office can give you that balance and daily watering break you need to reduce stress and anxiety.
3. They clean the air
Whilst plants emit Oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis, they also purify the air around us. Scientific studies have demonstrated that homes with plants have cleaner air than those without. Research has demonstrated that homes with houseplants “contain up to 60% less airborne moulds and bacteria than those without any greenery.”
This is because plants naturally absorb gases around them through pores on their leaves during photosynthesis. In addition to Carbon Monoxide, the air we emit, plants also absorb a whole host of other gases. They include Benzene which is found in fabrics, plastics and cigarette smoke. Formaldehyde which is in detergents and household cleaning products as well as particles found in mould.
This, in turn, can help reduce illness and time off work – keeping stress levels low.
Want to invest in some plants now?
If you’re impressed by the mood-enhancing effect indoor plants can have and want to invest in your own, here’s a handy list of NASA approved houseplants that improve indoor air quality.
Just remember, if you’re new to plants, it’s often a good idea to start with smaller, low maintenance species. After all, the last thing you want is plant care causing you stress!
When you’ve potted and preened your new plants, be sure to tag us on social media! We’d love to see them!