Indoor Plant Effects on Mental Health

September 16, 2020

Indoor Plant Effects on Mental Health

Now that working from home is the new normal and winter is quickly approaching, we will be spending a lot more time indoors! It's so important to create a space that fosters good mental health. A great way to do this is to add plants into your home! There are many health benefits that come along with having and caring for plants of your own.

 

Studies carried out since the 1980s have showcased how natural environments can affect human beings. More recently however, researchers have begun to focus on how interacting with plants affects us both physiologically and psychologically. For example, when in a stressful situation, your sympathetic nervous system starts to overreact, and this can cause your cardiovascular system to suffer some damage. One study found that interacting with plants actually relieves both physiological stress as well as negative psychological symptoms! In return, the risk of cardiovascular damage is significantly reduced.¹ 

 

Other benefits include enhanced job satisfaction in the workplace, improved mood states and enhanced cognitive health.¹ All of this can offer resistance to diseases and chronic stress. With all these benefits, it's no wonder everyone is jumping on the plant bandwagon! 

 

 

Hiking, working in a garden, or even just taking a short walk in your neighborhood can help restore the mind from the mental fatigue of work or studies thus contributing to improved work performance and satisfaction. So why not bring those things indoors!? By having some plants or starting an indoor garden such as our Hamama Grow Kits you can experience all these benefits from the comfort of your home! Not only is indoor gardening a satisfying and fulfilling experience, it can also help alleviate symptoms of Alzheimers, dementia, stress, and depression, and improve cognitive function.²

 

Plants help in all walks of life! Indoor gardening was shown to improve life satisfaction and significantly decrease the perception of loneliness for older people living in nursing homes!³ In children, interactions with plants helps develop cognitive, emotional, and behavioral connections to their social and biophysical environments. “Green time” is often used as as an effective supplement to traditional medicinal and behavioral treatments. This can help encourage imagination and creativity, cognitive and intellectual development - including reduced symptoms of ADD, and improved social relationships.² Now that’s what I call a symbiotic relationship!

Many companies have even begun to incorporate more greenery into their building design by ways of walkways, parks and greenspaces to provide calming and inspiring environments that encourage learning, inquisitiveness, and alertness. The Amazon Spheres located in Seattle have taken it a step further and created a whole ecosystem within their work space!

The Amazon Spheres - Copyright: Photograph by Stuart Isett. ©2018 Stuart Isett.

 

As we enter mental health month, consider adding a couple green friends to your space! Owning and caring for plants doesn’t just have to be a hobby, it can ultimately be an experience that leads to better mental health overall! 

 

Sources:

  1. Lee, Min-Sun et al. “Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study.” Journal of physiological anthropology vol. 34,1 21. 28 Apr. 2015, doi:10.1186/s40101-015-0060-8

  2. Wolf, K.L., & K. Flora. 2010. Mental Health and Function - A Literature Review. In: Green Cities: Good Health (www.greenhealth.washington.edu). College of the Environment, University of Washington.

  3. Tse, Mimi Mun Yee. “Therapeutic Effects of an Indoor Gardening Programme for Older People Living in Nursing Homes.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 12 Mar. 2010, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.02803.x. 

 



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