It seems that more of us than ever are either spending more time in our homes or working from them. For some, this has meant newfound flexibility, but for others, it has created more loneliness and isolation.
The solution to this problem might be simpler than you think. Research has shown that adding plants to your home, known as biophilic design, can have significant health benefits.
“The benefits of biophilic design have been linked to an extraordinary number of positive health improvements, physically, psychologically and socially both short and long-term,” Suzie Barnett, general manager of Sydney-based ‘living i nfrastructure’ company Junglefy, and Chair of the Biophilic Design Initiative, shared.
So what are these benefits of incorporating plants into your home?
#1: Reduce Stress
Adding a green friend to your house can help you regulate your stress. Many plants, such as lavender, are often consumed in tea to help relieve stress and anxiety. But it turns out that plants can do more to help us relieve stress than just being boiled for tea. Having potted plants around your house can be invaluable for battling the stress and anxiety which can weigh us down. According to a Journal of Physiological Anthropology study, plants in your home or office can make you feel more comfortable, soothed and natural.
Furthermore, the study also found that the gardening needed to help these plants thrive in your home also helped to reduce physiological and psychological stress. This could be especially helpful for those who handle demanding tasks or mental stress. For example, being around plants can help reduce your blood pressure, heart rate and your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, while some plants like lavender can reduce anxiety.
Researchers also have found that plants can help those suffering from mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety by increasing “feelings of well-being.” So if you find yourself suffering from routine or occasional depression, anxiety or stress, make sure to consider growing some green friends!
#2: Create a Better Work Environment
Creating a better working environment for you is another benefit of keeping house plants. Research has found that by working near plants, you can increase your creativity and job satisfaction. Adding an indoor plant can improve concentration and productivity by up to 15%. Thus, adding a potted plant to your home office can help you work faster and be more creative, making plants a must-have for those that work at home.
However, plants can have substantial health benefits even if you don’t work from home.
“Students in classrooms with three potted plants performed better on math, spelling, reading, and science tests than kids in classrooms without any greens,” Dr. Serkissian, a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, shared.
This principle holds true even if you’re not a student. Science routinely shows that working near plants will increase your focus to accomplish any task.
#3: Boost Your Mood
In addition to helping you be productive and reduce stress, plants can raise your mood. As we have all experienced at one point or another, a bouquet can often help brighten one’s day. But this holds for more than just flowers.
As explained by Joey Doherty, a Certified Wellness Counselor, having plants in your home boosts your mood by releasing cytokines, leading your brain to produce more serotonin. This release of serotonin causes your brain to feel happier and more relaxed, which improves mood. As a result, adding plants to your home is like adding a natural antidepressant that can raise your mood even on the darkest day.
#4: Improve Your Air Quality
Plants can also work as natural air filters to purify your air. According to a study conducted by NASA, houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours. Removing these toxins allows you to breathe easier and, consequently, to feel better. This is especially true for people who suffer from allergies, as plants also purify the air by removing dust and mold.
Adding a plant to your home can make your air healthier. If it’s healthy enough for NASA, then it’s probably healthy for you too!
#5: Keep You Healthier
Plants go beyond your air and mental health; they also improve your physical health and help you combat illness. According to several studies, plants and greenery can help surgery patients heal faster and tolerate pain better. By adding a plant to your home, you can contribute to the strength of your body to heal faster and need less pain medication.
Plants are so much more than pleasant house decorations. They can tangibly improve your lifestyle by reducing your stress, improving your work environment, boosting your mood and air quality, all while helping you stay healthier for longer. All these benefits can only mean one thing: adding plants to your home is a must-have for everyone, from students to home office workers!