Health & Wellness

5 Ways Plants Help With Your Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

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Plants are a big trend in home décor right now. They look pretty, they smell good, and they’re an inexpensive way to add some color to an office or an apartment.

But that’s not the only reason that people love decorating with plants …

They can actually help your mental health and make you feel better!

Ready to learn why? Here are five ways plants help with your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Breathe Better

Remember way back in elementary school when your science teacher talked about photosynthesis? If you paid attention in class, you’d know where we’re going with this.

As part of the process of photosynthesis, plants release oxygen into the air. They also release moisture and humidity into the air, improving the overall air quality and making it easier to breathe.

In addition to the increase in oxygen and moisture, plants also reduce the toxins in the air around us. They are nature’s air purifiers.

One of the many benefits of having good air quality in your home is that it makes it easier to get a good night’s sleep. And a good night’s sleep is essential to everyone’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Improve Your Concentration

Breathing better leads to improved sleep patterns. Improved sleep patterns lead to all sorts of benefits – including improved concentration.

Would you be happier and feel more satisfied with your life if you were able to perform better at work, at home or at school? Of course, you would! And that’s why improving your concentration is so important.

It’s easy to feel down about yourself when you’re not performing to expectations or living up to your potential.

By learning how to improve your mental performance, you’ll begin to have more positive feelings about yourself. You’ll have more reasons to be proud of yourself, and that can inspire you to accomplish even more in life.

Ready to learn how to focus more and concentrate better at work or at school? It’s time to decorate your home and office with some plants.

The more you learn to concentrate, the more productive you’ll be, and increased productivity can be beneficial to the brain in a variety of different ways.

Reduce Stress and Lessen Anxiety

Do you ever stress over the fact that you didn’t finish that project at work or that you still haven’t read that book for school? The more productive you can be, the less likely you are to have those feelings of work-related stress and anxiety.

When you accomplish more throughout the day, you have more downtime when you get home at night. That can free up time for you to relax with your family, spend time enjoying the things you love to do, and finding ways to unwind.

All of these things lead to better mental health and a positive emotional state.

Plants also have a calming, relaxing effect on the mind and body. And the more you interact with those plants, the greater the effects can be.

Clipping, feeding, watering and tending to plants has a soothing effect on the brain and puts the brain in a serene, relaxed mode. That alone can lessen anxiety and help to reduce feelings of stress and sadness.

Create a Sense of Accomplishment

Many people feel better about themselves when they know that they’re needed and being appreciated for the things they do. Caring for plants is an easy and simple way to get that feeling.

If you take good care of your plants by watering, clipping, and tending to them on a regular basis, you will see them thrive and grow. And seeing them bloom and grow can create a powerful sense of accomplishment. In fact, there is an entire scientific discipline based on this theory: horticultural therapy.

Horticultural therapy programs exist in schools, prisons, nursing homes, rehab centers and mental health facilities. It is effective through both outdoor gardening and indoor planting. Horticultural therapy is used to soothe people’s nerves, reduce negative stimuli on the brain and build confidence.

All of these things can put you into a much better headspace.

If you have never tended to plants before, start with plants that are easy to maintain and difficult to kill. Aloe, certain varieties of ferns, rubber plants  and the Christmas cactus are some of the easiest to care for.

Make You More Active

There’s no question that indoor plants offer a variety of benefits that can improve your mental health. But spending time around plants outdoors can be even more beneficial.

Like indoor plants, outdoor plants can help calm you down, improve your concentration and reduce anxiety. Certain plants, with certain aromas, can even boost creativity!

But exercising outdoors, in a natural environment, goes one step further. Exercising outdoors can also help to improve your self-esteem.

Plants, along with sunlight, can be invigorating to both the mind and body. Exercise and sunlight both boost the levels of serotonin in your brain, and serotonin helps regulate your mood and behaviors.

Boosting your mood with increased levels of serotonin is good for your mental health and your emotional wellbeing. It can also make you want to be more active, exercise more, and become more physically fit, all of which can boost your self-esteem!

Can Plants Help With Your Mental Health?

Plants aren’t just pretty to look at and fun to decorate with – they can also improve your mental health and wellbeing by:

  • Helping you breathe better
  • Improving air quality and promoting better sleep habits
  • Reducing stress and lowering levels of anxiety
  • Creating a sense of accomplishment
  • Boosting your self-esteem
  • Making you more active

Plants may be pretty to look at and easy to decorate with, but the fact that they can help your mental health is perhaps the greatest benefit of all.

If you don’t already have some houseplants in your home or office, it’s time to go get some. A few small flower pots on a windowsill or on your desk can make a huge difference in how you feel and how you behave.

You might also be interested in: 14 Houseplants Safe For Cats (And Dogs)

Jessica Heston

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