House plants make everything a little bit better

Zoe is a huge advocate for house plants. Plants for style, and plants for that wonderful fresh feeling in a room. I come from a psychology background which made me interested in why we are all drawn to having pot plants in our homes, even if the poor things are likely to survive for less time than a fruit fly in a science lab.

A little digging of popular psychology sites and with our friends over at Cootr.org.uk and I have some interesting facts on why we should not just enjoy the house plants we have but should be actively adding more to every room of the house!

So whether purely for interest's sake or to add weight to the "we need more plants in here" at the office, in the classroom or at home here is what I found out.

 

This photo was taken at our latest photoshoot. The plants in this room made for such an awesome backdrop.

 

Air Quality

Not only do plants look amazing but they actively boost the quality of our air. Seems obvious yet for the vast majority of us spend over 50% of our time indoors. In urban areas, offices, classrooms as well as at homes air pollution can be several times higher than outdoors. According to an article published in “Water, Air and Soil Pollution", plants removed high doses of benzene from the air within 24 hours. Outdoor plants also reduce air pollution.


So what of the psychological benefits of house plants?

Interacting with nature (green space adn blue spaces) is essential to maintaining a good sense of well-being and connects us to our surroundings. Through gardening and spending time around plants, getting outside into green spaces more often an individuals can reap a wide range of psychological benefits. Here are just a few mental health benefits of being around indoor plants and gardening.

 

Feel Happier


Human beings generally feel happier and more optimistic in surroundings with plenty of plants and nature. Consider a survey conducted at four San Francisco Bay Area hospitals. In the survey, 79 percent of patients said they felt more relaxed and calm, 19 percent felt more positive, and 25 percent felt refreshed and stronger after spending time in a garden.

Flowers also trigger positive emotions. In a 2005 study, women who received flowers reported more positive moods three days later. Elderly patients who received flowers also reported brighter moods and improved episodic memory.

Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety


Living with and looking at plants and flowers, whether indoors or outdoors, is a peaceful and mindful activity. It encourages living in the present moment and engages the senses. When you take time to apprechiate nature your cortisol levels drop in turn reducing your stress and anxiety.

In a study published in the “Journal of Physiological Anthropology” one group of participants worked on computer tasks, while another group transplanted indoor plants. After completing their assignments, the groups switched. The researchers found the subjects felt more comfortable and relaxed after the transplanting task, rather than the computer task. The study concluded individuals could reduce psychological and psychological stress by interacting with plants.  

Improves Attention Span


being around plants strengthens attention span, which can aid concentration and learning. Gardening and surrounding ourselves also helps children and adults to achieve academically. A study published by the American Society for Horticultural Science demonstrates the impact of gardening activities as part of a science curriculum. Students who gardened scored significantly higher on a science achievement test than students who studied science in a traditional classroom setting.

Plants make us more productive in the work place as well as making even the most officy offices more enjoyable!

Boost Self Esteem


Low self-esteem is an increasingly common experience among adolescents and adults of all ages. Social media and societal norms and structure all play a part. Children and young adults can benefit from taking technology breaks and heading outdoors. Gardening is one way to generate excitement about connecting with nature and the world outside. Adding plants to living spaces and bedrooms can be hugely benifical.

When children take care of plants and watch plants grow, they observe a transformation, learn responsibility and find a grounding in what nature can offer. We can also learn it does not matter what we look like or if we have a mental health issue we can be nurturers and contribute their love and attention to the world.