Don’t Worry, Get Planty: How Indoor Plants Positively Impact Mental Health
Your plants mean a lot to you. You might even spend more time with your houseplants than you spend with family members (and nobody is going to judge you for that). In fact, it is well-documented that our love of plants is actually really, really good for our well-being, but you might be wondering just why exactly this is. According to scientists and psychological experts, plants provide a myriad of benefits to your life, especially during the winter months. Here’s how!
Winter Makes us Grumpy
There’s no doubt about it: winter can make us feel pretty crummy. It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s barren. Did we mention it’s cold? Winter has a nasty habit of taking its toll on even the best of us, and many people suffer from some form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD for short). SAD often brings on the following symptoms:
- Low mood
- Inability to focus
Many of these common symptoms, even if they’re mild, are attributed to low vitamin D intake due to a lack of sun exposure, less fresh air and exercise, and, not surprisingly, a lack of stimulation from the great outdoors. When winter hits the Oceanside area, it’s a time to hide in our houses and hunker down with hot drinks and piles of books, but we at the Dees’ Nursery know all too well the power of plants to kick those winter blahs in the backside!
Plants demand a certain level of commitment from you, which inevitably pulls your attention away from other things that might be making you blue.
How do Plants Improve Mental Health?
This is becoming an increasingly trending question these days, because everyone wants to know! How exactly do plants improve mental health, anyway? As it turns out, there are a few key elements to this phenomenon, and some are more obvious than others. Here are the best-documented benefits of having houseplants in your home all year long:
The Nurturing Effect
If you currently have plants of your own, you know the attention they need to stay alive. Plants demand a certain level of commitment from you, which inevitably pulls your attention away from other things that might be making you blue. Studies have consistently shown that caring for plants improves focus, lowers stress levels, keeps the mind from indulging in negative thought patterns, and even helps people recover more quickly from illness. Exposure to nature is also proven to lower our cortisol levels (the primary stress hormone) and increase our ability to concentrate.
Scientists attribute many of these amazing benefits to the Biophilia Hypothesis. This belief states that humans are genetically predisposed to be attracted to nature because of a deep, primordial connection. As gardeners, this concept is hard to refute and makes for a great reason to buy more plants, right? After all, it’s in our DNA!
The Clean Air Effect
Not only do houseplants help us think on our toes, but they also quietly and efficiently eliminate harmful toxins from our homes and refresh the air we breathe. When you’re spending so much time on the couch during the winter, having plants indoors is especially helpful as you’re missing out on some prime outside time. This lack of the outdoors is a surefire trigger for low mood. The smell of flowers and grass, alongside the visual stimulation of green space, colorful flowers, and lush green foliage, is sorely lacking this time of year. Because of this lack, the pop of greenery and fresh, clean air that houseplants bring your indoor spaces during winter are surefire ways to boost your mood!
Plants that Help with Depression and Anxiety
We already know that all plants are amazing and are going to be your BFFs all winter long, but there are actually a few specific plants that help with depression and anxiety. These beauties are all easy to care for and will forgive a few bad days, but they also look beautiful and are sure to keep your mind from straying too far away:
- Succulents & Cacti: Go for these super houseplants to improve your mental health. They are extremely easy to care for and can do without much watering or care over the winter when they’re dormant. Cactus varieties are also super cool to look at and make superb displays all year round.
- Snake Plant: Take our advice—get a snake plant! One of the most popular houseplants you can have nearby, these stunning plants are at the top of every list, including air purification, ease of care, and general awesomeness in appearance.
- Pothos: Another great houseplant candidate, pothos come in many different varieties and are quite well-tempered as houseplant companions. These trailing plants are sure to keep you smiling!
- Spider Plant: You’re going to love the spider plant: we guarantee it! Watching this plant grow plantlets is super rewarding, and its overflowing nature makes for a visually stunning houseplant buddy.
If you’re having a hard time getting motivated this winter, or you just don’t have enough houseplants to make your indoor Oceanside oasis of plants a reality quite yet, stop by and visit us at The Dees’ Nursery and Florist. Bring along the kids and the dogs, and enjoy a day surrounded by plants, humidity, vitamin D, and some good old-fashioned plant therapy!