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Horticulture therapy: science-backed reasons why you should add plants to your interiors

From alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety, to feel-good bacteria in soil, here are five science-backed reasons why you should add plants to your home

Enchanting world of green. Credit / Unsplash.

Imagine yourself strolling along a natural pathway in the green of the woods, listening to the swaying of the trees, chasing the sun rays bursting through the gaps in the leaves, and inhaling the enchanting smell of damp moss, rain and flowers. What if you could recreate this magical tranquil feeling at home? Well, we think you can and here are the benefits of doing so.

Nature experiences and happiness

Potted cacti and desert plants. Credit / Unsplash.

Time spent in nature is good for you, but we don’t always have easy access to the outdoors in our most stressful moments.

According to multiple studies conducted over the years, people feel significantly happier and more optimistic in surroundings with an abundance of plants. And creating a more soothing environment at home may only require you placing a single plant on your windowsill.

Flowers also evoke positive emotions. The sensory stimuli presented with the colourful aura of flowers has been directly linked to brighter moods and even an improved episodic memory, as shown in a 2005 study by The State University of New Jersey.

Relieves stress and anxiety

A handful of happiness. Credit / Unsplash.

An even better way to encourage positive associations with your day-to-day life is through gardening. The art of gardening is the closest connection to nature we have outside of well, nature. The steps correlated with successful gardening allows us to focus on the bigger picture, rather than stress over minor nuances. This can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Additionally, the physical aspect of gardening releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. While working with the soil scientifically makes us happier, as discovered in a 2007 study published in the journal, Neuroscience. A bacterium in soil called Mycobacterium vaccae also triggers the release of serotonin, which aside from reducing negative emotional build-ups, helps lift your spirits.

Prolongs attention span

Office greenery. Credit / Unsplash.

Struggling to maintain your attention for longer than a few minutes at a time? Well, we may have found an easy solution. Being present in green settings aids in strengthening concentration levels and learning abilities. So make sure you fill your home office shelves with just as many plants as books.

Boosts self-esteem

Evoking happiness through gardening. Credit / Unsplash.

Low self-esteem is a common issue many of us face, more recently directly linked with societal pressures intertwined with the social media experience. Hence why a break from technology and reconnecting with the outdoors sounds like an appealing and necessary option. Interacting with your own plants can be your at-home getaway.

Taking care of plants and observing their growth generates excitement towards witnessing an incredible, natural transformation. The growth and development of your green friends metaphorically mimics the growth and development of a human being. An opportunity to nurture, love and contribute time and attention to gardening is an opportunity to gain a sense of self-worth regardless of social pressure.

Boosts productivity

Managing productivity. Credit / Unsplash.

Aside from the obvious benefits of having plants in your work space, such as making it look pretty, research published in articles like ‘Water, Air & Soil Pollution‘ and a 2014 study by the University of Exeter has shown that plants in the work environment increase workplace satisfaction, levels of concentration and perceived air quality. This is great news as the more oxygen your brain receives, the better and faster it works. So, go green in your office space and reap the benefits of being more physically, cognitively, and emotionally involved in your work.

From plant to plate

Healthy food diaries. Credit / Unsplash.

Growing your own food, or even just opting for green accessories for your interior can encourage healthier eating habits.

Deciding to grow your own produce can even make for an exciting after-school activity for kids. You can choose the foods you wish to grow and end up with better-tasting results plus no pesticides. Easy yet delicious options are herbs, cherry tomatoes, radishes, and zucchini – all which can be grown in controlled environments indoors. Plus, children (and adults) are more likely to consume their own creations, resulting in doubled or even trebled daily fruit and vegetable servings, as proven in a 2007 study by the Saint Louis University’s Obesity Prevention Center.

For more interior-healing hacks, learn how to harness the benefits of aromatherapy in your home.

By Samira Banat

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