Psychological Benefits of Keeping Indoor Plants in Your Home

By Amber Smith
Dec 22, 2021 5:30 PMDec 22, 2021 5:23 PM
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Psychological Benefits of Keeping Indoor Plants in Your Home

We all know the health benefits of spending time in nature. Whether we take walks around the block or head to a state park for the weekend, removing ourselves from the hustle and bustle is a boon to our mental stability.

However, people still spend considerably more time indoors than out. A recent study found that 85 percent of a person’s life is spent inside. Our homes often add to our stress. For instance, many people report “technostress,” or the anxiety of being too closely connected to technology.

A way to counteract the stress of spending so much time indoors is by surrounding yourself with houseplants. Not only does interacting with plants improve mood, but it also boosts satisfaction and reduces stress.

Curious about the psychological and physiological health benefits of houseplants? Here are five studies that explain why houseplants add so much to your indoor space.

Houseplants improved mood during lockdown

A survey of more than 4,000 people from around the world demonstrated the mood-boosting properties of houseplants. Almost 75 percent of respondents noted that their plants had improved their outlook during the pandemic. Fifty-five percent even wished they had more plants to care for, while 63 percent found these benefits so useful that they wanted to spend more time caring for their plants once the pandemic ended.

If you’re considering starting or adding to your houseplant collection, consider the mood-boosting Majesty Palm.

Indoor plants help you live more optimistically in the moment

Matthew Flanigan, a primary care doctor, advises patients on ways to improve their psychological state without medicine. One of the methods he recommends is growing easy-care plants like the Peace Lily.

The benefits of houseplants are profound. For instance, they boost optimism and happiness, and even a bacterium in the soil of houseplants is hypothesized to improve mood and alleviate stress.

Caring for plants also has psychological benefits. For one, humans like to bond with other types of living things, so caring for plants can add a sense of purpose and fulfillment. What’s more, houseplants engage many of our senses, helping us live more presently. This type of in-the-moment mindfulness has many therapeutic benefits.

Tending to houseplants adds to your sense of ease and comfort

A study discovered that caring for plants is a calming activity. In the study, young men were asked to either transplant houseplants or type a document in a word-processing program. After 15 minutes of caring for plants, participants felt “comfortable, soothed, and natural.” Alternatively, after working on the computer for this same short period, they felt “uncomfortable, awakened, and artificial.”

Participants also reported more contentment after interacting with plants. In contrast, their blood pressure increased and their sympathetic nervous systems kicked into high gear after working on the computer.

These studies suggest that even a short time interacting with indoor plants can comfort gardeners and boost their mood. You may want to invest in several houseplants like the Monstera Deliciosa and the Coffee Arabica plant so you can reap the benefits of a 15-minute interaction.

Gazing on live plants improves concentration and attention span

Several studies found that indoor plants helped individuals on their journeys to psychological restoration. When a person is completing regular tasks, their psychological and physiological resources are depleted.

Indoor plants go a long way towards replenishing these resources. Specifically, connecting with houseplants has been proven to improve individuals’ concentration and attention. They also help relieve negative moods associated with stress.

You don’t even have to do anything to reap these positives.

“In these processes, indoor plants are seen as features of the indoor environment that attract attention without effort and evoke positive emotions that can respectively promote renewal of the capacity to concentrate and interrupt the stress process,” explains the American Society for Horticultural Science.

An unusual plant like the Sago Palm Tree is helpful in distracting you from stress and holding your attention.

Keeping plants at home encourages your creativity

It’s no surprise that negative psychological effects like bad moods or stress would also dampen creativity. So, along with these benefits of houseplants, your imagination is also improved by houseplants or other natural elements you incorporate into your home.

A 2015 study explored the effect of biophilic design – which includes natural elements like plants indoors as well as views of greenery outside – on a workplace. The study showed a 15 percent increase in creativity in response to this shift.

While you can reap these benefits by keeping a fresh vase of flowers on your desk, you could add a versatile Kimberly Queen Fern to your creative space instead.

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