The lockdowns and social distancing that’s starting to become characteristic of these times push people over the edge. Recent studies found that people feel more anxious because they lack human interaction (a fundamental need), which in turn has a negative impact on mental health and our possibilities to learn and grow as a species.
Luckily, we had some help from modern technologies. People can still stay in touch with family and friends, even though it’s not face-to-face. Furthermore, many found new communities due to social media use and got to explore new hobbies.
Indoor gardening is such a hobby that got new wind because of social media networks. People everywhere like to post pictures of their baby plants, but they also share tips, guidance, and befriend each other over their love for plants. What’s even more interesting is that taking care of plants (with or without flowers, indoors or outdoors) is a habit with well-documented mental health benefits (as mentioned below).
#1: Reduce Stress Levels
Indoor plants can make you feel closer to nature (we, as humans, need walks in nature in order to feel comfortable). They have a soothing effect just by being in our field of vision. Plus, when we tend to our plants (repotting, cleaning, watering), studies show that stress levels are reduced.
Furthermore, there was a study that found plant soil houses a bacterium that helps trigger serotonin production in our system. Now, serotonin is a feel-good hormone that helps reduce anxiety and even helps alleviate symptoms of depression.
#2: Boosts Productivity
Various studies show both employees and students perform better when there are plants around. Also, scientists found that people who work in offices with a view of the park or a generally green area are happier and more focused.
This happens because plants represent a natural element in or in close proximity to your working/living space. So, next time when you try to choose between Valentine’s flower delivery or chocolates, go with the flowers – they have a lot more benefits!
#3: Increase Health
First of all, indoor plants are known to help with cleaning the air (they feed on CO2 and release oxygen). However, did you know there are some edible flowers that we can introduce in our diet as a supplement?
Dandelions and roses are the ones that come first to mind, but there is a wide range of flowers you could be enjoying in more ways than one. Still, there’s more to indoor plants than this. Taking care of an indoor garden is a type of light physical activity that keeps you moving while doing something you love.
#4: Peace of Mind
Have you ever spent a few minutes just staring at a beautiful flower? Or may you’ve stopped to enjoy the sweet and soft fragrance of a rose. Any of these situations are stimulating for the brain and help us increase focus and keep anxiety levels down.
Flowers and plants, in general, are beautiful and our minds have been mesmerized by them since ancient times! So, whether you admire flowers early in the morning while sipping your coffee/tea or you do so while working hard on an air bike, the effect will be the same.
#5: Improve Memory Functions
Some aromatic plants such as basil or rosemary may have an effect on your memory functions. This time, it’s more about the fragrance than the plant itself, since it seems our olfactory system is very well connected to the memory section of the brain.
Overall, regardless of how you look at it, plants are extremely beneficial for our mental and physical health benefits.