Having houseplants can do a whole lot more for you than provide #MonsteraMonday content. Having plants in your space can help your mental and physical health in multiple ways.

By Jenny Krane
August 30, 2018

Not sleeping well? Suffering from dry eyes and cracked skin? Having a hard time focusing at work? Houseplants may be your saving grace. While houseplants have become a must-have in home decor, they can do a lot more for you than green up a room—they can boost your mental and physical health just by being present in your home. These are a few of the many perks of having green in your home.

1. Reduce Anxiety

It's been proven that increased oxygen levels in the air can help reduce feelings of anxiety. What better way to give your space a little more Zen than to start an indoor garden? Houseplants naturally release oxygen, and some even clean the air of toxins. Anxiety and depression have been linked to higher levels of air toxins, so the air-purifying abilities of plants make for mental health superheroes.

2. Increase Creative Thinking

While plants themselves may not help creativity, their color might. One study in 2016 found that people working on creative tasks with a view of the outdoors showed increased visual creativity. What was more shocking was that people using green paper without views of the outdoors showed even MORE creativity. So if you can’t introduce real plants into your workspace, try using green office supplies or artwork for creative inspiration.

3. Help You De-Stress

That snake plant on the window can actually help you de-stress. A 2015 study showed that interaction with indoor plants can reduce stress by suppressing the autonomic nervous system, or the system that controls bodily functions like the fight or flight response. Plants help calm stress and lower blood pressure, making your personal spaces relaxing environments.

4. Increase Productivity

People respond well to having plants in the workplace. A 2014 study showed that people were 15 percent more productive when they had plants in their workspace. Who knew a simple potted plant could make such a huge difference? Office plants are even known to reduce afternoon fatigue, helping you get over that 2:30 afternoon slump.

5. Act As a Natural Healer

Coming down with a case of the sniffles? Plants are actually a natural cold remedy. In one study, researchers found that participants reported fewer headaches, coughs, dry throats, and dry skin issues when they had plants in the workplace. If dryness is the source of your acute health problems, popular houseplants like Chinese evergreen and snake plant work as all-natural humidifiers. Air-purifying plants also help create a space with fewer germs and can help ease allergy symptoms.

6. Improve Sleep

Your unexplained insomnia could be due to the air quality in your bedroom, which can be remedied with houseplants. If you really struggle with getting quality sleep, putting houseplants in your bedroom is worth a shot. Since houseplants clean the air and help us de-stress, they can make your sleeping space a sanctuary. Certain varieties of houseplants (aloe vera, for example) release oxygen throughout the night as well as during the day, helping you live your best life at any hour of the day.

7. Help Boost Your Mood

Being a plant parent can be so beneficial to overall well-being. If you need a mood boost, start a houseplant collection in your home. Taking care of houseplants, especially in a large quantity, can become an active hobby that releases endorphins, making you happier and more energized. Taking care of living things can also help you feel like you have a purpose and can motivate you to get up and move.

8. Decrease Pain

Calling all chronic pain sufferers—having houseplants may actually lower your pain levels. A study stated that patients with higher stress associated with surgery experience more severe pain and slower recovery. Recovering patients in this study reported lower pain, fatigue, and anxiety when they had plants in their rooms. Since they help the body and mind to de-stress, plants can even speed up the healing process and lower the dependence on painkillers to feel better.



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