It’s no secret that your home greatly affects your mental health. This doesn’t just mean your lifestyle and the interactions with those you live with. Your mental health can also be affected by the colors you have in your home, the art work, the lighting, and whether or not you have other living things in there with you (think dogs, cats, and plants). Here, we talk about how adding plants to your home can improve your mental health.
Many of the mental health conditions with which we suffer are caused, or heightened, by the occurrence of stress. So, it goes without saying that if you can reduce your stress levels, then you are simultaneously going to be able to increase your mental health.
Plants clean the air that you breathe – if you have plants in your room then they’re certainly busy at work removing carbon dioxide from the air and replacing it with oxygen. It has been shown that when oxygen levels increase, a person’s anxiety levels decease. Certain plants are also able to remove toxins from the room. Research has even gone as far as to show how anxiety and depression have been linked to higher levels of toxins present in households, and have been reduced as a result of these toxins being cleaned away by plants.
As well as this, the green color in plants is able to create cheerfulness, warmth, peace and relaxation. Studies have shown that this color also encourages socialization and openness when people are in the room together.
Outdoorphins and other chemicals
Outdoorphins is a witty name recently given to the microbes in soil that are otherwise called M. Vaccae. M Vaccae is known to boost moods and reduce stress levels. Of course, going outside to walk among nature is the best way to get the effects of these outdoorphins, but adding plants to your home can also be a great way of having them present.
Aside from just outdoorphins, plants also release a natural chemical medicine into the air called phytoncides. These phytoncides are emitted as a defense mechanism to fight off diseases. It makes sense then that having plants in your home which are emitting these disease deterrents can also improve your own health. Phytoncides are what creates the aromas found in essential oils, and what creates the healing quality of aromatherapy.
I’m sure you didn’t expect to see empowerment listed here. However, studies have shown that
creating a mutually giving relationship between a plant and its caretaker creates positive feelings of empowerment. In other words, taking responsibility for a plant’s wellbeing can boost your happiness and confidence levels. This theory is the driving factor behind the practice of horticultural therapy and can be great as a way to recover from a mental illness.
For whatever reason you choose to add a plant to your home, there are many mental health benefits to doing so. Whether you’re recovering from a particularly hard time, or simply looking to up your energy levels and create calmness in your home, plants are sure to help you.