The Benefit of Plants

 Nature has a way of bringing peace and calmness in our lives and can be beneficial to our mental health.

You might be thinking, it’s too cold here in the Midwest to spend an extended period -of -time in nature. The great news is that even having plants in your home and/or at work can make a positive impact on your mental health. Studies have shown that having house plants, a garden, or just spending time in nature can relieve stress and negative mental health symptoms. 

Plants can increase our positive emotions: 

Nature and plants help us to feel more relaxed, happy, and optimistic. Physically working in a garden or potting plants can boost your brain’s feel-good chemicals.  Even working with soil can increase your brain’s happy chemicals, improve your mood, and decrease anxiety. Gardening with your family or working in a community garden is also an excellent way to be more social and increase positive activities with your family. As a bonus, community gardens can also facilitate relationships with your neighbors. It can also be a great way to give back to the community. For Example, donating a portion of your fresh vegetables and fruit to a soup kitchen or food pantry. 

Gardening is great for kids:

  1. It can help them to develop better motor skills and encourage healthier eating. 
  2. Gardening as a family and growing fruits and vegetables encourages better nutrition and healthier habits. 
  3. Kids can also develop positive self-esteem from taking care of plants and watching them grow. 
  4. Some studies have also shown that working in nature can also decrease symptoms of ADHD, dementia, and PTSD as well as increase concentration. 

Plants help you to be mindful and grounded

Having houseplants and/or a garden can help us to be focused on the present moment and provide sensory benefits such as: 

  • Plants and herbs that smell nice
  • Plants such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you can taste
  • Plants with different textures that you can feel as well as the soil
  • Plants can also provide beauty and calmness with greenery, flowers, and different shapes

Indoor plants provide better air quality:

 Let’s face it, there are hundreds of different harmful air pollutants that can be in our home environment as well as outside of the home.  Plants can clean the air in your home in less than thirty minutes. They can also help reduce dust and other particles in the air that may cause allergies. Indoor plants can also boost the humidity in your home during the dry winter months. 

It is good to be aware that some house plants can be harmful to animals and/or humans such as:

  • Peace lilies
  • English Ivy
  • Caladium
  • Poinsettia
  • Sago Palm
  •  Rhododendron
  • Alocasia 
  • Begonia
  • Snake plant
  • Philodendron
  • Fiddle Leaf fig

This is just a short list so you will want to make sure that you check to see if a plant is harmful when eaten if you have little children or pets. There are many plants that are beautiful and safe for your children and pets, here are a few to consider for your home:

  • Parlor palm
  • Orchids
  • Hoya’s
  • Olive tree
  • Fern
  • African Violet
  • Peperomia
  • Prayer plant
  • Burro’s tail
  • String of hearts
  • Calathea

Plants bring us a sense of beauty and peace and help us to be mindful.

They help us to connect back to nature and recharge, so we are better able to function in our day-to-day lives. Plants, gardens, and nature help us to be more positive, healthy, and connected. Perhaps you could benefit from an indoor plant or starting your own garden in the spring.

If you find that you are struggling and need someone to talk to please call (217) 203-2008 or email us to schedule an appointment and find peace from within.

February 3, 2023