Remember when you were a kid and your mom always nagged you to go outside and play? Well by now you’ve probably realized how right she was. The benefits of being in nature are no mystery. We all know that a walk outside is one of the best ways to feel refreshed and clear-headed. Unfortunately, as populations increasingly flock to urban areas, access to nature is becoming more and more limited. So how are people responding to this lack of green space access? They’re building their own green spaces … indoors!
You’ve probably seen unrealistically perfect photos of kitchens like these:
Sure it looks nice, but what impact could a few plants in a kitchen possibly have on our happiness and productivity levels? Well … here are five things that will happen.
1. Your brain will thank you.
Countless studies show that plants and green areas significantly reduce stress levels. According to an Australian study, plants have proven to curb the symptoms of anxiety (37%), depression (58%), and anger (44%). Statistics aside, unmanaged stress can have a significantly negative effect on a person’s perception of well-being. Incorporating such a simple and proven stress-reducer into your life is a great foundation for improving your all-around mental health.
2. Your body will thank you.
This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people unknowingly live in the most polluted areas of the United States. Check out the American Lung Association’s report on where your city ranks. Polluted air is one of the leading causes of chronic respiratory and cardiovascular disease which is one of many reasons why clean air is so important. Plants, even indoor plants, absorb toxins and generate clean oxygen oases for us to heal our bodies and fight off disease.
3. Your friends will think you’re a better cook.
Maybe not everyone has to pretend, but some of us could use all the help we can get. Growing your own herb garden is actually easier than you think and eliminates the need for emergency grocery runs! Fresh ingredients are the key to tasty meals. Not to mention they look really nice and will fool all your friends into thinking you spent a year studying culinary arts in France. Here’s a handy guide Angle 33 put together to get you started on your own indoor herb garden.
4. You’ll be happier.
It is human nature to want to feel needed and fulfilled. Growing plants provides a sense of achievement, satisfaction and pride. It’s a tangible reassurance of your (minimal) efforts. This study found that low-income residents with access to greenery were, in general, happier than high-income residents without access to green areas. Pretty cool! Indoor plants are an inexpensive way to boost happiness no matter your situation or space.
5. You’ll be more productive.
Why limit your indoor green space to your home? The office is another great place to expand your plant collection. According to the University of Washington, nature helps restore the mind from the mental fatigue of work, contributing to improved performance and satisfaction. A second study concluded that when plants were added to a college computer lab, students were more productive, with 12% quicker reaction times on tested computer tasks. So if you’ve been falling behind at work or are just looking to be more productive, science is telling you to introduce an indoor plant into your office space.
Good news! You don’t have to move to a cabin in the woods just to be “at one with nature”. Everyone can reap the benefits of indoor plants. Not sure where to get started? Here is a list of plants that are super hard to kill:
You can also check out this video for more ideas:
Happy planting! Let us know how you work plants into your life in the comments.