Plants help with more than just beautifying a space

by Katy St. John

Taking care of plants can be rewarding (photo courtesy of Ceyda Çiftci on Unsplash).

Science proves that being in nature is good for humans, which many people can attest to. When walking through the green trees, surfing under palm trees or even being in an apartment full of green plants, mental health tends to improve. People were made to be around natural things like water and plants. According to Psychology Today and Hillside Atlanta, plants help in boosting air quality, reducing stress and symptoms of depression, prolonging attention span and increasing levels of creativity. 

Pollution is known for being much worse and more concentrated indoors than outdoors, making the air inside homes and apartments more susceptible to getting people sick. Hillside Atlanta stated that “Indoor air pollution can lead to sick building syndrome, which includes symptoms such as headache, dizziness, loss of concentration and throat irritation. Scientists have identified over 300 toxins in indoor air called volatile organic compounds, which indoor plants help remove” (Hillside, 2020). Plants not only help the mind, but they also help people’s bodies and lungs by removing some of the toxins that can make them sick. 

Plants help people feel calmer and more relaxed. They not only help reduce stress, but they also have the ability to help reduce depression. Many studies show that walking through nature helps the mind and body be at ease as opposed to how the mind responds to walking through the city. Even therapy held in arboretums has a much higher rate of helping with depression than in urban settings, according to Psychology Today (McQuillan, 2019). 

Green plants are also crucial in helping with focus. In the Bernsten Library at the University of Northwestern–St. Paul, there are many plants, which can help some with focus and mind productivity. Psychology Today says short nature breaks such as walks and connecting with plants also help with being active (McQuillan, 2019).  

Because someone’s mood often lightens and stress is relieved in the presence of plants, people can connect to the creative parts of their brain better, making it easier for them to be creative. In a world where people are navigating a global pandemic, a polar vortex and school, it may be a good idea to go and buy a plant. 

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