By Conal Morrison
It’s often said that green is good. And when you think about it, pretty much everything in our day to day life seems to prove this. Green lights mean go, recycling is good for the environment, or even in other common sayings such as “the grass is always greener on the other side“.
But really, just how good is green? More specifically, just how good for you is it to live amongst greenery? As it turns out, it’s pretty darn good for you. Here’s why.
Plants Are Great For Your Mental Health
Being around plants and a bit of nature is calming! I know for sure that whenever I’m stressed out or feeling down, I subconsciously begin to long for the forests where I grew up. Simply walking amongst the trees is enough to put my mind and body at ease for hours. I like to think of it as a reset, almost like I’m going back to my roots (pardon the pun), before plunging back into the fray of the modern world.
Simply having plants in your home can do wonders for you mentally. According to one study, a group of young men were asked to either re-pot a houseplant or complete some simple tasks on a computer. Researchers measured the men’s heart rates and blood pressure and found they were lowered while working with the plant, indicating relaxation or a lack of stress.
The practice of gardening itself causes your brain to release dopamine and serotonin and can help relieve depression. It’s a calming process. Picture this: you’re in a garden, any garden you like, trowel or shovel in hand, and you’re digging a hole for your new plant. Be it a flower, a fruit tree or a fern. The feel of dirt on your hands, the smell of fresh soil in your nose, the wind whispering through the plants around you.
Even imagining it is relaxing, imagine how much more relaxed you would feel while doing it!
The feeling of accomplishment when you successfully grow a plant, especially for the first time, is unforgettable. One of my fondest memories of my late grandmother is growing tomato plants with her as a child. We would hang out every day after school and talk while watering them and checking for growth, watching the fruit growing. I’ll never forget her smile as we high fived and ate the first tomatoes off those plants.
Humans Are A Part Of Nature Not Apart From It
It’s become increasingly difficult to remember this as technology advances at an ever-increasing pace. But we as humans are part of nature. We are not separate from it. So it’s a no brainer that cutting ourselves off from that aspect of ourselves would be horrible for us not only physically but mentally and even spiritually as well.
I personally believe it’s more important now than ever to remember where we come from and rekindle our connection to the world around us.
It’s incredibly freeing to be alone in nature. Whether it’s your local park, forest or even your backyard. There’s this sense of peace that simply cannot be found anywhere else. A sort of wild calmness. You understand that anything and everything that happens next is something that only you will know forever. You are in your own world.
Bring Plants Into Your Home
If you don’t have any plants in your home, you should consider getting some! Just make sure you have the time in your day to water them and check on them; there’s no sense in getting something you can’t look after. Having said that, if you do decide to bring plants into your home, go wild!
It’s your home, so grow what you want to grow. You could turn your office space into a mini hanging garden with Ivy or hanging ferns. Bring a splash of colour to your window space with some dazzling flowers like lilies or pansies. The world (or the plant pot) is your oyster! They not only brighten up your home, instantly making you feel more cheerful, but they can also help improve the aroma of your space. I promise you, you’ll start to notice the improvements in your mood, and even in your routine.
Taking care of others can help us remember to take care of ourselves, and looking after plants is no different. Having them in your home can help you stick to your routine when you know they need watering every day or every other day. Once you’ve got one thing done on your list of “must do but don’t want to” (Yes, I have one of those lists too!), it becomes so much easier to just keep going and get the next one done!
I encourage you to bring some green into your home and into your life and enjoy the benefits of plant life.