Most of us can agree that the last year has been a crazy and bizarre season in our lives and during the quarantine and restrictions we all found ways to cope. The coping mechanism I am discussing today is how we turned to house plants for comfort and in that comfort, we found a new love. Some of us soon became obsessed with the new and rare interior plants and in this love, we also started to feel shame and regret for the sheer numbers of plants in our homes or even the amount of money we spent. I am proposing that we need to not feel embarrassed or ashamed but look at the facts that we have embraced a lifestyle of self-care and self-love and have found this clarity in plants. There have been several studies that are surfacing for this time in an effort to explain the boom in the green plant industry and how it has affected people as a whole. Psychology Today came out with a study that showed 4 main areas of our lives that house plants have affected:
- Stress reduction. Plants in the home have been shown to mimic time in nature and help in speeding up recovery from mental
fatigue, slowing heart rates, reducing high blood pressure, and even lowering anxiety.
- Reduction in symptoms of depression
- House plants can increase stronger mental retention.
- House plants have reduced PTSD symptoms in participants and even increased creativity.
From this study alone you can see that interior plants are helpful, but there are several more that support this. VeryWellMind studied 4200 people and their findings reflect Psychology Today’s reports that 74% of the people studied showed house plants brought emotional benefits during the Covid-19 lockdown and primarily through the care of plants. It gives a sense of purpose in a time of uncertainty and confusion. NASA has been conducting studies for years on the benefits of plants in the home environment. So, all of this to say, no more self-shame and condemnation. Embrace the house plant craze as a lifestyle and rest easy in the knowledge that it is good for you and your mental wellbeing. I am not a doctor, but my initials are MD and I absolutely prescribe new house plants as a mental health coping mechanism and one of several ways to reduce stress in our lives when we are living in an incredibly stressful season.
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