The Mental Health Benefits of Plants

Potted Plants

The Mental Health Benefits of PlantsWe live in stressful times, there’s no other way to put it. Not only are we currently in the midst of a global pandemic, but the modern age has also put unique burdens on us. The result is a society that is increasingly anxious. Indeed, over 40 million adults in the United States suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder. While no single thing can cure anxiety, there are multiple ways you can help manage your anxious feelings.  

One of these ways is by surrounding yourself with plants and flowers. Not only can they help us feel better physically, but they can also help us feel better emotionally. While filling your home with plants will not turn an anxiety-ridden adult into a Zen master, they can help you breathe a little easier from day to day. Here’s how: 

Beautiful things make us happier 

Who can deny the beauty of an elegant bouquet of flowers? And as it turns out, that beautiful bouquet can actually make us happier just by being in the same room. Simply put, beautiful things make us happier, no matter what they are. It could be a building, a series of cobblestone streets, or a bouquet of flowers—whatever we find aesthetically pleasing has been found to boost our moods, at least for the short-term. So, if your home or apartment feels a bit drab, brighten it up with a bouquet of your favorite flowers.  

The environment reduces symptoms of depression 

Humans are drawn to the natural environment, and who can blame us? People would much rather walk through a picturesque park rather than a crowded subway station. And as it turns out, the science backs it up. One Korean study compared patients that conducted therapy sessions in a hospital as compared to an arboretum. At the end of the study, those who had their sessions in the arboretum experienced a dramatic reduction in their depression symptoms, with a 20-30% higher rate of complete remission as compared to the hospital group. 

Plants increase our attention spans 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be a difficult disorder to treat, yet it affects a large portion of our population. Indeed, according to the CDC, an estimated 6.1 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD. With so many diagnoses, it’s critical to find ways to help alleviate symptoms. One way is through plants. According to recent research, when children spent time in the great outdoors, their symptoms of ADHD significantly reduced, strengthening their attention spans and aiding in concentration and learning.  

They boost our self-esteem 

Low self-esteem is both a cause and a byproduct of anxiety. By working on one’s self-esteem, then, you can help to make yourself a more confident, and a less anxious, individual. Plants can help you do just that. By being able to take care of and nurture a plant throughout its lifespan, people can gain a sense of self-worth similar as they would when raising an animal or a child.  

Gardening is a form of therapy 

Horticulture has been championed as a cheap and easy form of therapy for decades. Countless studies have proven that tending to and caring for plants can not only boost our self-esteem (see above) but also take our minds off of what’s bothering us. Whether it be a few plants inside our apartment or an entire backyard full of flowers, gardening can be a great way to step back and take a break from the constant stresses of every-day life. So, put your phone down, pick up your watering can, and get your hands dirty for a little while. 

With all of the benefits that plants can bring, you’d be crazy not to add a few to your home or office. To get started, check out some of the floral arrangements we have at Mills Florist, or give us a call at 650-326-3443 today for more information.