Being in nature is good for the soul. But this platitude doesn’t just sound good, it’s actually proven by science. Research shows that being among plants, flowers and trees, in particular, can shift our moods from anxious to calm, and depressed to happy. There’s even a fancy term for the benefits of immersing yourself in nature: shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, a Japanese plant therapy practice developed in the 1980s.
But you don’t need to find the nearest forest, or even go outside, to reap the benefits of plant therapy—simply bringing indoor plants into your space can give your mind and spirit a major boost. Here’s what we know about the perks of bringing greenery inside.
Plants Remove Toxins from the Air
When you’re feeling healthy, chances are that you’re also feeling happier, too. This is just one way that incorporating indoor plants into your home will lead to big health benefits. By ridding the air of toxins, plants act as purifiers for even the most potent airborne chemicals. (For instance, swamp plants in Florida actually helped eliminate super-toxin Agent Orange in the late 1960s.) Feeling our best depends on our physical health, and plants help us achieve just that.
Plants Make Us Feel Calm
Having green space in your home creates a calmer, happier ambiance. (Not to mention, potted plants really do make great decor statements, too.) In fact, having flowers and plants around you has also been proven to reduce stress levels and make you feel more optimistic. Other studies show that having green life in hospital rooms can help patients heal more quickly and maintain higher spirits. After a stressful day, you can unwind among your greenery knowing that relief is on the way.
Plants Increase Productivity
Plants don’t just make us healthier and happier, they also make us rock stars in the office. Research shows that having greenery on your desk helps improve memory, makes you more productive and increases the quality of your work, too. It’s safe to say that when you’re killing it at your career and feeling good about your performance, this positivity carries over into every other aspect of your life, given that most of us spend the majority of our weeks at work. Think about getting a low-light plant for your desk if your office is scarce on windows.
Plants Bring Us Closer to Other People
Having foliage around you helps foster stronger connections with those you love. A series of studies found that being close to nature actually makes us nicer, less selfish and more caring toward others. Having plants in your home is an easy way to foster happiness, both with your family or housemates and those whom you invite into your house. Having low-light plants in your bedroom may even help strengthen the romantic connection between you and your partner, given the aforementioned proven happiness perks to indoor greenery. Incorporating greenery on your dining table can bring your family or friends closer together over a shared meal.
Start feeling the benefits of incorporating plant life into your home (and office) by looking at a selection of the best indoor plants for you and your space. You don’t need to have a green thumb to keep these green beauties alive—just the desire to feel happier and healthier.