Why do plants make people happy?

Why do plants make people happy?

Scientists call it Biophilia, sounds a bit like a stomach virus, but apparently it's the term used to describe the connection we feel to nature. It’s that transcendent state of being when we're surrounded by open sky and greenery. Nature makes us feel happier, relaxed and spiritually connected. Remember how good it felt last time you walked on an open patch of lawn? Or picnicked under the shade of a tree, the leaves rustling in the breeze.

'Forest bathing' is the new sun bathing.

In Japan, the latest ‘Biophilic’ trend is forest bathing or shinrin-yoku. Overworked urbanites have started retreating for hours at a time into the forested parks around the city of Tokyo – not to jog, or hike, or do yoga. But just to be. According to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, people living in areas with less than 10% tree canopy were  more likely to feel depressed, stressed and anxious. We don’t even need scientific proof to know that being in nature feels great! The problem is, in our digitally connected urban lifestyles, we don’t get into nature enough. So why not bring nature inside?

Benefits of indoor plants

1. Plants improve mental health

Being around plants makes us feel good. Looking after plants make us feel even better. Gardening is tangible, it gets us away from a flat screen and interacting with a living breathing thing. We can use our two hands to care for something and watch it flourish. This boosts confidence levels, and plant styling unleashes creativity, problem-solving and dexterity. 

Caring for a living thing gives us purpose – and plants don’t cry, wet their beds, throw tantrums or need regular walking.

Studies have shown that increasing the number of indoor plants reduces boredom and enhances problem-solving skills.

Plants are a source of fascination and wonder, and provide the perfect resting spot for computer-wary eyes. They liven up a dull corporate space, enhancing vitality. Our minds need to be stimulated and one of the best ways is to bring the energy of outdoors, indoors with plants.

In a University of Michigan study, memory retention increased 20% while being around plants, positively effecting learning abilities.

2. Physical health

Move over Vitamin D, there's another serotonin booster in town: Mycobacterium vaccae. Yeah, the name's a bit of a tongue twister, but ultimately it's the bacteria found in most garden soil and indoor plant soil. Studies have shown that this bacteria improves breathing, reduces allergies and asthma, and increases serotonin levels.  

Plants also release oxygen, purifying our air, making us feel awake and energised. 
Want to fight winter colds and flu? Plants are the most inexpensive and best looking air purifier available!

If you’re looking for a green fix of health & happiness, try a plant. Just one very minor caveat: plant shopping is highly addictive!