I won’t throw a percentage into the first sentence to convince you that having plants will make you happier. But I will tell you that numerous studies have shown that not only do they make you happier, but they can also lower stress levels, increase job satisfaction, lower blood pressure and make you more intelligent. Not bad for one so quiet. Here’s how they do it:
- Bringing you closer to nature
If you’re not used to having plants around you, you’ll soon realise that when you’ve made a commitment to get one, the effect is paramount. Day in and day out we are tied up in the vast concrete jungle around us, spending most of our times indoors, and so any reminder of nature evokes an intrinsic sense of simplicity and ease. Even when you’re at work with your plant: weeding, watering or feeding, you’re literally connected to nature with the dirt under your fingernails signalling an age-old bond with the earth. Through the simplistic tasks of gardening, you’ll find yourself being able to disconnect from the pressures of day to day life and stress levels will concurrently decrease. Getting back to nature
2. Levelling up
Over time, successfully looking out for your new green friend imparts a sense of purpose and achievement. You don’t even have to be a ‘green-thumb’ to have plants. In fact, the very idea of being a green-thumbed person is a bit of a myth- there are no inherent traits that one is born with that make an individual exceptionally good at gardening. Good gardening is usually learnt with few instructions and lots of experimentation. Starting with succulents or cacti is a great way to ease into being a plant owner because generally, these guys need less attention and if you forget to water them every now and again they’ll probably be the better for it.
3. Turn on the emotion
Having a plant in your immediate space highlights an interesting condition: All of a sudden, there is something living and constant that quietly engages with you. Emotionally, you’ll feel like you’re needed, even if it’s in the most subtle of ways- opening a blind for more light, getting a specific fertilizer to help buds bloom or just giving water to your plant every now and again. Feeling needed helps combat loneliness and can enrich your life by filling it with purpose. Once you’ve selected your new plant, place it in a convenient space that maximises your contact time with it. Herbs on kitchen tops, succulents on desks and ferns in the bathroom not only improve the aesthetic of your home but help contribute to your daily happiness radar.