How Living With Plants Can Improve Your Mental Health

House plants are becoming increasingly popular. I mean, how can you resist when they’re sold practically everywhere—even Trader Joe’s. Aside from instantly brightening up your space, there are also a handful of health benefits that come with becoming a #plantmom.

NASA’s Clean Air Study found many plants—like spider plants, snake plants, and rubber plants—can help clean up your home by removing toxins, dust, and germs from the air. Owning plants can also make you more physically active if you’re spending time outdoors gardening, not to mention inspire you eat better if you’re growing your own herbs and veggies.

While these physical benefits to owning plants are great, plants can positively impact your mental health, too.

Here Are 4 Ways Owning Plants Can Improve Your Mental Health

1. Plants help you relax and improve your mood.

If you’ve been around plants, you’ve probably realized they have a calming effect. Past studies have shown being surrounded by nature—even if that’s just houseplants in your home—can make you feel more relaxed. They can also make you happier. In a 2005 study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, researchers found participants who received flowers were still feeling happy and positive three days later. Taking care of something, nurturing it, and watching it grow can increase those positive feelings, too.

2. Plants can relieve stress and anxiety.

Life is full of stress and anxiety, and we’re always looking for ways to alleviate it. Aside from science-backed methods like exercise and meditation, you can also look to your plants. Past studies have shown taking care of plants can decrease your cortisol levels, relieving any pent-up stress. Because being around plants in general is calming, even sitting in your urban jungle can help you feel more at ease.

3. Plants can prolong your attention span.

According to Texas A&M University, being around plants can help improve your ability to concentrate. Because of how calming they are, you’re better able to focus and get more done. Being surrounded by plants can also help improve your memory and attention span. Basically, if you want to fly through your to-do list, filling your home with greenery can help.

4. Plants can boost your self-esteem.

Is there a better feeling than watching your plants grow? Keeping your plants healthy and seeing them flourish can be a great confidence booster. In the beginning of your houseplant journey, stick to plants that are easy to take care of. Then as your confidence builds, expand to more finicky options. It won’t be long before you notice that newfound self-esteem expanding into other areas of your life, too, like your career and relationships.

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