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The Psychological Magic of Houseplants

Posted on Thursday, February 11, 2021
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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2 Comments
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Houseplants

Houseplants add warmth to any décor, yet one might be surprised to learn that science-supported evidence demonstrates that plants have positive effects on mood. Horticultural therapy, a person’s engagement in gardening and plant-based activities to achieve specific treatment goals, has been around for centuries. Today, it is commonly used to help people suffering from anxiety and depression and other medical conditions such as dementia.

Healthline details a study from the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, which found that plants in the home or office make people feel more comfortable and relaxed. The study demonstrates that indoor gardening lowered the stress response on its participants, whereas computer tasks, despite computer literacy, led to spikes in participants’ blood pressure and heart rate.  

In psychology, the color green is associated with relaxation. Historians suggest a possible connection with the term “green room” used to describe a theatre or studio in which performers relax when they are not performing. Though the term’s origin is not traceable, London’s Blackfriars Theatre (1599) had an early example of a green-painted room for actors awaiting stage. Regardless, greenery connects people to nature and thus is known to have a positive mental effect on individuals. While most shades of green are soothing, intense colors can stimulate excitement and possibly produce positive energy and motivation. Thus, if you seek to be connected to nature, or wish to get a mental boost, try adding houseplants to your home or office to see if it works.

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Kim
Kim
3 years ago

As a professional horticulturist, I absolutely agree!

With the pandemic keeping people close to home most of the time, this industry has gained millions (12m to 30m, by different estimates) of new gardeners. Most garden centers, after the first dismal month last March, saw some of the highest profits they’ve ever seen.

So, if you’re still feeling down because of the isolation, or because President Trump moved to Florida, find a good independent garden center and a knowledgeable plant expert, who can recommend a couple of good plants to begin with. Plants and nature never fail to rejuvenate!

James P Contreras
James P Contreras
3 years ago

Thanks for a short, yet informative article on a great topic! I find that the plants in my apartment help me to unwind, and appreciate their beauty.

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