So, if you were to step into my office today (which I’d love if you did, by the way), you would bear witness to my latest and most beautiful obsession….PLANTS. I. Love. Plants. Much to my better half’s chagrin (he JUST told me that they bring in spiders and that there’s dirt all over the house now), I am on a mission to fill my house - well, office anyway - with greenery galore. Why? This is one VERY simple way to create more health in my life. Check this out:
Plants are good for your mental health and mood.
We know that being in nature lifts our spirits. So, it would stand to reason that when you bring nature indoors, it’s likely to have the same effect. I absolutely feel happier and calmer with these living beauties in my work space. According to a study cited by the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, “People who keep flowers in their home feel happier, less stressed, and more relaxed. As a result of the positive energy they derive from the environment, the chances of suffering from stress-related depression are decreased as well.” (Brethour 2007, Collins 2008, Dunnet 2000, Etcoff 2007, Frank 2003, Haviland-Jones 2005, Hartig 2010, McFarland 2010, Rappe 2005, Waliczek 2000).
I can attest to this personally...and what a great pay-off for such little investment.
Plants improve air quality.
You probably remember from elementary school science class learning about the process of photosynthesis which creates oxygen as a by-product of the plants making their own food. BUT, did you also know that indoor plants can absorb contaminants like benzene and formaldehyde (which is a know carcinogen)? Yep, they are actually cleaning the air we breathe.
Dr. Wolverton, the scientist behind the NASA Clean Air Study, found that plant-filtered rooms have 50 to 60 per cent less airborne microbes, like mold spores and bacteria.
Some of the best air-purifying plants include the Peace Lily, Spider Plants, Orchids, Aloe Vera, English Ivy, Ferns and Snake Plant (or Mother-in-law’s tongue). What’s amazing is that many of these plants release oxygen at night so they are purifying your air as you sleep. Thank you, Mother Nature!
And, if your thumb isn't as green as you'd like, most of these plants are exceptionally easy to care for.
Plants are resilient and they show me I can be too (with a little help from water).
The Peace Lily is one of my favourite plants. If you’ve ever had one of these beauties, you will know that sometimes it looks really sad, like it’s got no life left in it. Its leaves will get droopy and limp and it looks like it’s on its last stems (Get it? Last stems...instead of legs?). BUT, give that little lifeling some water and within half an hour it’s perky and firm! While, I haven’t experienced quite the same results (as far as perky and firm go) within half an hour of drinking water, I do know that I feel more energetic and alive after hydration. Physical resilience can be that simple. So, my in-office Peace Lily is not only beautiful to look at, it reminds me of the resiliency that we all possess...and it reminds me to drink water.
Plants remind me that I don’t need to worry about what other people think or to look to others for permission.
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
- Zen Shin
I can't say it any better than that!
Finally, plants remind me to slow down and take in the beauty around me.
This week I treated myself to a flower subscription. Starting in April, I will be receiving fresh flowers once a month. While to some this might seem like a silly indulgence, to me it is in complete alignment with who I want to be in every aspect of my health and life. Having nature, flowers and beauty right where I work brings me momentary reminders of what I value. I want to live with nature and pure filtered air in my home. I want to be reminded daily to reach for the sunshine and nourish myself with water. Just like these flowers, I want to bring others joy and happiness simply by being me.
It is in simplicity that we find beauty and health. Plants are an amazingly simple way to bring more of both into your life.
To more health, beauty and simplicity,