The aesthetic value of houseplants is only part of why we adore them. However, research has also shown that having plants in your home can have a positive effect on your mood.
Raising plant babies can have the power to enliven our surroundings, purify the air, and reflect our inner state. They serve as a helpful prompt to remind us of when and how we should prioritise our own health.
Mlise Maxongo (38), from Worcester in the Western Cape grows wild garlic. He says it is a valuable plant in the home, and because of its strong smell, he believes it repels insects and even reptiles.
“I also grow lavender. Lavender has a strong, beautiful aroma. To start a day with its smell nourishes my soul. I grow different plants for different reasons,” he says.
‘Plants give fresh perspective’
Gcobisa Dyonase (34) from Johannesburg enjoys the aroma of flowers and the way they brighten up her home. She tells Health For Mzansi she believes that having flowers in the home and office is therapeutic.
Thabisa Mbelu, (33) from Gonubie, East London, says that for a very long time she did not comprehend the significance of having plants in her space.
“If asked to choose between chocolates and flowers, I would opt for the chocolates. However, my story has since changed.”
According to her, having to work as a receptionist in a doctor’s office has adjusted her view of flowers. She says it is essential to have such beauty and scents around, especially in places where people are attempting to feel better, such as a doctor’s consulting rooms.
“Even the colours, I think, get people’s attention, and maybe it’s because of that that they’re therapeutic.”
Why you should consider becoming a plant parent
According to Sandile Radebe (26), an educational psychologist and student counsellor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, people who are exposed to plants, or who have plants or gardens in their homes, tend to have very low stress levels.
That’s because of a hormone called cortisol which is released in response to stress, he says.
Radebe says the presence of plants in the workplace has been shown to have a calming effect on employees.
“We know that if you have certain plants, there is a secretion of hormones called serotonin because of the scents, and studies say the scents are more therapeutic.
“Candles, especially scented ones, are a popular accessory for psychologists in therapeutic settings. This connection between humans and plants explains why you find most of them to be beautiful and aromatic.”
According to Radebe, there is something about house plants that can lower people’s cortisol.
He further recommends that people make it routine to immerse themselves in nature because the human brain is wired to be drawn to such things and is more likely to feel at ease in such settings.
Benefits of walking in nature
The benefits of walking in nature seem to be endless. These are three reasons why you should consider an occasional nature walk:
- Nature makes you happy: According to Radebe, the effects of spending more time in nature are proving that a good dose of nature a week significantly boosts health and well-being.
- Walking in nature can reduce stress and anxiety: We’ve heard of runners high but according to Reuters, walking can be just as beneficial and help ease depressive disorder associated with physical inactivity.
- The outdoors are chockful of Vitamin D babes: According to Harvard Health Publishing, spending time outdoors in the sun helps your body create Vitamin D, a vitamin that studies have shown may help prevent cancer, osteoporosis, and heart attacks.
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