We are helping to mark Houseplant Week (10 – 16 January) with a list of potential health benefits of being a plant parent.

Ensuring a healthy indoor environment, that supports our wellbeing, is essential. Sure, you could refresh the paint work or buy a new sofa. But you could also look at injecting some new life (and leaves) into your home. Houseplants not only add instant style to your home/office, but they also offer a wealth of therapeutic health benefits. While therapeutic can mean “the treating of disease” it can also be understood as “having a good effect on the body or mind; contributing to a sense of well-being.”

Still not sure what all the fuss is about? Check out our list of benefits to being in the company of a houseplant…

Reduce stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety are a common issue. Some studies suggest that 1 in 14 people experience stress every day. It can be caused by a variety of factors including work, family, money and health. It also tends to get worse the longer it is unattended to. While we’re not suggesting a new houseplant will rid you of your anxiety and stress, there are an abundance of studies which show that it can help improve your mood. Bringing the outdoors in, can help offer us respite from the fast pace of technology and those daily stressors.

However, if you’re struggling with your mental health, please seek support through the East Sussex mental health directory or contact your GP.

Increase productivity and focus

If you are working or studying from home, staying focused can be a challenge. Suddenly surrounded by our hobbies and our families/friends can make paying attention hard. However, did you know that introducing plants to your space can help increase your productivity by up to 15 per cent? Similar to the impact foliage can have on our mood, the natural world helps ground us and increase mindfulness. While life may feel chaotic around us, houseplants remain still and there is something restorative about that. So, add some green to your work environment and take a moment to appreciate the calm it encourages.

Help with pain management

Just when you thought houseplants couldn’t get any better, there is evidence that the presence of plants can even help with pain management. Several studies found that patients surrounded by indoor plants, showed a higher pain tolerance than patients in spaces without any. It is thought that plants provide a positive distraction from pain and discomfort, allowing for more relaxation.

Start a new hobby

Having a life outside of work and our family is important to our happiness. What better than a hobby that not only has an abundance of benefits for our wellbeing but also one that allows us to step away from technology. According to a Uswitch report, the average adult in the UK spends half their day in front of a screen. It’s also been shown that increased screen time (from tv’s to phones to laptops) has a negative impact on our mental health. Taking on a new houseplant gives us an opportunity to learn more about gardening and reconnect with nature. It’s also a great activity to get the kids involved in and gives them a break from their screens.

You know the saying about stopping to smell the roses? Tending to a houseplant is the embodiment of this. It facilitates mindfulness and encourages us to reflect on those basic needs of water and sunlight.