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Hug Your Plants

We all know that flowers and plants have the power to make people happy. They can delight you on a special occasion, cheer you up when you’re sad or make a dull, dreary room much more appealing. Having plants also helps you to feel calmer and more relaxed and so decrease your levels of anxiety. Interestingly plants can also increase attentiveness, memory, and concentration. But how do they have that much influence over your mental health? Read on for 5 reasons why you should have more plants and flowers around you.

1. Flowers can improve anxiety

Stress and anxiety are part of everyday life, but flowers can help restore some short-term calm to your situation. Even in very worrying situations, studies have found people with flowers in their room feel less anxious. For example, if you are recovering in hospital, you are likely to be more positive about your recovery and need less post-operative care than patients without plants.

2. Flowers can help you sleep

Sleeping properly is really important. Have plants in your bedroom to create a calming environment when you go to sleep. You probably already know about Lavender for its calming properties as many sleep aids will use the lavender scent. The smell of lavender is proven to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, which will help you to relax and drift off into a restful sleep. Consider introducing it into your bedtime routine.

3. Flowers can improve your memory

Certain plant scents can sharpen your powers of recall. Specifically, if Rosemary is in the air you are more like to remember to write that email or make that call. It is considered a cognitive stimulant and can improve memory performance and quality. It is also known to boost alertness, intelligence and focus. Aromas are known to improve mood and clear the mind leaving you better able to remember your ‘to do’ list.

4. Colourful flowers can change your emotions

We all associate colours with different moods. Red can mean love, anger or danger. Yellow is usually associated with happiness and sunshine. Blue can signify calm or sadness and Green is linked to peace and safety. Linked to this are our own associations with colours that can bring to mind a happy or sad memory and influence our reactions.

5. Flowers can make you more productive

Going back to the idea of colour, red is also connected to concentration and attention to detail, while blue is considered a better way to encourage creativity and free-thinking. Studies have shown that offices with plants increase brain performance and encourage creativity. Sparse surroundings don’t offer any visual stimulation and consequently impact productivity. Even putting plants in classrooms and lecture halls increases attendance!

It is no surprise to us at MindBody Publishing that that having plants around can make you happier and more attentive and in our book The Calming Book of Healing Hugs we encourage you to get out into nature. The Covid pandemic forced many of us to stay in doors only able to venture out for a few hours. It is important to take the opportunity to allow nature to offer us a healing hand, so we certainly advocate hugging trees! An extract from our book reads:

“Being close to nature we are breathing as one. We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Nature takes in the carbon dioxide and gives out oxygen. We receive a breath hug from trees and even when our hands are close to a tree, we can feel the energy if we are still for long enough”

Our bodies need to stay close to nature to boost mood and self-esteem. So, take a leaf out of our book (pardon the pun) and reach out and touch some flowers! And, if you want to ensure we have trees and plants for years to come you might want to check out what’s happening for World Earth Day on 22nd April this year and seeing if there is anything you can do.

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