Emotions New study: Why having plants at home helps in...

New study: Why having plants at home helps in case of confinement

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An international study suggests that people who plants at home had during confinement reported feeling healthier emotionally than those who did not. What kinds of plants help us feel better?

Do you have a house full of flowerpots? Well you should: having plants at home improves mental health even in the event of living in confinement. At least that is what an international study coordinated by the Research Group for Urban Nature and Biosystems Engineering (Naturib) of the University of Seville suggests that has been published in Urban Forestry and Urgan Greening.

The lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic deprived people around the world of visiting green spaces for weeks. According to this study, carried out from surveys of people who were confined in different countries, the vegetation in the interior spaces positively influenced the emotional well-being of the people during the confinement period.

BETTER INSIDE THE HOUSE THAN ON THE BALCONY

The study carried out at the University of Seville was based on the idea that humans feel the urge to incorporate natural elements into the home and that placing plants at home is one of the most traditional ways of doing so. The work confirmed that only 3.3% of the people surveyed had neither indoor nor outdoor plants (in gardens, balconies, patios or terraces).

Interestingly, the majority of respondents preferred to have vegetation outdoors rather than indoors. However, the statistical analysis showed a much more significant influence on the emotional state in those who had indoor plants than in those who had plants in the air.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POSITIVE EMOTIONS AND PLANTS

The majority of respondents (73.7%) considered that having greenery at home contributed positively to their mood during the COVID-19 confinement period.

People who had them reported having felt positive emotions (calm, optimism, and joy) more frequently, and negative emotions such as stress, sadness, fear, or depression less frequently.

According to those responsible for the study, the positive effects produced by the presence of indoor plants can be attributed to the visual appearance of the plants, since affective responses to visual stimuli that are considered aesthetically pleasing could contribute to the release of tensions.

SEEING PLANTS IS ALMOST LIKE BEING IN NATURE

Many studies had concluded that the contact and interaction of humans with nature, with outdoor green spaces, has a positive impact on their health and well-being.

The psychological benefits are linked not only to the presence of vegetation, but also to the possibility of exercising in open spaces, enjoying the fresh air and relaxing or connecting with other people. But what happens when you are confined, the possibility of visiting green spaces is not an option?

Studies have shown that just being able to see a green area from home leads to similar improvements in mental health. Therefore, having plants at home seems to be a very good option to alleviate the effects of a life without direct contact with nature.

CARING FOR PLANTS REDUCES SOCIAL ISOLATION

It is no coincidence that, after confinement, you had the idea of ​​putting plants back on the balcony. More than half of the respondents from different countries admitted that they were willing to have more plants at home and spend more time caring for them after the confinement experience.

Precisely, plant care is another aspect to take into account in relation to mental health. Half of the survey participants spent more time caring for plants at home during the confinement period. And this is important because, in parallel, a study from the University of Dublin published in the British Journal of Health Psychology suggests that gardening is one of the most effective activities that served to mitigate the unpleasant effects of social isolation due to COVID-19 in the emotional well-being of people.

Thus, point out those responsible for the Spanish study, having plants and caring for them could exert a double positive influence on the emotional well-being of confined people.

WHICH PLANTS HELP THE MOST EMOTIONAL HEALTH

The study presented by the Urban Nature and Biosystems Engineering Research Group (Naturib) also analyzes the published literature regarding which plants can play a more important role in emotional health. These are the conclusions they reach:

  • Flowering plants help more. Flowering plants appear to have a greater positive impact on emotional health than foliage plants. They influence stress relief, pain tolerance, and the room’s perceived appeal.
  • Better yellowish green than greenish white. Yellowish green and cool green plants can make us feel more comfortable and calm, while greenish white plants can stimulate negative emotions.
  • Better than over. Having many indoor plants that occupy a large volume in relation to the available space is reminiscent of the conditions of nature outside and that improves the emotional state.
MindFixes Staffhttp://mindfixes.com
MindFixes is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and advocating, educating, and serving all people with mental and substance use conditions. MindFixes is determined to persevere, learn, grow, love and laugh through our wellness journey and we invite all to join.

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