How Do Plants Affect Our Mood?

19 March 2022

Plants in the gardens or indoors can help boost our everyday mood as well as help us feel calm and relaxed. Even if it’s just a few plants, the effect on our emotions and mental health can be significant.

How plants affect our mood

One potential reason is that we’ve co-evolved with plants. For thousands of years, most of our ancestors were surrounded by plants, trees and natural settings. It’s only in the recent decades that we’ve become used to concrete and asphalt. In other words, our biochemical makeup might be more inclined to stay in natural settings than in dry buildings.

Also notice that when we plan to take a vacation, we look for something natural such as the beach, hills or park. During and after such a vacation, we tend to feel refreshed and energised. It’s like nature gives us energy and peace of mind. Aside from the fresher air, just seeing the green and natural spaces rejuvenates us.

The feeling and benefits are similar when we have plants in our gardens or inside our homes. We bring nature closer to us and as a result, we also feel calm and relaxed. This works the same way in workplaces where it’s common now to see plants (even artificial ones). That’s because adding a bit of greenery can help improve focus and productivity (similar to allowing more natural light).

For additional benefits, some people make gardening a hobby. The activity itself helps them see, touch and feel the fruits of their labour. This is in contrast with most office work and online tasks where there are no tangible results (it’s all on screen or in the cloud). But with gardening, people can get physically and tangibly involved in an activity that brings results. Furthermore, taking care of plants can bring a rewarding experience and structure to their lives. It becomes a habit that people crave for to start or end their day right.

The green spaces and the gardening activity can help better structure your days and weeks. The benefits will trickle down to your life’s other aspects such as work (better focus and productivity) and family life (better mood). In addition, you get to learn more about botany, soil and ecology. It’s a stimulating activity that will let you discover more about how nature works.