I'm pleased to welcome Megan Wild as my guest Connection Messenger* this week. I've written so much about the joy of connecting with nature outdoors, but I thought Megan's approach to bringing nature indoors and incorporating plants into our décor was worth sharing. I love that she included links to studies that support the reasons we might actually be happier and healthier when we surround ourselves with natural beauty, even indoors. Feng Shui may seem complicated or “woo-woo” to some, but who can argue with scientific research?
Who doesn't want to be happier and healthier?
Close family ties…A fulfilling job…Travel…Pets…Volunteering…
These are a few of the things that might put a smile on your face, but another often overlooked source of happiness is the space in which you live and the way you decorate that space. If your apartment or house is not as warm and inviting as you'd like, consider this: stark walls, simple furniture, and a lack of personality make you feel “meh” as soon as you wake up and start your day.
Take charge of your space’s décor and give it a look that’s almost entirely inspired by nature! We already know that time spent outdoors can improve our mood, so bring it inside and reap the benefits year round. Natural décor can include anything from branches, moss, and tabletop fountains to fresh flowers and potted houseplants, but for this post, I'll focus on houseplants.
Need further inspiration to take the plunge into decorating with plants? Here are five ways they can make you happier and healthier while beautifying your home at the same time.
1. Plants Help Clean Your Home
Nothing can take the place of a deep cleaning of your space — especially when you delegate cleaning tasks to roommates or family members — but a plant can help keep your home fresh in the interim.
Plants clean indoor air, just as they do in nature. As they purify, they also humidify the air, which is great news if you suffer from dry skin, lips, or throat. They can also help clear the air of any smells floating around your home. You’ll undoubtedly be happier with your space when the air is cleaner to breathe.
2. Plants Help You Sleep
No one’s happier than someone who wakes up well rested each morning. In fact, getting a healthy amount of sleep is one of the pillars of good health and happiness, so place some houseplants in your bedroom to reap the benefits.
They help you sleep because they release oxygen and soak up carbon dioxide, which makes your big, restful breaths even more rejuvenating. And, after a good night’s sleep, you’re more likely to wake up on the right side of the bed and hang onto that mood all day long.
3. Plants Make You More Productive
Weekenders, listen up: having houseplants in your surrounds will make you more likely to take advantage of your days off. Sure, it’s nice to veg out and watch Netflix from time to time, but weekends are your chance to finish your to-do list.
A study by Exeter University revealed that workers who added plants to otherwise stark workplaces increased their productivity levels by 15 percent. Researchers believe that a bare environment doesn’t provoke or inspire its inhabitants, so your décor-free apartment is having the same un-motivating effect on you.
4. Plants Give You a Sense of Purpose
One way to make yourself smile is to feel like you’re doing something good. It might sound silly, but cultivating the growth of a plant—especially one you've grown from seed to flower—could give you a satisfying sense of achievement. Maintaining the fruits of your labor will keep the happiness going, as will the joy of seeing the effect your plants have on the atmosphere of your home.
5. Plants Help Heal
Finally, a houseplant can help you feel better if you’re sick or feeling less than stellar. That’s why so many hospital rooms incorporate plants or, at the very least, views of the outdoors: the power of nature has been shown to promote healing.
In one study, patients recovering from surgery had lower blood pressure and reported fewer feelings of anxiety, pain, and fatigue when they had plants in sight. Researchers concluded that plants were an inexpensive source of therapy, which you can easily buy for yourself, too. We all have bouts of anxiety or pain. Why not try a little houseplant therapy?
And did you know the Aloe vera plant contains healing properties? Its juices are antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral! Just keep a little plant in a pot on your kitchen windowsill, and if you burn yourself, cut off a small piece and rub the cut end on your injury.
Adding a few houseplants, green or flowering, to your home's décor is a quick, easy, and affordable way to add happiness, health and beauty to your surroundings, no matter how bad the weather is outside. Grab your gloves, a bag of soil, and a watering can and make it happen.
Megan Wild is a home décor specialist who loves bringing green décor into her home. When she's not decorating, she can be found outside exploring the outdoors with her ever-faithful dog. She documents her adventures and advice on her blog, Your Wild Home. Connect with Megan on:
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/meganbwild/
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/megan_wild
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Your-Wild-Home-794049124036908/