6 Plants That Can Help Lower Your Stress Levels
Plants are so much more than just something beautiful to look at — they can have profound effects on our wellbeing, too. For instance, they can help clean the air around us, making it healthier for us to breathe. They can also increase work productivity levels up to 15 percent. But did you know that plants can also help reduce stress?
According to research, taking care of indoor plants can vastly reduce the amount of physiological and psychological stress you may experience day to day. This same research also shows that actively engaging with indoor plants has the ability to suppress the sympathetic nervous system. This means keeping some plants in turn keeps you cool, calm, and collected — especially if you choose the right ones. Interested in adding some stress-busting plants into your home or workspace? Here are six of our favorite picks.
Lavender is famously known for its calming effects on people, and is perfect to keep at your desk or next to your bed to help promote a good night's sleep. "Lavender is a great anxiety fighter," explained Donna Letier, CEO and cofounder of Gardenuity, a direct-to-consumer garden kit brand. "The scent is known to slow down your heart rate and lower blood pressure and stress levels. Having this special plant around also relieves some forms of depression".
Letier also said rosemary is the perfect plant to add to your bath at night to help keep you relaxed. "Not only does rosemary reduce stress, but it is also proven to improve memory function," said Letier. I personally like to breathe in some rosemary when I am experiencing writer's block while working.
The holy basil plant (also known as tulsi) is not only unique looking, but also has wonderful benefits for the mind and body. "This beautifully scented plant is believed to have adaptogenic benefits and research confirms it protects against stress," shared Letier. She suggested picking a few leaves from the plant, muddling them in your palms, and breathing in their scent; it will help any negative feelings slip away.
Keep a few mint plants around the house if you often feel anxious or frazzled, as mint helps keep anxiety and nervousness at bay. "Mint plants stimulate the mind and uplift your mood to produce feelings of confidence and optimism," said Letier.
Rose-scented geraniums are not only nice to look at, but also have some positive effects on the body. "The aromatics and essential oils produced by the foliage in this floral encourage your body to produce serotonin, which is attributed to feelings of well-being and happiness," explained Nathan Beckner, lead plant designer and horticulturist at Sagegreenlife. In addition to its ability to lift your mood, Beckner also said that it can be used in baths for a healthy detox and easily given as gifts to friends, as the plant is very simple to propagate.
Spathiphyllum, also known as the peace lily, is a very easy-to-care-for flowering plant that can also thrive in low-light environments — so no worries if you don't necessarily have a green thumb! What makes this plant even better? It is naturally calming. "The peace lily is a wonderful purifying plant with flowers that offer a lovely, calming fragrance," said Beckner.