Bring nature in: try ‘plant bathing’ at home
Reap the botanical benefits with some lush new additions to your home
It’s a fact: spending time in nature is good for us. Being outside and strolling among trees and through parks can boost our mood, reduce our stress levels, lower our blood pressure and even improve our attention and make us more empathetic. What’s not to like?
The benefits of being in nature are so well documented that ‘forest bathing’ is a recognised ancient Japanese practice of relaxation, known as shinrin yoku in Japan. This practice is all about finding a moment of peace and calm while being surrounded by nature. Evidence from NHS Forest in the UK also found a ‘significant’ positive impact on physical and mental wellbeing from being among forests. Win, win.
The good news is that you don’t have to go far to enjoy these green benefits –you can simply bring nature into your home with a houseplant (or six). There are so many benefits to ‘plant bathing’ that a pop-up ‘plant bathing studio’ even opened in Amsterdam in 2018, with visitors paying 1 euro each to spend five minutes immersed in indoor greenery.
Whether you group houseplants together in a sunny corner of your home, or opt for statement plants throughout your living space, enjoying the wellbeing benefits of some added greenery is easier than ever.
Bring in the green
As well as improving our mood and reducing our stress levels, houseplants could also benefit our work. One study found that adding plants to an office space could increase productivity by a massive 15%, while another found that the mere presence of plants was effective at improving our attention span.
So treating yourself to a baby cactus for your desk or a large feature plant for your home office could legitimately be seen as an investment in your career…
Hello plants, goodbye toxins
The benefits of plant bathing don’t end there, with research from NASA finding that houseplants can actually purify the air in our homes. Plants breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which is always a plus, but they can also remove nasty toxins such as benzene and ammonia from the air. In fact, houseplants are so powerful that they can remove up to 87% of air toxins in your home within just 24 hours, according to NASA.
Caring for your new additions
Be sure to read the label on your new houseplant to see how often it needs watering and feeding. Check whether it needs any special attention such as regular misting, too.
Even this aspect of plant bathing can help you reap wellbeing benefits, with research suggesting that caring for a living plant and watching it thrive and bloom can give us feelings of purpose and reward.