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Improving Wellness: How Having a Green Thumb Might Improve Memory and Lessen Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

It isn’t surprising to learn that plants play a vital role in our lives and the environment. They provide us with oxygen, food, and medicine, and help to regulate the Earth's climate and weather patterns.  However, in addition to their ecological benefits, plants also bring numerous benefits to our physical and mental health.

Just as a refresher, one of the most well-known benefits of plants is their ability to improve air quality. Many plants, such as spider plants, peace lilies, and snake plants, are effective at removing harmful chemicals and pollutants from the air which is especially important in urban areas, where air pollution can be a major concern. By removing these pollutants, plants can help reduce the risk of respiratory problems and other health issues. Besides this, plants have an amazing effect on mental health as well.

In 2015, researchers conducted a study to determine how plants can benefit people both psychologically and physiologically. The subjects were assigned two tasks; one plant-related task and the other a computer-related task. According to the research study, the subjects felt more at ease after a plant-related activity than they did after the task involving computers. The data also showed that the sympathetic nervous system's activity increased gradually during the computer task but dropped during the task with plants, meaning anxiety was lessened when the subject was dealing with the plant task. The disparities between the data gathered from the two tasks, according to researchers, were quite significant. Additionally, they found that after performing the job connected to plants, the subject's blood pressure was significantly lower.

According to a study done at Exeter University in the UK, indoor plants can boost staff well-being, productivity, and concentration by 47%. Additionally, they found that plants can increase memory by up to 20%. Other research even demonstrates that plants can improve a wide range of other cognitive abilities, including imaginative thinking, spatial processing, and more.

These effects are probably a result of a plant's oxygenating properties, scents, and striking color contrasts. For the brain to function at its best, the ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide must be just perfect and the addition of plants can aid in this process. 

In addition to the mental health benefits, plants can also provide physical benefits. Gardening and other activities involving plants can provide a moderate amount of physical activity, which can help improve muscle strength and flexibility, balance, and overall physical health. In fact, research has shown that gardening can reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions.

In conclusion, plants bring numerous benefits to our physical and mental health, as well as the environment. From improving air quality and reducing stress to providing physical benefits and social opportunities, plants play a vital role in promoting overall well-being. 

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Tags: #health #mentalhealth #greenthumb #gardening


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