With plant-filled homes becoming one of the biggest home décor trends in recent years, it’s no surprise that there’s plenty of talk about how plants and flowers can help improve mental health. With the lockdowns due to the pandemic, there were plenty of reasons to be talking about ways to manage and better our mental health while staying inside.
Of course, just because the worst of the pandemic is behind us doesn’t mean the discussion around our mental health should stop. And, fortunately, whether you’re now working from home, working in the office, or are a stay-at-home parent, plants can still drastically help improve your happiness and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
If you’re thinking of using artificial plants in your home or place of work to reduce stress and anxiety, you’re in the right place. Here’s how they can help plus some easy ideas for using them in your home or workplace.
How Artificial Plants Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety
1) Reduces Stress-Related Depression
We find the sight of foliage and flowers innately relaxing, so having plants and flowers around the home and workplace reduces the likelihood of stress-related depression. Plants have an optimistic, upbeat feel (provided they’re artificial or being kept expertly!) that helps us feel grounded.
2) Improves Concentration
Spending time around plants (real, faux, or even a picture) has been seen to improve concentration, both at work and at home. Any task you do when surrounded by greenery will be performed with greater accuracy, simply because you’re more at ease and less easily distracted.
If you suffer from workplace anxiety or you find that your mind becomes scattered and easily distracted when you’re feeling stressed, infusing your home or workplace with artificial plants may help improve your levels of concentration and help to reduce stress due to mistakes (or the fear of making them).
3) Improves Memory
Studies have found that being surrounded by greenery can improve your memory by up to 20%, helping you to better retain information. When we’re stressed and anxious, even the simplest things can slip our minds, especially if we’re hyper-focused on one area of our lives. A little extra help with our memory can be what we need to ease that stress.
4) Increases Happiness
Having foliage and flowers around the home or workplace helps lift our spirits and soothe our irritation. People who keep plants and flowers on their desks or around their homes are generally happier, less stressed, and more relaxed than people who spend little-to-no time around nature.
5) Encourages Getting Out in Nature
Having plants and flowers around our home reminds us of how much we enjoy the simple pleasure nature can bring and encourages us to get out in nature. We’re more likely to take a stroll through the park at the weekend, take a prettier route home, or go for a bike ride. Getting outside in nature, or even simply driving the scenic route home, helps to reduce feelings of having to fly from one thing to the next, never being able to keep up.
6) Helps You Feel At Ease in Urban Areas
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7) Artificial Plants Don’t Die
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8) Improves Quality of Life
In general, people associate an abundance of plants and beautiful landscapes with a higher quality of life. Of course, if you’re surrounded by greenery and feeling more optimistic and less stressed, your quality of life is naturally going to improve.
9) Helps Speed Up Healing
Being injured or ill is always a stressful time that can progress into a period of depression, especially if we have to put a pause on our favourite activities. Studies have found that having artificial or real plants in hospital rooms, or even just the view of a garden, helps patients heal faster than those presented with a dull, industrial view.
Stress prolongs the time it takes to heal, so if you’re struggling with an injury or illness, investing in artificial plants can be the perfect way to brighten your surroundings without having to worry about how taxing it may be to take care of live plants.
10) Increases Vitality
Research has found that people who spend a lot of time around nature are more excited to get to work each day, whether that be on their career or passion projects. Their energy levels are higher and they feel animated and positive.
10 Easy Ways to Add Artificial Plants to Your Home or Workplace
Use a Few Trees with Dense Foliage: using a few artificial trees between 0.90m and 1.50m tall are a simple way to infuse your home with greenery, without much effort. Experts believe that evergreen plants are one of the easiest ways to relieve stress, so this is a simple solution. Here are a few of our favourite plants:
- Artificial Ficus – with lush, shiny foliage with varying shades of green leaves, this plant will bring instant optimism to any room.
- Monstera – with big, dark “swiss cheese” leaves, this plant has become a must-have for any plant lover.
- Areca Palm – with an abundance of relaxing palm leaves, this is by far one of the best plants to get to evoke a calming atmosphere.
- Bamboo Palm – alternatively, the bamboo palm is another good option if you like the palm style, but prefer the softer foliage of bamboo.
- Bamboo – as the universal symbol for all things zen, a bamboo tree is one of the best symbols of relaxation and calmness in the plant world.
- Banana Canna – if you have the space for a real statement plant, this tropical Banana Canna plant will help you feel warm and at ease.
Use Small Accent Plants: if you’re working with a small area, look to small artificial plants such as artificial succulents, aloe vera, and ferns. A recent study found that employees working in offices who placed a small potted plant on their desk reported less stress and anxiety after a 4-week period, compared to those who didn’t. Here are some of the best artificial small plants:
- Boston Ferns
- Aloe Vera
- Small Rubber Plants
3. Place them in your line of sight: much of the benefit of artificial plants won’t be in noticing the plants, but in simply being around them. Rather than tucking them into empty corners (though you can do that, too) try to place them in areas you gaze. For example, a plant near your TV is a good spot, the windowsill, and across the room in the spot your eyes naturally rest on when you’re thinking about something at work.
4. Use hanging plants in difficult areas: in areas where there’s little floor or surface space to work with, try a few hanging plants. You can get temporary hooks to stick onto the wall that will allow you to hang plants from them if you can’t drill. Here are some of our favourite hanging plants:
Hanging Willow Vine – this is a great option if you don’t have room for a pot because it comes with just the stem you can fix anywhere.
Classic Leaf – this hanging basket has an abundance of tiny leaves that cascade out of the basket and is the ideal addition to any space.
Hanging Fern – to bring a touch of the forest into your home or workplace, this artificial fern is the ideal choice with its wild, natural-look leaves and vines.
Fresh Hanging Fern – for a slightly more refined fern look, choose this Fresh Fern hanging basket instead.
5. Place artificial lavender or other blue flowers in your bedroom: lavender is well known for its relaxing qualities, but any lilac-coloured flower will have calming effects.
- Lemon Tree – this lemon tree with real-touch leaves and tiny faux fruit is a great option for those darker rooms and spaces.
- Eucalyptus Tree – the unique silver coloring of this eucalyptus tree makes it stand out from the crowd, even with a sea of other green plants.
Snake Plant – another plant that offers plenty of cheery yellow along with the green stripes, this plant can fit anywhere.
9. Try an artificial green wall panel: artificial green walls, whether a panel or an entire wall, is an ideal way to infuse greenery into a space, especially for offices and commercial spaces. With everything from moss to tropical foliage available, this is a great way to get that optimistic green colour in a room without taking up a ton of space. Learn more about green walls here.10. Put some green in every room: consider putting a splash of green in each room of your house in each space at work to ensure there’s something bright and lively in each space. We’ve got a guide for how to add a plant to almost every space in your home, so follow the links below for more ideas:
Adding artificial plants to your home and workplace can help reduce the stress and anxiety of those who use those spaces. Don’t forget that the winter months can be the hardest, so you may want to find other ways to bring nature inside during those months to help prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
While you’re adding plants to your home, why not consider how the Feng Shui of your home may be adding to or detracting from your sense of calm at home? Our guide How to Improve the Feng Shui of Your Home with Artificial Plants should be next on your to-read list.