Plant Therapy – Nature’s Impact on our Mental Health
Plant Therapy – Nature’s impact on our Mental Health. In a previous blog we explored The Therapeutic Benefits of Nature. This blog is going to take a closer look at Plant therapy and Horticultural Therapy and its benefits to our wellbeing.
Can Nature impact on out emotional and mental wellbeing?
In our previous blog we explained that: The RHS states that there are a number of psychological benefits of indoor plants, such as:
- An improved mood
- Reduced stress levels
- Increased worker productivity (adding plants to office environments in particular)
- Increased speed of reaction in a computer task
- Improved attention span (in some scientific studies, but not all)
- Increased pain tolerance (for example, where plants were used in hospital settings)
You can read more about the research here.
It would seem therefore, that plants and nature, and human involvement in the process of planting and looking after plants, flowers and vegetables can be extremely beneficial to our emotional and mental wellbeing.
What is Horticultural Therapy?
Horticultural therapy is a technique that relies on plants and gardening to help people overcome health issues ….This form of therapy is connected to the concept of “biophilia,” which is the idea that people are genetically connected to nature and plant life. The goal of horticultural therapy, or “plant therapy,” is to help patients build self-confidence, social connections, increase compassion, and get out into nature more frequently”
What makes Horticultural or Plant Therapy Beneficial?
- It Encourages Relaxation – you are focussed on just one thing, such as weeding, this can encourage mindfulness and can be an escape from daily pressures as well as a connection to nature.
- It encourages us to be active and go outside. This raises serotonin and dopamine levels and helps to promote good sleep.
- It promotes a sense of purpose and responsibility – you are responsible for another living thing; you need to look after and nurture it.
When we are feeling low and depressed all of the above can be very important in aiding us to feel better about ourselves and within ourselves.
Below are some websites where you can read more about how plants and taking an interest in plants and growing them can be beneficial to you.
- Plant Therapy For Depression And Anxiety: The Healing Power Of Nature
- 5 Easy Houseplants to Love Based on Your Mental Health Needs
- What even is Plant Therapy?
Taking up Plant or Horticultural Therapy – What can you do?
- Start small, perhaps read the 5 Easy Houseplants article and choose one of these plants to look after in your home and build from there.
- If you are a bit more experienced, try to grow something different, challenge yourself to grow something you have never grown before. If you are a beginner look for seeds and plants that will be easy, start with cress if you need to.
- Think about vegetables, you don’t have to just grow flowers you could grow things to eat too, such as potatoes or tomatoes, if you don’t have much space these don’t have to take up too much room. Alternatively, grow herbs on a windowsill from seeds, you will have the greenery, the smell and the taste.
- If you can’t bring nature, inside make sure you go outside and be in nature, at the local park, notice neighbours’ gardens, or make a point to visit green spaces that you will enjoy.
If you are looking for more formal support on how you can manage your emotional and mental wellbeing, call Paul Carter now to book an appointment or to discuss your issues further. At the moment, Paul is only working online or the telephone due to COVID. To make an appointment please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can.