Best Indoor Plants for Anxiety
Navigating life is hard. From the home, to school, to work (or whatever take you’re trying to complete at the time), balancing them all is no mean feat.
It’s very easy for us to get caught in trying to figure how best to live our lives that we forget to care for ourselves.
Now more than ever, more people are battling anxiety and depression.
While we cannot totally ignore the place of professional help and medication. A few tweaks to your home and your lifestyle may go a long way, in helping you deal with all that you’re feeling.
As you are advised to take a break and get some rest, it is also important to note that spending a lot of time at home could expose you to lots of domestic toxins/pollutant. Thus reducing the quality of air you inhale.
These toxins could lead to greater health problems and in worst case scenarios, death.
So if we’re telling you spending lots of time on the move can cause stress and anxiety and staying indoors could kill you, how then are you supposed to live your life?
Well we have an answer for you: indoor gardening.
In addition to making your home visually appealing, certain indoor plants have been proven to purify your indoor air and ultimately improve your mental health.
How Indoor Plants Help with Anxiety?
Now that we’ve established that indoor plants may be the first step to improving your mood and dealing with stress and anxiety, let’s discuss how exactly this works.
Indoor plants improve air quality.
Research has proven that there is a direct relationship between oxygen levels and stress.
Also, when there is an increased level of toxins in indoor air, stress and anxiety is bound to be on the rise.
Therefore, maintaining premium indoor air quality (free from toxins and low oxygen levels) would go a long way in improving your mood and helping with stress and anxiety.
Indoor plants contain microbes called M.vaccae.
This is a non-pathogenic bacteria that occurs naturally in soil.
They have been proven to stimulate the production of serotonin.
A neurotransmitter that helps to regulate sleep, digestion, memory, mood.
And social behavior as a whole.
Low levels of serotonin have been associated with depression.
This means that increased levels of this substance in the brain will translate to improved mental health.
Indoor plants release phytoncides. Phytoncides are organic compounds found in plants that help to fight bacteria and improve our immune system.
If your system is constantly being cleaned out by the air you breathe (because of your indoor plants).
Then you can be sure that your overall mental health will be impacted positively.
Indoor plants are visually pleasing. It is a known fact that your immediate surrounding has an impact on your productivity and your mood.
This means that if you like what you see around you, then you’re likely to be more productive and less stressed.
By bringing beauty to your home, indoor plants are bringing beauty to your life.
In addition to the aforementioned, indoor plants are also known to improve attentiveness, lower blood pressure, increase productivity. And decrease mild depression.
So you see, it’s more than just plants and gardens, it’s about your mental health and your life in general.
Indoor Plant Guide
At this point, with your new found knowledge about indoor plants, I’m sure you can’t wait to fill your home with those babies.
However, there are a few things you should know before you take the leap.
Care. It is important to note that not all indoor plants require the same level of care.
You need to honestly assess yourself and determine how much time and care you’re willing to give your plants.
if you’re one who doesn’t have all the time to spare, or one who may for get to water the plants every now and then. You may want to choose stress relieving indoor plants that do not require so care and attention.
Light. Some indoor plants require direct sunlight while others do not. Depending on how much light or shade you’ll be able to provide. You should be able to make the right choice of indoor plant to cultivate.
Some indoor plants are poisonous. When ingested, some stress relieving indoor plants (like the dracaena and philodendron) are known to be toxic.
So if you have pets or young children running around, you may want to think twice about having them in your home.
Best Indoor Plants for relieving Stress and Anxiety
Aloe Vera: This succulent plant is one that needs no introduction. Although originating from Arabia. Now grown in several tropical parts of the world.
It is more widely known for its use in the cosmetic industry, but the uses of these wonder plants are endless.
Also said to be one of the most efficient bio filters in the world.
In addition to removing carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from the air. It is also known to rid indoor air of benzene and formaldehyde.
All of which when inhaled contribute to stress and anxiety.
Over the years, the Aloe Vera plant had been largely used for scars and sunburn treatment.
However, researchers and plant scientist have discovered that when it can be applied to several other ailments and conditions.
When ingested, Aloe Vera juice lowers blood sugar, relieves heartburn.
Works as a natural laxative, and slows the growth of some breast cancer cells.
When applied on the skin, it keeps the skin clear, hydrated and youthful.
It can also be used as an organic mouthwash.
In fact, given all its benefits, there’s no reason to not have the Aloe Vera growing somewhere in your home.
Like several other succulent plants, Aloe Vera thrives in dry conditions. While you will still have to water the indoor plant, you have to ensure that the soil is one that drains very easily.
It also needs bright light so make sure it is placed in windows that are south or west facing (in order to get optimal amounts of sunlight).
Generally, Aloe Vera Plants do not need fertilizer. But if you must fertilize, keep it to the bare minimum (at most twice a year).
While Aloe Vera juice is non-toxic, it’s leaves are mildly toxic. And have been proven to increase the occurrence of cancer.
It is therefore necessary that you keep your children and your pets from eating the leaves.
Plant’s for anxiety and Depression
Jasmine: Although naturally occurring as a wild plant, the jasmine plant can also be grown indoors.
Known for its strong and pleasant fragrance, this plant has been proven to improve sleep quality.
With better sleep, you are less likely to be stressed and anxious.
Its sweet smelling flowers (which have been used for aromatherapy for decades) stimulates are senses. And ensure that after a satisfying nap, we wake up alert and ready to focus.
Jasmines are often used in form of essential oils which are extracted from the flowers.
This oil has several cosmetic and health applications all of which contribute to improved mental health.
Jasmine oil can be used to ease mild depression, boost concentration, treat spasms. And treat insomnia as well as many other ailments.
So you see, it’s not just good for perfumes or your skin. Jasmine is good for your life.
In caring for your jasmine plant, remember that it is ultimately an outdoors plant and would thrive better with lots of light.
Make sure you place your plant in a very sunny spot to encourage growth.
You should also be ready to prune it regularly so that it does not grow out of control and fertilize fairly often.
Lavender: While we know lavender for being a flagrant flower used for making perfumes and other cosmetic products. It has proven itself to be so much more.
The native African and Asian plant is very effective in reducing anxiety.
According to research, lavender contains an alcohol, linalool. Which when inhaled stimulates the brain in the same manner that anti-anxiety medication works.
However, unlike anti-anxiety drugs, linalool produces the same effect without affecting the movement or mobility of the one who inhale’s it.
Also, when the essential oil is extracted for lavender, it can be applied to so many health problems. Some of which include: lowering stress and heart rates, reducing menstrual pain, treating alopecia, canker sores etc.
Caring for your lavender plant involves keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Exposing it to bright light (right in front of a window) and fertilizing lightly, every now and then.
Plants that relieve stress and depression
Peppermint: As one of the most popular members of the mint family. The native European plant is not unknown to anyone.
Its strong minty aroma has been tested and proven to offer stress relief and memory enhancement.
The substance responsible for its strong smell (menthol) is a powerful muscle relaxant.
When made into tea and ingested, Peppermint has unlimited potential.
It relaxes the muscles of your digestive tract, thus resulting in faster and more efficient digestion.
It also suppresses cravings and is therefore perfect for you if you’re trying to shed a few pounds.
The aromatic plant is best suited for moist soil and shaded locations.
This should inform your decision on where to place your indoor peppermint plant.
You want to make sure to water it regularly but be careful not to water log the soil.
Gerbera: Also known as the African daisy, the brightly colored plant is native to Africa and South America.
This wonderful plant works in so many ways to improve your mental health.
By removing toxins like trichloroethylene (which is present in dry-cleaning), benzene which is a major component of ink) and carbon monoxide.
It improves air quality and ensure that your system stays clean.
Unlike other plants that work mostly during the day to remove carbon dioxide and other toxins. The Gerbera also purifies the air during the night time as well.
This means that your sleep is guaranteed to be satisfying. Since your body is not working extra hard to provide you with clean air.
Also, the Gerbera’s bright red yellow and orange colors visually appealing and can instantly improve your mood.
The Gerbera thrives best in bright light and medium temperatures.
This is a tricky combination, because placing it by the window might result in heat destruction for the leaves.
And placing it away from the window may mean not enough light (which will prevent or slow down its blooming).
To hack this, you may need to move the plant around a bit i.e. place it in the window in the morning when the sun is bright. But not too hot, then move it into shade afterwards.
Your soil should always be properly drained and fertilized at least once in every month.
Snake Plant: Another succulent plant, the native African and South Asian plant is very effective for dealing with stress and anxiety.
Based on research by NASA, the Snake Plant is one of the best indoor plants for improving air quality.
Which will ultimately improve mental health.
Snake plants need well drained soil so be careful to water it very sparingly.
They also do not thrive in direct sunlight. In fact, if you’re that kind of gardener who doesn’t have a lot of time to spare for their plants. Then this is definitely the plant for you.
It is important to note that the leaves of this plant are poisonous to pets and should be handled appropriately.
The list is not exhaustive.
Other plants that are known to relieve stress and improve mental well being include: English Ivy, Chrysanthemums, Philodendrons, Snake Plant, Areca Palm, and Spider Plant etc.
While this post affirms that the plants discussed have anxiety and stress relieving properties. It should not completely replace the need for professional help.
Severe depression should be addressed by a qualified professional. So that a suitable treatment course can be prescribed.
That being said, it’s time to take your mental health serious, and stop accepting stress as the status quo.
Get one or some of the indoor plants we’ve discussed today and watch your mood instantly switch from cloudy to sunny in no time!