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How Gardens Can Help Improve Your Mental Health

Written by: phs Greenleaf

phs Greenleaf has been providing planting and landscaping services to businesses for over 25 years, including indoor and outdoor plants, artificial and live planting, living walls, grounds maintenance and Christmas trees and decorations.

Did you know that gardening, or even just spending time in a garden, can benefit your mental health, reduce stress, and increase happiness? 

After all, humans evolved in the wild, and our natural environment includes trees, plants and birds, not office cubicles and PC monitors. 

From anxiety and depression to grief, heartbreak, and injury - gardens can reduce stress and discomfort and improve mental health related to all sorts of issues and complaints.  Of course, this applies to general stress that occurs in all of our daily lives, too - even those of us that don’t suffer from mental health problems. 

Researchers from Sheffield, Westminster and Virginia Universities found that a more colourful garden can help make you happier, less stressed and feel closer to nature. They also found that before their study, 24% of participants had a healthy level of cortisol (the stress hormone), whereas after the study was complete, over 53% did, showing a clear improvement in stress simply by spending time in a garden. 

Part of these benefits come from simply being around plants, regardless of location or the type of plant. As already discussed, simply being around plants can help us feel happier, likely due to the fact that humans evolved around and with plants, relying on many for sustenance and other needs. Plants also offer numerous other benefits including supporting biodiversity, flood management, reduced air pollution, food production, and more. 

However, a garden can also benefit your mental health in other ways too. By creating a natural and vibrant ambience, you can subconsciously receive the same benefits while not deliberately paying attention to the plants. 

For example: 

Sounds such as bees and other pollinators, birds, water features etc create a calming background noise that can refresh the mind, remove stress and help you feel happier and more peaceful. 

Smells such as flowers, herbs and other plants, but especially plants famed for their smell (such as lemon blossom, lavender, rosemary etc), have been found to improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and even offer their own individual herbal benefits (for example, lavender has been suggested to help improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia symptoms). 

Other Scents play their part too - there are few places as packed full of different colours, patterns, textures, materials, tastes and smells as a well kept garden. All of these things can affect our mood in a positive way. Colours have been found to have specific effects on the mind - for example red and yellow can stimulate excitement whereas green and blue can encourage calm. Keeping this mind when designing your garden and using the right colours can make a significant difference. 

Of course, all of this is without mentioning the benefit of having such a distraction available to you. Whether you’re working in an office and walking outside to view the office garden area, or working at home and stepping outside into your own garden, this small break will give you chance to focus on something other than your drab office and work tasks, which can refresh the mind and have you returning to work more energised than ever. It can also help remove workplace monotony and improve workplace satisfaction, which of course bleeds into general life happiness, work productivity and many other benefits. 

Looking for Help With This? 

phs Greenleaf is the UK’s leading supplier of commercial gardening services. From indoor and outdoor landscaping to hanging baskets and grounds maintenance, we can help you give your employees and workplace all the benefits of a beautiful garden area or indoor office plants, with none of the hard work or effort! 

This allows your business and employees to experience all the benefits of plants, feeling refreshed and invigorated daily - while you focus your energies on what you do best! 

To learn more, get in touch now! 

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