Have you been feeling stressed lately? Well, the answer to that issue might be found in your own backyard. The Department of Landscape Architecture in collaboration with the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has found that planting seeds can help reduce stress levels to the same or higher degree as 8 meditation sessions. Additionally, the Universities of Sheffield, Westminster, and Virginia all found that a lush greenery front yard can make you feel happier and closer to nature.
"The stress reduction data is startling, in that we found such a significant response with just a relatively small number of plants," said Dr. Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui, who is doing the research as part of her Ph.D., "Now we know that access to even a tiny patch of nature has beneficial effects for our health." She also certified that some lonely people found it especially motivational. A little green can go a long way!
After the plants were introduced to the people caring for them, their stress levels decreased by 6%. Even better, only a mere 24% of residents had healthy cortisol patterns prior to the start of the experiment. After a year of caring for the plants day in and day out, over 53% of residents showed healthier cortisol patterns.
"Today life is even more stressful for so many, meaning the results of this experiment are more important than ever," said Dr. Suyin Chalmin-Pui, "Together we should all try to make a positive difference one plant at a time."