My academic, work and social life happening within the four walls of my bedroom has led me to buy plant after plant after plant this year — and, after some thought, I think you should, too.
My room, which is usually filled with a combination of class notes, flash cards and desperation, is now home to eight plants, and I don’t think I am stopping there.
To my right, I have a beautiful ivy that is growing steadily. To my left is a spider plant given to me by a friend.
And the six others? Well they are around me too, thriving.
I never thought of myself as a plant person. I didn’t think I could keep a plant alive, to be honest. But ever since I’ve had more plants in my room, I’ve found that it relieves my stress a little.
According to a study from the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, taking care of indoor plants may reduce your psychological and physiological stress. Their method was based on participants’ responses to repotting a plant versus doing a computer task. When doing the computer task, their blood pressure went up, but then it went down as they were repotting a plant.
From my own personal experience, I can say that this is true.
Much of my anxiety comes from my overwhelming to-do list for work and school. But I bought new plants not too long ago, and my thoughts naturally slowed as I repotted them.
The act of watering plants is therapeutic, too. A study published in BJPsych shows that plants can help with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety by bringing a sense of achievement.
When I feel guilty about not accomplishing my tasks for the day, I tend to my plants and say to myself, “At least I accomplished one thing.” I prevented the death of my plants, which is a great achievement for me.
Studies have shown that green spaces are good for your mental health. That’s why going for outdoor walks where there are trees is good, but taking that green space indoors is just as beneficial, and this time, not just for your mental health.
As students, we have thousands of tasks to finish. Having indoor plants has shown to improve your productivity.
In 1996, a study found that the plants in a computer lab increased students’ productivity by 12 per cent and resulted in lower stress levels. Another study in 2007, published in HortScience, showed that having plants in view as you work improves your productivity as well.
Honestly, I can’t agree more with that.
Having my ivy beside my laptop as I work gives me a sense of professionalism, even though I am in my pajamas half of the time. I think it is because of how hollywood movies always have that one character with a work desk that has a plant on the side, or a fica in their office.
Lastly, plants just make me feel better, period.
In a study published in HortTechnology in 2000, it was found that having indoor plants decreased health complaints and discomfort in children and workers. Some of the explanations for this are the improvement of air quality, and the improved well-being due to seeing plants and being in an indoor natural environment.
Personally, I thrive being in a natural environment. The plants in my room help create that ambience for me. I usually go for walks because seeing the trees puts me at ease, and the plants in my room have a similar effect, too.
This spring, welcome the fresh air and the melting of the snow with some plants in your room. The impending doom of finals approaching gives you, as a student, more reason to relieve that stress by buying plant after plant after plant.
This op-ed was written by a University of Saskatchewan undergraduate student and reflects the views and opinions of the writer. If you would like to write a reply, please email email@example.com. J.C Balicanta Narag is a fourth-year undergraduate business student studying human resources and is the Editor-of-Chief of the Sheaf.
J.C. Balicanta Narag | Editor-in-Chief
Photo: J.C. Balicanta Narag | Editor-in-Chief