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AlisonBrill Posted by Alison T. Brill, MPH, Community Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Do you ever notice how your energy feels different when you're surrounded by nature versus concrete, or an office with no plant life? Plants are alive and literally breathe life into us. Trees and plants produce oxygen, so it makes sense that we’d feel refreshed and more energized after being around them, even for a short time.

LuckyBambooThough I love living in a vibrant and bustling city, I crave being around nature. It's grounding and makes me feel connected to something larger. Often just the sight of a green plants and tress and vibrant flowers boosts my mood and reduces stress. The scent of flowers actually helps to reduce the stress hormone in a person who’s undergone stress and relaxes the body, mind and soul.

Lush, green plants literally give us energy that we can use. Studies have shown that kids who play in green space are more creative, less aggressive, and perform better academically. Many people believe that having plants in homes/offices makes us happier and healthier. Plants help filter the air by cutting harmful toxins and pollutants. They remove carbon dioxide and give off oxygen while helping to stabilize humidity levels.

On a basic level, plants help brighten up a room. Studies have shown that hospital patients who face a window with a garden view recover more quickly than those who look at a wall. Caring for and nurturing plants takes us away from our stress and troubles and focus on other things, while also bringing a little more structure to our lives. Plants actually make people feel calmer and more optimistic by relaxing muscles and making the environment more comfortable. Who knew vegetation was so powerful? BonsaiTreeOnMansDesk2

While most of us can’t be outside all day, we can bring a little nature inside with us. Simply adding plants to your office or workspace increases creativity. Think about it – white, sterile walls versus lush, green plant life – it’s no contest. Surrounding ourselves with plants adds life to your environment and makes us feel more relaxed, similar to how we feel when we are outdoors appreciating nature. Working requires our full attention for long periods of time. Looking at plants, even for a minute, gives us a break from repetitive or overwhelming tasks, and lets us to turn our attention to a creative force, allowing us to refocus.  

Do something good for yourself and your co-workers by picking up some plants for your home and office today! If you have pets, make sure your plants are non-toxic.

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