And why you should too!
Hi, my name is Raven and I am a mother to 41 plants. My oldest has been in my life since 2014 and my youngest, she met her siblings about 2 days ago. I, at one point, was ashamed of my strong adoration for these leafy little loves, but now...I am downright giddy at every new leaf and petal!
I started my collection in 2014 with lucky bamboo (Bambi) as a gift to my new home and a spider plant (Charlotte) given to me by a coworker. Since then, I have acquired everything from succulents, palms, monsteras, oh my! And am still just as excited to water them and talk to them as I first began. Why? Because not only are they gorgeous to look at, they are beneficial in many ways. Here's why I became a plant mama and why you should too!
Plants are good for your health; mentally, emotionally, physically, etc.
You don't have to be a scientist or an expert in biology to know that we kinda (definitely) need plants. They release oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide and other airborne toxins. Aside from these basic facts, did you know that soil can act as an antidepressant? Soil contains "good" bacteria that can alter parts of your brain to promote positive moods and emotions. In fact, Mycobacterium vaccae (bacteria) promotes serotonin production (serotonin is the mood regulating neurotransmitter).
Perhaps the most intriguing benefit of being a plant parent is the plant's ability to improve sensory awareness, lessen stress and anxiety levels, and reduce physical pain as well as the pain caused by diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer's, dementia, depression, PTSD, ADD, ADHD, etc. Research has shown that people that spend more time in natural settings speed up recovery from mental stress and fatigue as well as improve their focus, concentration and memory. These individuals are better able to process and express their emotions as well as better manage and control the symptoms associated with different disorders. Improved cognition is also associated with simply looking at the color green.
Okay. It's not really a thing, but it should be! Gardening may be the most inexpensive form of therapy out! While gardening, individuals tend to focus on the present more (*wink* mindfulness). Instead of concentrating on the "bad" things like the stress related to work, family, and society in general, or the increased time spent with technology, individuals literally tune out to prune, water, and nurture their plants. Even if it's only for a few minutes each with, when gardening, individuals who garden are lessening the psychological and physiological impact of stressors. Plus, it's really a great feeling to see something come to fruition by your work. That boost of happy typically increase productivity in other areas of an individual's life.
Plant Parents Are Smart
No, really! Plant parents tend to test higher on tests of intelligence. Nuff said!
Several studies indicate heightened self-esteem as a result of gardening or simply being in natural environments. In current studies, this may be the result of individuals having to detach themselves from the media to tend to their plants meaning less opportunity for comparison. Studies also show that gardening impacted feelings of positivity, happiness, hopefulness, comfort, relaxation and overall satisfaction.
Greater Responsibility Results in Greater Productivity, Creativity, and Concentration
Personally speaking, plants have made me incredibly responsible. I have a watering, misting, fertilizing, and musical schedule for my plant babies to both engage with them and aid in their growth. I have found myself waking up earlier to ensure that I am ready with enough time to mist or water them before going to work and opening the curtains so that they get optimal light. I also have found myself disconnecting from the rest of the world for significant amounts of time to care for my babies and reconnect with myself. During times of pruning, I spend time engaging in positive self talk, gratitude and affirmations.
Patience! Patience! Patience!
My plants have taught me patience! Not just patience with their growth, but grace and patience with my own growth. Like a plant, you need sun and water (obviously), but you also need to pruned and tended to in order to grow. Growth is necessary, but it's not always easy. Think of how hard it must be to crack open the seed and lift yourself out of the soil to produce flowers. There is rarely instant gratification with gardening. All growth takes time. And oftentimes, life, like gardening requires some type or investment. Whether it be time, money, food, etc., you have to give in order to get. Our lives closely resemble the lives of plants, so in order for you to better know yourself, get to know some plants!
Let's get growing!
Helpful tip: If this inspired you to become a plant parent, try a golden pothos, spider plant, snake plant, succulent, bamboo or cacti as your first plant. I recommend these because they don't have difficult light or water requirements nor are they hard to care for as far as their soil and pruning needs. (And they are very hard to kill). Tag @mindfulnessmovementnc in your new plant posts! We can't wait to see!