How indoor plants help you be more mindful

When you are in the garden it’s easy to slip into ‘the zone’.  A time when the clatter of thoughts still and instead you become tuned to the environment around you.  The whisper of breezes, birdsong somewhere and you are captivated by the plants themselves – their colour, the leaf variation and the insects clambering to connect.

Those Crazy Indoor Plant People (CIPPA) who have hundreds of plants inside may also feel the same direct link with nature that is provided by a garden.  But is it possible to get this same essence in an indoor scene?  As more biophilic design makes its way into our homes, this connection with nature certainly is easier to imagine.  Looking outside through picture windows into tree canopies, watching clouds whizz across the sky or simply feeling the warmth of the sun through glass on a cold day when you’re protected inside are certainly a start, but is there more mindfulness to be noted from within our domestic space, and how can indoor plants play their part?

Caring for your indoor plants is one way to block out the constant interruptions of technology and bring your focus onto a simple repetitive task.  This might be through gentle washing of foliage and wiping off dust from the leaves of your plants, or the dead heading and trimming of damaged or diseased foliage.  Mixing up your favourite ‘brew’ to feed your ‘plant pets’ also is an ‘in the moment’ gesture of care and giving.  It might simply be watering your plants, taking them in to the bathroom for a tepid shower or soaking them in the sink before draining them off and returning them to their homes.  Certainly, the opportunity to gaze at an orchid bloom opening or watch new fern fronds unfurl is a simple pleasure worth indulging in.

Research has shown that plants in hospitals reduce stress and increase health outcomes, and other research indicated that people with houseplants are happier and have a calming effect.  Other ideas aside from the standard ‘pot and plant’ combo could include perfumed plants like hoyas, air plants, water plants, bonsai, aquariums and terrariums – with plants aiding us so much, why stop at one!

 

By Meredith Kirton


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