Houseplants Reduce Stress Symptoms?
Do you know how to recognize the symptoms of dangerous stress levels?
Typical symptoms of dangerous stress levels include headaches, poor mental focus, slipping memory, confusion, feeling spaced out, disturbed sleep patterns, feeling tired or run down, weight loss or gain… the list goes on and on.
But there’s hope – and even some remarkable evidence that just caring for a houseplant can help reduce your stress symptoms. Read on.
Most people are NOT aware of the degree to which they are suffering from stress. Our society admires those who show grace under pressure, and we all want to believe we can handle whatever life throws at us. But the stakes are high. People who can’t reduce chronic stress live shorter lives, suffer more illness and disability, have less satisfying relationships, and often are plagued by anxiety and/or depression.
We all know that stress contributes to weight gain, diabetes and many other ailments – but few realize just how harmful stress is for the physical brain itself. And fewer still know how to recognize their own stress symptoms.
Although chronic stress has long been known to trigger the release of excessive amounts of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, new studies show that both hormones actually KILL brain cells, and interfere with the production of new ones.
Is stress really an issue? Consider this: Research shows that chronic stress seriously disrupts our immune, endocrine and digestive systems. This has important implications for our physical health And killing our gray matter (the brain’s information processing center) from long periods of even minor stress is also not a pretty picture..
The Best Proven Stress Reducers
Changing our thought patterns can help us better control stress. This can allow us to prevent and even reverse some of the adverse changes such as loss of brain cells in our hippocampus — where our memory resides.
Research shows that people who spend just 20 minutes a day focusing on their breath, or on calming thoughts, experience lower blood pressure, less anxiety and reduced chronic pain from stress.
Moderate exercise is also an excellent stress fighter. Other good stress reducers are feeling we have a purpose in life, or having a pet to care for. There is also quite a bit of evidence that engineered brainwave training, which has actually been around for almost 40 years is a very effective stress fighter, and has lasting stress management effects.
How a Plant Can Help
But here’s a research study that may really surprise you: In one study the residents of a nursing home were split into two groups. Half of the residents were told that they were responsible for taking care of a house plant.
After one year, the people who were caring for a house plant were healthier and had fewer illnesses. They also lived longer than the group who did not have a plant to care for. So yes, DO go buy a plant – or give one to your Mom, Dad, Grandma, or even your boss 🙂