More Plants, Less Stress

Lauren Kot, student, St. Louis Community College  |  March 18, 2022 in Pearson Students

A collection of six houseplants if a variety of planters, including one in a pink ceramic cat.

It is easy for college students to feel overwhelmed while juggling classes, study sessions, a job, and a social life, not to mention preparing for a future after college. But it can also be an incredibly exciting and wonderful time! Prioritizing mental health is so important for college students. Finding ways to help manage stress and relieve anxiety will have such a healthy impact on your overall health and wellness, and it will make your college experience all the better.

One easy way that you can improve your mental health and wellbeing is caring for a houseplant. There are many ways that plants can better your overall health and wellbeing. Owning a plant has been shown to:

  • lower stress and anxiety
  • improve mood
  • give you a greater sense of purpose and responsibility
  • improve productivity
  • increase attention span
  • and improve air quality!

Reduce Stress Levels

How can one plant do all of this? Well to start, having plants around you makes you feel more relaxed, comfortable, and can reduce your physiological and psychological stress. Researchers found that students in a computer lab who were surrounded by plants had lower blood pressure than those who had no plants. Plants can make you feel less stressed, happier, and more optimistic. Watching a plant grow and admiring its beauty will instantly improve your mood.

Increase Brain Function

Studies have also shown that plants improve productivity and increase attention span, two things that all college students want in their life! Houseplants engage your senses, decreasing cortisol levels and increasing productivity. In one specific study, brain scans of students in a classroom showed that students who studied with real plants in the classroom were more attentive and concentrated better than those who did not have plants around them. Having a plant in your room allows for studying better and longer.

Become a Plant Parent

If you’re new to plant ownership, look for plants that need little maintenance, such as aloe vera, spider or snake plants, and succulents. Caring for a plant will give you a sense of responsibility and will improve your overall confidence. It strengthens your bond with nature and gives you a stronger sense of purpose.

It may be intimidating at first to be in charge of keeping a plant alive, but it is way easier than you might have thought. Once your plant starts growing and flourishing it will encourage you to continue the pattern of caring and helping it grow. And the wonderful thing is that the plant gives back by improving your air quality. It does so by removing carbon dioxide from the air and replacing it with oxygen. Having a plant allows you to gain a greater sense of purpose as well as cleaner air to breathe.

There are many things you can do to benefit your mental health, and owning a plant is just one of them. Even if you live in a small dorm or apartment, all you need is a little bit of sunlight and a small plant that doesn’t take up a lot of space. It is that simple! You can visit a local nursery or any home improvement store and find a plant for less than $10. You are one small action away from becoming a plant parent and a happier college student. Stress less and own a plant!

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