Maybe the burnout culture is driving your addiction to ambition. Perhaps, you’re noticing the first signs of burnout. Stress-reduction in the workplace is on everyone’s mind today. From meditation sessions to try at work, to positive affirmations to get you through a bad workday, workers everywhere are looking for solutions. Can plants be the answer to our stress-related woes? A group of scientists in Japan likes to think so.
What Science Says
A group of Japanese researchers looking into the potential of small indoor plants to reduce office workers’ stress might pay off. Instead of looking at work environments in a lab or quasi-office setting, the study was set in a real office setting. The idea was to analyze the effects placing small plants on a workers’ desk could have on their stress levels.
Researchers observed sixty-three workers from an electric company in Japan. Each worker chose their favorite plant and was told how to properly care for the plant. In the end, the results indicate that whenever a worker can intentionally gaze at nearby plants daily, their psychological and physiological stress went down.
Why do plants help? Researchers believe the affection of caring for the plant might have a role in reducing stress levels. Also, there’s a link that spending time in nature or feeling as if you’re looking at nature also promotes stress reduction. Essentially, a desk plant allows workers to bring nature into their indoor setting.
Is It for Everyone?
Not really. The addition of indoor plants made stress or anxiety levels worse for some workers. Researchers notice that those who are typically anxious showed no improvement whatsoever. In some cases, having to care for the plant elevated their anxiety levels as participants feared their plant would die. To other workers having a plant by their desks made no difference whatsoever.
The Power of Bringing Nature into Your Life
The rising levels of stress worldwide make people find new ways to manage their stress levels. If keeping and caring for a plant is not your forte, don’t worry. Spending time in nature can have similar effects, so does staring out a window at work.
Spending time in nature is key to control anxiety and stress levels. A study found that spending at least two hours per week in nature or outdoors is enough to improve your well-being and mental health.
Best Office Plants to Reduce Stress at Work
If you do decide to bring a plant into your workspace, make sure you’re picking one that will thrive in your office environment. Find one that enjoys being in a low-light or filtered-light environment that also requires a little amount of water.
Try to stick with the best indoor plants for beginners, I promise you won’t be able to kill these even if you try. Other ideas for plants to bring to your desk include:
- Aloe vera
- English ivy
- Snake plant
- Peace lily
Let your coworkers know about the benefits of bringing plants into the office, and before you notice, you guys will be working in your very own indoor jungle. Of course, if real plants are not an option, try bringing fake plants to at least get the feel of nature indoors.