Stress increases chronic pain and chronic pain increases stress.
Studies show that being around nature promotes calm and improves mental health.
But many people with joint pain find it hard to get out and about in nature. Activities like hiking or camping may not be possible.
Indoor plants offer an easy and affordable way to enjoy nature at home.
This is good news for people with arthritis, who are twice as likely to suffer from depression and / or anxiety than the general population.
Being around plants improves mental health by lowering blood pressure and calming mood.
Touching and smelling indoor plants has been proven to reduce physiological and psychological stress, by suppression of the sympathetic nervous system.
Suppressing the sympathetic nervous system reduces the 'fight or flight' response which is linked to cortisol, the hormone that increases stress. Less cortisol = less feelings of stress.
Even potting soil has mental health benefits. This is because soil contains microbes called “outdoorphins” (M. vaccae) which work as natural antidepressants.
Plants also improve the quality of the air in your home and act as a natural humidifier. Some houseplants absorb pollutants through their roots and leaves, reducing airborne pollutants by up to 60%.
If you want to try adding indoor plants to your home, consider plants that are easy to care for.
You don't want to be lifting heavy watering cans or struggling to move cumbersome plants around when you have arthritis.
We recommend air plants, succulents, photos, and spider plants as low-maintenance plants that will add a touch of nature to your home.
Source: Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study. Min-sun Lee, Juyoung Lee, [...], and Yoshifumi Miyazaki. J Physiol Anthropol. 2015; 34(1): 21