Everyone knows that plants are stress relievers, but recent research has shown that having a few plants in an empty front yard could reduce your stress levels as much as eight weekly mindfulness sessions.

Photo by Nick Brookenheimer on Unsplash

Study shows plants doing good to help relieve stress.

Research from the Universities of Sheffield, Westminster, and Virginia found that a greener front yard can make you feel happier. Researchers measured the residents’ concentrations of cortisol hormone before and after the plants were added.

It was revealed that stress levels fell by 6% after residents were first introduced to the plants. The study involved 42 residents with 38 gardens. One group started later than the other. Residents were given one tree, one shrub, one climber, and smaller plants, bulbs, and bedding plants. The containers used were self-watering.

Over time the study showed that residents saw a decline in their stress level.

green leafed plant in can hanging on wall
Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

According to the research, only 24 percent of residents had healthy cortisol patterns before the plants went in. Still, over the year following the greening of the front gardens, this increased to 53 percent. More than half of the residents said the gardens were helping them feel happier.

Dr. Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui was the head of the research. The study took four years to complete. Cortisol levels change across the day. On average and in a healthy person, levels peak during the early morning after waking and drop to the lowest levels at night.

It’s good to see people focused on finding easy and ecofriendly ways of relieving people’s stress. Do you have a garden? Have you noticed a stress release from planting plants and flowers? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments section below.


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