It’s time for another ‘Good News Monday’ and this week is all about greenery! Research by the Department of Landscape Architecture in the US in collaboration with Royal Horticultural Society found that having plants in your garden or yard has been found to significantly reduce stress levels. The researchers at the Universities of Sheffield, Westminster and Virginia found that have more greenery can make you feel happier, more relaxed and closer to nature.

The study was carried out over a four year period and started with adding ornamental plants to previously bare front gardens in economically deprived streets of Greater Manchester. 42 residents were given: 1 tree (juniper of snowy mespilus), 1 shrub (azalea), 1 climber (clematis), sub-shrubs (lavender, rosemary), bulbs (daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops), and bedding plants (petunia, viola) to fill two containers. The study also consisted of a control group who were given the plants a year later.

Researchers measured the residents’ concentrations of the hormone cortisol (which has an important role in helping the body respond to stress) both before and after the plants were added. Before the addition of the plants, only 24% of residents had healthy cortisol patterns. Over the year following the plantings, it increased to 53% and stress levels decreased by 6%.

52% of the residents reported that their garden helped them to feel happier, 40% said they felt more relaxed and 26% felt closer to nature.

One of the researchers, Dr Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui said: “We can now further evidence the vital need to incorporate plants into our front gardens and domestic spaces. This will require a change in the way we strategise, design, plan and build our living spaces.”

Our environment is so important to our wellbeing (one of our core dimensions in our 8Wise™️ is dedicated to it) so with life being more stressful than ever for many, we should all try and incorporate plants into our daily living!

Check out last week’s Good News Monday HERE

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