At some point, the UK will have to ease its quarantine restrictions. It doesn’t mean, though, that the Brits can now head to the beach or anywhere else quickly. Everyone still needs to practice social distancing, and that may imply spending more time at home. What can one do when they are already missing the outdoors?
With the help of landscape and garden design services, they can bring nature into their yards and still enjoy the following benefits:
1. Better Sleep
Does anyone ever wonder why babies sleep when they hear lullabies or why one can doze off fast when they’re at the beach? The reason is in the sound.
Every person has a flight-or-fight response. It helps signal danger so that the person becomes alert and focused. This way, they can evade or fight the treat with greater success.
This response system, though, can be sensitive, and it may react with sound. Loud audible noises, especially those that came out of nowhere such as a whisper, can trigger this a reaction. For those who are trying to sleep, they may find themselves waking up fast.
Meanwhile, the brain interprets slow sounds, including that of water, to be non-threatening. In the process, it helps the body relax and ready for some good night slumber.
Gardens or yards may incorporate water features, such as fountains. They may sit awhile at night here to help their minds calm down.
2. Stress Relief
Those many hours spent cooped up at home can make anyone restless. The stress is higher for those who are used to being outside, perhaps for work. Fortunately, they can venture into the yard when they need relief, all thanks to plants.
How useful are plants in lowering stress? In a Japanese study, looking at succulents, for example, for three minutes could already decrease both anxiety and stress. Meanwhile, a 2015 research revealed that potting soil might contain friendly microorganisms that could stimulate cytokine production.
Cytokines are proteins secreted by cells of the immune system. They can help regulate immunity, but they can also promote the creation of serotonin. This is a neurotransmitter people call a happy chemical since it improves mood, happiness, and well-being.
The attention restoration theory (ART) may also help explain how plants relieve stress. According to it, people are prone to directed-attention fatigue. It happens when they have no choice but to look at something for long periods. Imagine staring at a spreadsheet for hours. Nature has the opposite effect. It restores focus by allowing the mind to rest from exhaustion.
The island of Okinawa, Japan, is part of the Blue Zones. These are places where people live much longer than the general population. Based on studies, one of the reasons for the long lives of these Japanese is ikigai or reason for being. In other words, they have found purpose and meaning.
Searching for one’s meaning in this world can be difficult, but plants may help unravel that. Flowers and trees encourage people to think outwardly and nurture other living things. To sustain such meaning, homeowners need to work with others, such as those that offer landscape and garden design services for maintenance.
The vitality of gardens and landscapes have gone beyond increasing the property’s resale value. More studies showed that the presence of plants could improve a person’s health and well-being. They may even give life purpose and meaning. All these are essential so that homeowners can still find joy and satisfaction despite the challenges.