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How to Invite Nature Indoors for Better Mental Health

By Xenia Mateiu December 12, 2022 Lifestyle

Spending time outdoors in a park, gardening, enjoying a picnic, or forest bathing improves our moods and mental health. But when we can’t go outdoors and connect to nature to feel better, especially now in the winter, we can try to bring a little bit of Mother Nature into our homes.

Interacting with nature can help us recover faster from mental fatigue and stressful situations and make us calmer and less prone to ruminating on negative thoughts.

If having nature close to us can be so beneficial and give us a reason to feel grateful and lift our mood, bringing nature indoors might be worth our time. Below you will find some suggestions for inviting nature into your home.

Houseplants and Herbs Indoors

You might already enjoy growing and caring for houseplants in your home, but if you don’t, know that they can help you cope with the winter blues. Growing plants and herbs indoors or purchasing them for decorative purposes can benefit your mental health just as much as going for a walk outside.

When you direct your attention to your houseplants, your overstimulated brain will get a well-deserved respite. Researchers have shown that even looking at pictures of natural scenes can be similarly restorative for the brain as admiring and interacting with nature and vegetation.

Besides, taking care of your houseplants or growing herbs indoors will improve your mental health by giving you joy and satisfaction. You’ll have to learn how often to water them and whether they like full sun exposure or not. You’ll also need patience for the plants to grow, but the process can be rewarding and alleviate anxiety and depression.

Plants that are easy to keep alive and are great to have indoors:

  • ZZ plant
  • Snake Plant – also great for air quality
  • Spider Plant
  • Aloe vera
  • Red Aglaonema
  • Prayer Plant

Herbs that you can grow indoors to improve your mood and can also use for cooking:

  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Thyme

Crystals and Geodes for Your Home

A simpler way of enjoying nature’s gift indoors and feeling connected and happier is to bring crystals and geodes into your house. They are fascinating stones formed by Mother Nature and can be aesthetically pleasing to have around your house.

But besides their beauty and esthetic appeal, crystals and geodes are believed to carry healing energies that can bring positive vibrations into your space. Their power can be harnessed for various purposes, but we recommend you welcome the following crystals into your home for better moods and mental well-being.

  • Amethyst – is a natural tranquilizer that will soothe the nerves, bring peaceful and calming energies, and helps deal with insomnia if placed in the bedroom;
  • Rose Quartz – encourages self-love and compassion, which is excellent for improving our relationship with ourselves and feeling more accepting of our flaws and weak points;
  • Cherry Creek Jasper – is a grounding and protective crystal that stabilizes our emotions and strengthens our connection with nature;
  • Red Jasper – supports healthy self-esteem and confidence and improves our balance and trust in our intuition and wisdom;
  • Amber – is made from fossilized tree resin and is believed to purify and cleanse our environment from negative energies. It’s also said to reduce anxiety and lift depression;

Million Years Old Fossils

Whether you have a passion for collecting fossils or other intriguing objects or not, fossils can bring so much novelty and uniqueness into one’s home. Fossils are the remains or impressions of million years old living organisms in a petrified form.

They are usually formed from hard plant and animal parts (wood, shells, bones) and are associated with deep spiritual meanings. Fossils are associated with the earth element and can bring stability in our space, harmonize feelings and encourage growth and development.

Their raw beauty and natural energy are perfect if you want to invite nature indoors. Our favorite fossils carrying ancient energy and healing vibrations are the following:

  • Ammonites – their spiral is a symbol of evolution and spiritual transformation. Ammonite fossils are said to promote longevity and energize the life force in one’s body;
  • Trilobites – are remains of marine organisms that lived approximately 500-600 million years ago. Trilobite fossils support the connection with the energies of Mother Earth and improve our ability to cope with stressful situations;
  • Stromatolites – are fossilized layered deposits of algae. They come in various colors, such as white, yellow, brown, reddish-brown, beige, and grey. Stromatolites are believed to assist in emotional healing processes and bring nourishing and rejuvenating energies.

The Sound of Nature

If for some reason, you don’t wish to or can’t bring any elements from nature indoors, you can still enjoy nature by listening to its sounds. You can find many recorded sounds from nature online that you can listen to for relaxation, stress reduction, tension relief in the body and calming the mind.

Experiment and see what sounds bring you tranquility. You can listen to natural sounds such as forest rains, waterfalls, the wind blowing, birds singing, or other noises made by animals living in nature. This will also help you reconnect to your senses and hear what your body has to say.

We are so assaulted by the multitude of sounds and stimuli from the urban environment we might live in, social media, and work environment that we don’t even realize anymore how stressed and loaded we are.

Care for or Adopt a Pet

Furry friends can help us feel less lonely, more cheerful, and joyous and can improve the overall quality of our lives. Dogs will make sure you get your daily walks and love you unconditionally, while cats are more low-maintenance, independent pets but equally cute and loving.

If you think you could not adapt to living with a pet or can’t afford to adopt, you may still benefit from interacting with adorable animals by occasionally caring for a friend’s pet or visiting a farm or pet cafe.

And in case you are allergic to a pet’s fur, know that you may still find some alternatives to this. For example, you can have a Goldfish pet in your home to care for and watch it swimming in its tank. Multiple studies have shown that keeping a fish aquarium at home is associated with relaxation, reduced blood pressure, increased tolerance to pain, and entertainment.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How do you connect to nature indoors? What habits lift your mood efficiently? Have you tried caring for a houseplant or pet? How about taking a few minutes daily to admire elements from nature such as crystals and fossils? What other natural elements do you have indoors?

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While recuperating from surgery, I watched a lot of nature shows on TV! Examples: BBC’s Big Blue, Planet Earth, and shows about wild animals in nature. They were very relaxing and healing for me. I’m in awe with the beauty of nature. I do have at least 25 houseplants plus all of my own fresh herbs. I garden year round using a greenhouse and vinyl tunnel where I over winter my tropical plants. I live in the deep south.

The Author

Xenia Mateiu founded Village Rock Shop in Carlsbad, California, a welcoming gift shop specializing in crystals, gems, and geodes. She is passionate about these magical gems and the many ways they can enrich physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Xenia wishes to make crystals more accessible to anyone interested in them.

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