Bringing the Outdoors In: Why It Works & How to Do It

    After hours upon hours of staring at a screen, you finally step outside (or better yet, into a forest) and it feels like balm for the soul.

    The soothing nature of nature itself is undeniable. We feel better and think more clearly when we inhale fresh air and exhale the stressors of the day.

    The spaces we live and work in are deeply affecting. Getting outside daily is a fantastic goal, but you can bring the outdoors inside, too, with air-purifying, mood-enhancing plants.

    Forest bathe even if you’re far from the woods.

    Forest bathing, a Japanese practice called shinrin-yoku, is incredibly simple: by just being in nature (just being, not necessarily hiking, or running, or even walking), you’ll connect better with all of your senses.

    Sounds amazing, right? But if you can’t seem to carve out time every week to sit and chill in a forest, indoor plants can offer some of those same perks at home or work. Choose a specific plant (like one placed on your coffee table or desk) as a reminder to take a second to tune in to yourself. When you spot the plant, close your eyes, picture yourself in the forest, and focus on each of your senses – what do you see (in your mind’s eye), hear, taste and smell? What are you touching or sitting on and how does it feel?

    Growing the foods you eat connect you to nature.

    Even the tiniest kitchen can handle a potted herb or two. Compact gardens like these produce fresher tasting, less costly seasonings for your meals, and connect you to the outdoors even if you live smack in the middle of the city.


    Plants offer an abundance of health and wellness improvements.

    We’ve written quite a few articles on the many, many health and wellness benefits of indoor plants, like improved air quality, stress relief, and improving both focus and success. Plants also lower your risk for illness, boost your mood and promote healing. (Read even more here.)

    P.S. Decorating with plants is easy!

    Wondering how to combine houseplants with your home or office’s aesthetic? We wrote this article about different plants to use based on your interior design style, and this one about creating plant arrangements using sogetsu ikebana principles.

    How have your plants improved your life? Tell us in the comments!

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