It's not quite Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but something has been happening lately to the MinxNY website (and our office). Have you noticed?
Plants! We've been taken over by acres of (artificial) green ones. OK, not taken over, but we've been joined by plenty o' plants: big plants, little plants, floor plants, table top plants and (we confess, our faves) Power Plants–wild and crazy plant objects that double as (are you ready?) USB charging stations for up to four of your devices! They. Are. Insane. And we love them!
So, wait, what's a sock company doing going gaga over greens? It's actually a natural fit for us. See, Hygge, the philosophy of simple pleasures that we embrace, has trees and plants at its core (uh, root?). It's partly a Scandinavian thing, a love of the outdoors and gorgeous Nordic nature. But it's also a specifically Danish obsession with creating a little something called a "Hyggekrog." A Hygge what? A "cozy nook," an oasis of Hygge-flavored calm and tranquility within each home. This gets achieved by filling up your enclave with candles, incense, soft blankets, warm, cozy socks, a cup of tea, and, oh yeah, plants, plenty of plants!
Why plants? Because house plants are inherently peace-inducing, relaxing and pleasurable. (Especially key considering 80% of us live in urban areas.) But don't believe us or the Danes; there's a ton of science to back up the fact that having plants around is good for your emotional, intellectual and physical well-being. In fact, there's a whole field of research into plants-as-rehab called Ecotherapy. Green stuff is being used in hospitals, schools and workplaces to improve a range of conditions.
Based on these studies, potted plants have been shown to improve: stress levels, blood pressure levels, reaction times, attendance records, concentration, productivity, depression, anxiety, job satisfaction, pain (patients with plants in their room require less medication) . . . and the list goes on!
One study showed that placing plants around office workers' desks allowed their direction attention system (the thing that gets taxed from staring at spreadsheets all day) to rest and rejuvenate, improving attention spans. Other research has shown that plants humanize us, making us less selfish and more caring. Guess we have to rethink the green-eyed monster and the Grinch!
So, what about artificial plants? Well, it certainly seems like there's less stress in caring for them (no allergies, mess, or watering to worry about and they'll never die by mistake!). But there's science on the subject too: Turns out, even fake or simulated plants bloom with the same mind and body benefits as living plants. There's just something about the look of plants that soothes and regenerates us.
And that's why one of our zany Power Plants isn't quite so zany an idea after all, because while you're recharging your phone, it turns out, you really are recharging yourself.
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