How Touching Decorative Grass Benefits Women's Health and Mind

Mary Jones
4th February, 2024

How Touching Decorative Grass Benefits Women's Health and Mind

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Our fast-paced urban lifestyles, combined with a heavy reliance on electronic devices, have fundamentally altered the way most of us interact with our surroundings. With cities swelling and the great outdoors seemingly shrinking, it's becoming increasingly clear that the concrete jungles we navigate daily aren't doing much good for our mental and physical well-being. I mean, come on, when was the last time you felt the actual grass between your fingers, or even thought about the difference it could make? Well, some curious minds over at Tongji University thought just that and decided to dig a little deeper into how reconnecting with nature, literally touching it, could help counteract the urban blues. They lined up a group of city dwellers and had them do a seemingly simple task—touch grass. No, really—a five-minute palm-to-plant contact with the green stuff. But not just any green—while some participants got up close and personal with real, living grass, others were given artificial turf for a comparison. Now, before we envision any of these nature-starved folks sprawled on a lawn declaring their newfound zen, let's talk about how the boffins actually measured if this grasping of grass was more than just a grounding experience. They hooked the participants up to machines to track their blood pressure and brain activity via something called electroencephalography, or EEG, which honestly sounds pretty sci-fi. Imagine wearing a swim cap that can read your mind—well, kind of. They even made people fill out surveys about their anxiety levels and how they were feeling, to get the full picture. The results? They were as refreshing as a walk in the park. Turns out that the people who touched the real grass had brainwaves that indicated higher levels of relaxation and focus. More interestingly, their heart pressure took a dip, suggesting that a mere five minutes of being one with nature had a not-too-shabby calming effect. Let's not even start on those who had to make do with the fake grass—it just wasn't the same, with no significant changes to their stress markers. The participants also shared that touching real grass made them feel more at ease, cozy, and connected to nature, and it even helped them keep their anxiety levels in check. Basically, these folks had tapped into the chill vibes that Mother Nature's touch has to offer. And what's the takeaway from all this for those of us who spend more time with screens than green scenes? Maybe it's that the benefits of reconnecting with nature aren't just some hippie-dippy pipe dreams. Touching the earth beneath our global village's feet—something as simple as feeling real grass—can have tangible benefits for our stressed-out systems. So as we hustle through our concrete landscapes, perhaps it's worth considering the silent call of the grassy patches we pass by. Because, as it turns out, occasionally pressing pause on the urban grind and pressing play on nature's own stress relief could be one of the simplest ways to recharge our internal batteries.

HealthPlant Science

References

Main Study

1) Nature's therapeutic power: a study on the psychophysiological effects of touching ornamental grass in Chinese women.

Published 3rd February, 2024

https://doi.org/10.1186/s41043-024-00514-6



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