Published on January 17, 2020

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Photography by Heidi's Bridge

You know what it’s like. Tension grows between your shoulder blades, your eyes begin to glaze over, and a headache starts thudding at your temples. You need a work break. Office stress is very real, but according to a new study, there’s a super-simple solution: Just look at a plant.

A study of 63 office workers in Japan showed that when participants felt stressed, gazing at a plant on their desks for about three minutes left them feeling relaxed. Crucially, each person was allowed to choose and care for their own plant—so when it came time to rest and look at their little green friends, they felt a connection to them, and in turn, the workers’ heart rates lowered.

If you’re feeling the January blues big-time or you’ve made a resolution to finally clean your desk, a bit of greenery may just be the best thing to place next to your laptop. Sure, it might not get you to in-box zero, but it will clear your mind.

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