Burned Out Chinese Employees Start ‘Stop Banana Green’ Trend to Fight Office Stress

Burned Out Chinese Employees Start ‘Stop Banana Green’ Trend to Fight Office Stress

Burned Out Chinese Employees Start ‘Stop Banana Green’ Trend to Fight Office Stress

In the grinding hustle of China’s work culture, where the working week often exceeds 49 hours, young employees are coming up with innovative ways to fight stress. The latest trend that has taken Chinese workspaces by storm is the quaint yet effective practice of growing bananas on their desks.

Chinese Employees Using Unique Method to Alleviate Stress: Cultivating Bananas Right at Their Desks

This viral trend known as “Stop banana green  or “ting zhi jiao lu” in Mandarin, means “stop anxiety “ in English. This concept has gained noticeable momentum on Xiaohongshu, Chinese version of Instagram, accumulating over 22,000 likes as the workers drained with stress share their banana growing journeys.

This unusual process is surprisingly therapeutic. In this process employees buy green bananas with stems intact to them and place them in vases of water on their desks. Within a week, these bananas ripen from lush green to golden yellow, which provides a satisfying and calming distraction to these over stressed professionals from the daily hustle. This incremental change not just adds a touch of nature to the monotonous office environment but also offers a symbolic quest of surprises and hope, as described by one online enthusiast: “Eat away the anxiety and let your troubles vanish.”

Popularity of ‘Stop Banana Green’ Trend on Social Media

This trend’s popularity is not just about stress relief of any one individual; it also promotes better workplace relationships. Sharing ripened bananas among mates creates a sense of camaraderie. Some workers even personalize their bananas by writing names of the colleagues on the banana skin to “reserve” them, adding a personal touch and fun element to this communal activity.

The reach of this trend has extended to platforms like Taobao, where bananas especially for desk cultivation are sold. The top selling store on Taobao has sold over 20,000 bunches, indicating that what may have been initiated as a marketing move by banana farmers has grown into a genuine workplace wellness trend. However, a few remain confused about the commercial motivations behind the trend, noting the higher prices of these specific bananas compared to regular market prices.

Psychological Reasons Behind the Trend

Surprisingly, this desk horticulture trend is widening beyond bananas. Some office workers are now cultivating pineapples and other fruits and transforming their work desks into mini tropical havens. 

Psychologist Yu Guangrui explains the psychological appeal of this trend. According to him, customizing workstations to personal preferences helps young people create a sense of belongingness and security in their own space that ultimately contributes to their happiness at work. This simple act of growing and nurturing a plant can offer a perceptible sense of accomplishment and a small yet very significant break from a high pressure environment.

China’s High Pressure Work Environment

This “stop banana green” trend is just one of several stress relief creative activities that is becoming popular among Chinese youth. For example, “20 minute park effect”, which focuses on the benefits of brief visits to urban parks and tree hugging for bursting stress also made waves on social media. These trends underscore a growing movement among young professionals to find balance and calmness in natural and simple activities amid their stressing work lives.

In a country where the high pressure to perform and excel can be devastating, these innovative and natural stress busting trends offer much needed relief. By conversing ordinary office spaces into small sanctuaries of connection and calm, these employees are reclaiming a bit of peace and relaxation in their fast paced lives.

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