Throughout history, humans have shown a consistent and irresistible tendency to seek out connections with nature and living things. This innate tendency is known as biophilia and is transforming into a practice known as biophilic design, which is gaining increasing popularity as living plants are being incorporated into the environments we live in. With the increasing study of plants and the effects which they have on humans emotionally, mentally, and physically, come increasing proof of the beneficial impacts that implementing plants in our daily lives has on humans.
This tendency is so instinctual in us, that when we are not surrounded by nature and living things, we attempt to make up for the lack of it by trying to shape the areas we are in to imitate the qualities of a natural area so that we can feel the same effects of natural environments, even when we cannot be immersed in them. Some examples of this include filling our living and working environments with plants or plant-like material. Some studies done in a hospital showed exposure to live plants, and even simply posters of plants resulted in lowered stress levels. Similarly, an elementary classroom with green walls simulating nature and the outdoors facilitated higher test scores and increased levels of attention.
Over the course of many different scientific experiments and observations, 20 prominent effects have been discovered, showing how plants have a positive impact on the minds, bodies, and emotions of humans in any physical, mental, or emotional state.
1. Decrease Anxiety
Increased access to green spaces was shown to reduce clinical anxiety. People who take walks through natural areas as opposed to urban environments have been shown to experience less anxiety for the remainder of their day.
2. Reduce Stress
Spending time in open spaces or around nature has been shown to significantly reduce stress levels.
3. Enhance Memory Retention
Taking such nature walks also contributes to enhanced memory retention. In one study that was done, subjects who took a walk through a natural area exhibited a 20% improvement in working memory. Being in a green space also showed added improvements in memory retention of patients suffering from strokes and dementia. Exposure to nature can also greatly influence cognitive development through the improved working memory of developing children.
4. Improve Self-Esteem
Interacting with nature has been shown to increase an individual’s self-esteem.
5. Positive Mood Changes
The more plants in the room, the happier people are! Though even a slight view of greenery outside an office window was shown to have positive effects on mood and productivity.
6. Improve Attention Capacity
In several different environments involving adults, young children, and people diagnosed with attention deficit disorders, cognitive function, and attention capacity were dramatically improved by taking a walk through nature, as well as by introducing interior plants to the environment.
7. Increase Happiness
With a heightened mood and increased self-esteem encouraged by nature and green spaces, one can only expect an increase in happiness to follow.
8. Enhance Productivity
Biophilic workplaces can lead to increased productivity. One office experienced a 15% increase in employee productivity upon introducing plants to the work environment.
9. Increase Job Satisfaction
Interior plants can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction through creating healthier work environments. Having plants in an office has been shown to increase attention and productivity, and lower stress levels.
10. Lower Levels of Depression
Immersion in nature and vegetated areas are often used as a therapeutic intervention for those with clinical depression. Garden walks also serve as a great aid in lowering levels of depression.
11. Increase Creativity
An increase in creativity and vitality was seen following short walks through green environments.
12. Reduce Anger Tendencies
Interacting with nature helps reduce anger and improve overall psychological well-being, having positive effects on emotions and behavior.
13. Positively Affect Behavior
With nature encouraging a decrease in stress, anxiety, anger, and depression, and an increase in mood, self-esteem, and happiness, it’s no wonder that people who immerse themselves in nature often exhibit positive behaviors.
14. Bring Greater Life Satisfaction
An increase in happiness, greater self-esteem, improved working environment, and job satisfaction, and lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression all lead to an overall better quality of life and greater life satisfaction.
15. Increase Motivation
Filling an office with plants also has motivational effects on employees, as it makes the working environment happier and more lively.
16. Mitigate Effects Of PTSD
Exposure to nature has shown huge signs of success in treating those who suffer from post-traumatic stress, leading to an improvement in the patient's emotional and social quality of life.
17. Boost Energy and Strength
Short walks through green environments also lead to a boost in energy levels and overall stamina.
18. Lower Heart Rates
Individuals who immersed themselves in nature experienced lower heart rates. A group of employees in a working environment were even exposed to a vase of roses, and they experienced significantly less heart rate variability compared to the employees who did not see the roses.
19. Improve Mental Well-Being
Mental restoration often occurs in individuals who live near natural areas or spend a consistent amount of time in green spaces. Additionally, people living near greener areas have also been shown to have a more positively affected mental health than those living in more urban areas lacking in greenery.
20. Create A Sense of Relaxation
Exposure to plants and biophilic environments has proven to set people in a mental state of relaxation, giving people a comforting sense of relief.
As hard as it may be to believe, this is really only scratching the surface of how beneficial plants are to humans, and how helpful incorporating nature in your life can be. If you are interested in reading some more, I highly suggest the article referenced below!
Now, with all your newly discovered plant knowledge, come check out some plants! We have several plant options online that can be delivered right to your door, and even more options in our store. So, either visit our online store or come in and visit us in person. We look forward to helping you pick out the perfect plant to bring life to any environment.
Hall, Charles, and Knuth, Melinda. “An Update of the Literature Supporting the Well-Being Benefits of Plants: A Review of the Emotional and Mental Health Benefits of Plants.” Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. March 2019. Web. Date accessed 30 July 2020. Retrieved from https://ellisonchair.tamu.edu/files/2019/07/An-Update-of-the-Literature-Supporting-the-Well-Being-Benefits-of-Plants-A-Review-of-the-Emotional-and-Mental-Health-Benefits-of-Plants.pdf