HealthHow Houseplants Can Improve Quality of Life and Psychological Well-Being According to Honglan Wang

Honglan Wang
Oct 10, 2019 · 3 min read

Believe it or not, trees, grass, and plants can have a significant impact on your mental health. Exposing yourself to these elements, and nature in general for that matter, has been proven to improve mood, foster creativity, and even relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Honglan Wang is a pharmaceutical industry team leader from Redwood City, California. She has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and had her postdoctoral training in cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology. Thus, Honglan has a firm grasp of just how beneficial plants can be when it comes to our health. Below, Honglan Wang outlines four ways that houseplants actually improve quality of life and psychological well-being.

Houseplants Reduce Anxiety and Depression

According to Honglan Wang, one of the greatest psychological benefits of houseplants is their ability to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Studies have found that immersing yourself in nature leads to better moods, fewer symptoms of depression, and lower levels of anxiety. There was a specific study conducted in Korea that focused on depression, whereby it assessed the effects of cognitive-behavioral therapy performed in a hospital versus in an arboretum. The study found a major discrepancy between the symptoms of depression experienced by those in the arboretum and those in the hospital with far less symptoms felt in the arboretum.

Houseplants Promote Creativity

The presence of houseplants in your home is a great way to foster creativity, shares Honglan Wang. If you’re experiencing a kind of creative block, seeing greenery may help you get out of it. This is because natural elements such as houseplants have the ability to improve your sense of vitality, increase brain function, and generally help you get inspired. One study conducted by the University of Utah and the University of Kansas even found that people who spent time in nature had more creativity based on the vast increase in word associations they used, compared with a group who did not spend time in nature.

Houseplants Increase Productivity and Concentration

Having trouble concentrating and working productively? Perhaps try buying a houseplant! Or at least positioning yourself by a window that overlooks greenery. Honglan Wang cites a study that found when students in schools and employees in offices had a view of nature from their windows, they were ultimately more productive, alert, and attentive. Introducing greenery into your home serves to refresh and restore your brain, increasing its energy levels, thus allowing it to function at its highest level.

Houseplants Improve Memory Retention

Walking in nature or simply being around green space has the ability to improve memory retention, claims Honglan Wang. Specifically, a study conducted by the University of Michigan which had participants take a memory test and then split up into two groups, where one walked in nature and the other in an urban area, found that the group who walked in nature scored 20% better on their tests. The presence of plants allows you to harness your full memory potential, which is a major benefit for students.

Honglan Wang
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