The Effects of Plants on Human Behavior

the effects of plants on human behavior

Plants first appeared approximately 470 million years ago during the Ordovician period of the Earth’s history. Non-vascular in nature, they are believed to have contributed to an ice age and the extinction of life in the ocean. Human beings appeared much later, about 200,000 years ago.1 Plants and humans have coexisted ever since, and we are now beginning to learn that plants control human behavior in more ways than one.


Positively Impact a Person’s Psyche

Human beings have a subconscious need to be near nature, and that’s one reason why plants are so often seen indoors, not only in homes but in hospitals, restaurants, retail spaces, educational spaces, etc. In fact, according to a 1993 study looking at the effects of plants on human perceptions and behavior, plants positively affect a person’s psyche.2

Specifically, the study looked at whether introducing trees or plants into an underutilized area would affect perceptions or behavior of individuals in that space. The study ultimately concluded that users spent more time in the area when the trees and plants were present. Indicating both preferences for areas with plants as well as improved mood and psyche in areas where plants are present.


Make Us More Alert and Happy

A 2010 study at Washington State University demonstrated that plants may improve concentration.3 In the study, those who worked on a computer with plants in the room felt more attentive and alert than those who worked on a computer without plants in the room.  

In another study,  people were placed in a room with colorful objects, a room with no colorful objects, and a room with plants. Being in the room with plants caused individuals to describe feeling more carefree, playful, affectionate, and friendly than being in the other rooms.

Lohr also found that stress levels are reduced during interaction with plants. A study found that when people looked at slides or videotapes of plants, individuals felt more at peace than when looking at urban scenes.

Additionally, students living in dorm rooms with views of nature outside of their windows reported being to be less mentally fatigued than students in dorm rooms without these views.

potting plants

Reduce Stress Levels

Dr. Leonard Perry, of the University of Vermont, conducted a study that demonstrated that plants have the potential to reduce stress levels.4 With the use of gardens, humans have been able to manage their stress levels not only by tending the garden but by being around the plants.

Gardens can prove to be a particularly helpful solution for increasing human health in a wide range of settings because they can exist in a wide variety of places, whether on open plots of land or in an urban setting. MONQ’s personal Zen diffuser is great for stress relief and can also be taken on the go anywhere with you. 

steam coming out of ears

Help with Anger Management

According to a 2015 study, plants placed in apartments have the potential to control aggression and anger.5 Worries about finances, employment, children, and other issues have been shown to be reduced with the addition of houseplants.

Contribute to Alleviating Pain

At the University of Minnesota Health and Wellbeing site, it is reported that plants not only help us with our stress, but they reduce our anger, suppress our fears, and make us calm. But there’s another thing that plants do, and that helps us with our pain.

To demonstrate this link, a study was conducted on a group of patients who had just undergone gallbladder surgery. One-half of the people had a view of trees on their wall. The other half did not have a view of trees on their wall. Those who got to look at trees were able to tolerate their pain better, had less adverse effects and ended up spending less time in the hospital.

Plants Effect Human Behavior Infographic


As you can see, plants control your behavior in more ways than one. In addition to the ways we know plants benefit our air and the way they regulate our the earth, based on the various findings, plants can be seen as a natural way to deal with stress, anger, pain, and more. Placing plants in your home or in your work environment may lead to positive changes in your life.

Rachel Donovan

By Rachel Donovan

Rachel is a freelance writer who enjoys writing and researching interesting and new topics. As a California native, she can be found spending her time on the beach with a good book.

Favorite MONQ blend: Happy

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers. MONQ blends should not be inhaled into the lungs.

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