You’re likely familiar with some of the benefits to houseplants by now. They can purify the air, they can be eaten, and they can provide an instant upgrade to your home’s decor. But there are some other, lesser-known benefits to having houseplants around that arguably outweigh the others by far.
According to Scientific American, houseplants have been proven to increase both cognitive ability and concentration. That’s right—houseplants make you smarter. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology makes the claim that merely having houseplants present in an environment can boost one’s attention span.
How does this work? The study suggests that houseplants offer our brains a much-needed break in scenery, which we often don’t get in a standard office environment. The idea is that we all have a limited amount of “directed attention” we can exert before our brains wave their white flags and plead for a break. On the other hand, we use “undirected attention” to absorb our surroundings when in a natural environment. This type of attention is effortless and passive as opposed to purposeful. It gives our brains a chance to rest and relax from the demands our directed attention has put on us.
According to this idea, being in the presence of houseplants is almost like a mini nature walk for our minds. They let our brains rest and rejuvenate so we can go back to crushing our goals after giving ourselves a break.
So, if you weren’t into houseplants before this, consider adding some to your home for health reasons. And if you were already a fan, you now have another reason to love them.