Flowers have a lot of benefits. They smell good, they look good, they brighten up any room. But did you know that flowers also scientifically reduce stress and boost your mood?
There are a number of studies that have now definitively and scientifically proven the emotional benefits of flowers. These studies explored a variety of aspects, ranging from time-specific to demographic-specific, but all of the research came to the same conclusion: flowers improve your mental and emotional health.
A Rutgers study gives quite a bit of data on the link between flowers and emotional health. After a ten-month study, researchers were able to determine several surprising results, including that flowers create an immediate happiness affect amongst all age groups, that flowers decreased depression and anxiety in the long-term, and demonstrably higher sense of life satisfaction.
A study conducted by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital focused their study on flowers in the morning. The research determined that placing blooming flowers in a room visited in the early morning decreased anxiety and increased compassion, the latter being a phenomenon known as “mood contagion”.
The Harvard/Mass Gen study also looked at the effects of flowers in the workplace. The study reaffirmed a Texas A&M study showed that flowers in the workplace improve innovation, creative problem solving, and idea generation across the board. The Harvard/Mass Gen study concluded this is caused by a psychological connection to flowers and trust.
That link between flowers and trust was explored further in a Rutgers University study on gift giving. The study, conducted by the Human Emotions Lab at Rutgers, determined that men and women who give flowers have a reputation of being happy, strong, successful, and courageous.
Flowers seem to have a more potent effect on women, according to a 2018 public health study coming out of the University of North Florida. The UNF study looked at the impact of flowers on the perceived stress of women, and recorded a 5.5 point reduction on Dr. Sheldon Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale among the women who lived with flowers, a statistically significant reduction.
“There is a growing body of research that illustrates how environmental design positively impacts health,” said Dr. Erin Largo-Wright, lead researcher and UNF Associate Professor of Public Health. “Now it is both intuitive and scientifically know that adding elements of nature, like flowers, to interiors promotes well-being.”
Dr. Largo-Wright hypothesized this is due to the calm and stillness that flowers present, compared to the hectic nature of society outside. But if they would have asked me, it’s because flowers are beautiful, colorful, sweet-scented, and brighten anyone’s day. I didn’t need studies to tell me that, but it’s good to know science backs me up.