On my recent travels I was delighted by all the beautiful wild flowers and formal planted gardens we saw. I couldn’t help but smile at their exuberance and bursts of color. It was as if they were saying, “Hello! Let’s be friends.” (Spaceman didn’t seem to hear the same thing, hmmm.) After realizing that everyone with me was also happier because of this display of flower power, I started to wonder about the emotional impact of flowers. Were those in the 60’s on to something with the flower power movement? Please no!
I did some research and came upon this study An Environmental Approach to Positive Emotion: Flowers conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, with the lead researcher being Jeannette Haviland-Jones, a Professor of Psychology at Rutgers. Here are the findings as summed up by aboutflowers.com:
A team of researchers explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study of participants’ behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers. The results show that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods.
- Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
- Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
- Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.