Asides from adding a splash of colour to the home or office environment, flowers boast an abundance of other benefits. One of these includes triggering positive emotions, with studies conducted by the floral industry supporting the notion that flowers in fact induce happiness.
Flowers & Happiness: The facts
A team of specialists conducted two experiments, both of which revealed impressive results. Each of these experiments suggested that flowers played a big part in improving the mental state of those surrounding them. This heightened feeling lasted long after the flowers had been purchased or delivered too, meaning having plant life around can significantly enhance an individual’s wellbeing.
A total of 147 women took part in the first experiment, which involved an over the phone questionnaire to assess both the interviewees’ mood and overall life satisfaction. Post this interview, experimenters’ arrived at the doors’ of those who had taken part with a gift.
One third of the women received a fruit hamper, one third a candle and the remaining third, a bouquet of flowers. The gifts in question boasted the same visual appeal and monetary value and upon delivering the gifts, reactions were recorded.
The smiles of those who received a bouquet of flowers were significantly more authentic than that of those who received a candle or fresh fruit hamper. Three days later, the women were once again interviewed, and only those who received flowers scored significantly higher on the mood questionnaire than they had in the initial interview.
Flowers proven to heighten social behaviour and mood
The second experiment involved standing in an elevator and gifting whoever entered a pen, a flower or nothing at all. Overall, sixty-two women entered, which allowed for four different observations: whether they made small talk, smiled, how close they stood to the experimenter and whether they made eye contact. These single observations were combined to reveal a score ranging from 0 to 9.
All participants who were gifted with flowers scored a great deal higher than those who received a pen or no gift at all. One interesting observation was seen in those who saw the flowers but weren’t given them – these people received the lowest marks. These results prove that flowers improve both social behaviour and mood.
Flowers in their natural habitat
Asides from being gifted flowers, scientists have also discovered that nature (particularly natural habitats home to an abundance of floral species) improve emotional health.
Results suggest that those who enjoy the great outdoors and the presence of flowers on a regular basis boast increased feelings of happiness and a greater life satisfaction.
Professor of Psychology at Rutgers and lead researcher of a study on the subject, Jeannette Haviland-Jones, stated: “What’s most exciting about this study is that it challenges established scientific beliefs about how people can manage their day-to-day moods in a healthy and natural way.”
The results of this study, which lasted a total of ten months, revealed flowers to be a completely natural mood enhancer and moderator. Those involved in this research came to the conclusion that flowers boast an instant impact on happiness – regardless of whether we view them in nature or are given them as a gift. Participants who took part in this study not only felt less agitated, anxious and depressed, but they revealed an increased life satisfaction too.
Which flowers make us the happiest?
Although research suggests that almost all flower species have a positive effect on our wellbeing, there are a number of species that outscore others.
Daisies: Their bright hues add instant cheer to the home, and also to those in it. Whether planted in a pot or in the garden, they offer a warming, lighthearted appeal.
Lilies: From Easter Lilies to Tiger Lilies, there are a number of species to choose from. Their large, vibrant blooms are both mesmerising and fragrant – meaning they uplift the senses in more than one way.
Tulips: Said to be one of the most inspiring blooms available, tulips certainly pack a punch – despite their short season. They’re both feminine and fragrant and add a splash of colour and brightness to any environment.
Gladioli: This particular specie of flower is only available in the late summer. It’s as dramatic as it is alluring and is therefore often described as one of the most romantic blooms in existence. Whether you place them in a vase in the home, or plant them in your garden, they’re guaranteed to inspire happiness each and every day.
Roses: Gifting a loved one with a bunch of roses is a guaranteed mood-heightener. Growing a rose tree in the garden is a great way to prolong this feeling. They are available in a variety of shapes, styles and hues and each variety boasts a different meaning. Pink suggests feelings of love, while yellow means friendship, white is for remembrance and red, romance.
Daffodils: These bright blooms have been named the number one flower for enhancing people’s moods. Yellow is a colour that is often associated with happiness, so it comes as little surprise that a vase brimming with beautiful Daffodils will instantly perk up your day! Alternatively, plant them in your garden and enjoy their bright hue each and every spring.
Hydrangeas: These species are another romantic option perfect for many occasions, including weddings. They’re available in a variety of shades, comprising stunning blues, pinks, whites and purples. They also have extremely calming properties, which makes them a great addition to the home – especially for those that lead a fast-paced lifestyle.
Sometimes the smallest things in life are those that make us the happiest. Flowers are a great addition to the home and garden and a great gift to give all year round – especially if you’re looking for ways to promote happiness. If you’re thinking of getting some as a gift, give careful consideration to the great range of colours and types before deciding on the best ones to fill any space.
Sources: Science Blog, Gardening all Woman Talk
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