It’s something we know intuitively: flowers make people happy. That’s why we give them as gifts to others when they need cheering or buy an arrangement for our homes when we want to bring a little life and joy to our environments. But is this just a matter of tradition or is there really something special about flowers that makes them especially capable of lifting a person’s spirits?
The truth is that the idea that flowers have a noteworthy ability to make people happy isn’t just a casual observation, it’s actually a theory supported by science. So let’s dive into the research and uncover once and for all why it is that flowers are so uplifting to the human spirit.
The Impact of Flowers
You’ve probably felt it yourself: you’re having a rough day for one reason or another, but then you catch a glance at the bouquet of flowers on your dining room table and immediately feel a little relief, a bit of cheering, and the beginnings of a smile playing on your lips. If this sounds familiar, then you should know that having this experience is actually universal.
According to behavioral research conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction, and affects social behavior in a positive way. According to Dr. Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., a Professor of Psychology at Rutgers and the lead researcher on the study, “Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy. Now, science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional well being.”
What Exactly are These Effects?
First, flowers can immediately impact people’s happiness, making them smile and express joy and delight when they receive them. But this effect isn’t fleeting. In the long-term, participants of the study reported feeling less depressed, anxious, and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction. Most interestingly, these positive effects don’t stop at just us; they also reach our friends and families. In the study, the presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.
How It Works
So we can see that the positive effect of having flowers around the house is measurable, but can we understand why it is that flowers are so good at making us happy?
Well, as you can imagine, that’s a bit of a harder question to answer. Though that doesn’t stop us from speculating. Dr. Haviland-Jones and her team at Rutgers have their own hypotheses. She says, “Flowers bring about positive emotional feelings in those who enter a room. They make the space more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere.” Indeed, being able to help people connect with one another could definitely be a possible explanation for flowers’ powerful impact, as close relationships have been shown to be the biggest factor that keeps people happy throughout their lives.
The Rutgers researchers also posited that the happy-making effects of flowers could come down to the sensory stimuli they provide, like pleasant smells and aesthetically beautiful colors, or their universal symbolic meanings, having long been seen as a representation of positive things like love, friendship, and caring. Maybe even, they wonder, it could be that our hunter-gatherer ancestors evolved to associate flowers with fruits, eventually turning them into catalysts of human happiness.
If you believe in color therapy, or the practice of balancing one’s vibrations by exposing them to specific colors, that can be thought of as another possible reason for the mood-boosting impact of flowers. After all, if pink can calm you down, yellow can make you happy, and red can wake you up and make you feel confident, one of the most natural ways you can bring these colors into your environment is through a flower arrangement.
At any rate, for whatever reason it may be the case, there’s no denying that flowers just light up something inside of us that makes us feel happy and alive.
Specific Flowers and Their Benefits
If you’re feeling like reaping the benefits of the all-mighty flower, here are some particular species that you might consider picking up and why.
- Daisies: Associated with childlike innocence and wonder, the daisy can easily bring a lighthearted warmth and cheer to the home and its inhabitants.
- Lilies: With their incredibly fragrant blooms and vibrant petals, lilies are a great way to bring a lovely sensation to more than just one of your senses.
- Tulips: Known for their bright colors, intoxicating scent, and feminine form, tulips stand out in a home as a real statement piece.
Gladioli: Long, sensuous, and dramatic, gladioli may only be available in the summer, but if you can get them, you’ll certainly want to, as they pack a big punch and can really make an impact.
- Roses: A timeless classic, roses are so associated with love, friendship, and romance, that having them around is guaranteed to make you feel full of loving feelings.
- Daffodils: Known as the number one flower for enhancing people’s moods, daffodils’ signature yellow hue is thought by color therapists to be perfect for energizing, relieving depression, and promoting cheerfulness.
- Hydrangeas: Coming in some of the most stunning colors found in the natural world, hydrangeas have calming properties that make them a perfect choice for people who often find themselves feeling stressed out by work or otherwise.
Now that you know just how much flowers can put a smile on your face and which ones, in particular, are great to have around, check out our flower arrangements to choose the one that will brighten up your day today.