The 1960s non-violence activists who shouted a rallying call of “Flower Power” might not realize that they were onto something beyond their pacifist purposes at that time. Allen Ginsberg may intend the slogan to transform war protests into a more positive, peaceful endorsement but as it turns out, flowers really do bring positivity to our lives. Or more specifically, to our health.
The Science Behind The Claim
Numerous researches have been done to establish the correlation between indoor, fresh flowers and our mental well-being. One of the most notable studies was conducted by Rutgers’ Jeannette Haviland-Jones and husband Terry McGuire at the State University of New Jersey. They talk about the true power of flowers and how they can have a positive impact on emotional health.
In their double-blind studies, Haviland-Jones and her team analysed the facial expressions of the participants in response to accepting one of three thank-you gifts presented by the researchers posing as delivery guys: a decorative candle, a fruit basket, and a floral bouquet. The analysis was specifically done to their smiles and was decoded at the Human Emotions Lab back at Rutgers.
Rutger’s Emotional Impact of Flowers Study
Image Source: Google Images
When presented with fresh flowers, all participants responded with something known as the Duchenne smile. It is a genuine, true smile which involved the movements of the mouth, cheeks, and eyes. Neither the candle nor the fruit evoked the same wholehearted response from the participants.
Three days later, the level of happiness of the flower recipients was once again evaluated. It was found that they were still feeling happier compared to other participants in the study. The research team believes that the reason behind this behaviour is more than just because we are taught to like flowers but society. They believed that there is actually something unique about flowers and that it has the ability to move people’s heart.
The True Power of Flowers
There is a reason why we give our loved ones flowers during birthdays or anniversaries. The same reason also propels us to bring some type of floral encouragement to cheer up friends who are sick or being treated in the hospital. Yes, you’re correct! The reason is that flowers truly have powers.
With the help of the folks over at Roses Only, this is a comprehensive list of the true power of flowers.
Easing Physical Pain
It’s not just all in our heads—patients in hospitals really do brighten up when their visitors bring them flowers and potted plants. A study conducted by Park and Mattson in 2008 confirmed this already widespread theory. In their research, it was revealed that not only these patients feel a lot more positive but they also tend to need less postoperative pain medications.
Clinically, they also had a lower systolic blood pressure and a more stable pulse rate. This suggests that humans do elicit a beneficial physical reaction to flowers. Nowadays, hospitals have an assigned green space for recovering patients specifically to harness the flower power and speed up the recovery process.
The Yellow Rose, A Symbol of Joy
Image Source: Pexels
Typically, visitors bring saturated, bold-coloured flowers for their ill friends—the most famous being the colour yellow. This habit is also not unfounded as in Floriography, the language of flowers, yellow represents happiness, hope, and friendship. Yellow is also scientifically known to elicit optimism and cheerfulness which is perfect if you are trying to wish someone to get well soon.
Improving Emotional Health
Aside from the flower itself, smelling floral scents also seems to put people in a good mood. Researchers have also proven that people who have fresh flowers on their tables tend to be less anxious and tired, and generally have a more positive psychological state. A study done at Wageningen University in the Netherlands found that restaurant diners tend to be happier if their table is decorated with fresh flowers.
Boost Memory and Concentration
As flowers and plants breathe, they are also converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. When you keep plants in indoor spaces, this quality will enrich the air with more oxygen and, in turn, can improve the workings of your brain cells. As the brain is the command centre of your life, getting it to run smoothly undoubtedly will carry some pretty awesome benefits.
One of the studies published by the Journal of Environmental Psychology determined that employees who work in an office that incorporate plants have better cognitive performance compared to those who don’t. Cognitive performance involves the sleep-wake cycle, awareness, attention, mood, appetite-satiety, and memory.
A Trusty Method of Relaxation
A Harmonious Flower Arrangement
Image Source: Pexels
If you are already sold on the benefits of flowers and plan to go out to buy some, remember that brighter and softer tones can help you to feel more relaxed. Flower arrangements are generally more calming and pleasing to the eye compared to a round bouquet, especially harmonised flower arrangements. You can choose colours that fall close to each other on the colour wheel to achieve harmony.
Enhancing the interior of your house or your office with flowers can have a positive psychological payback to your life. It can improve the health of both your mind and body. To fully utilise the true power of flowers, one must first understand the language of flowers. As you might have already grasped from the paragraphs above, choosing the right colours is crucial. Different colours will evoke different emotional responses.
Certain flowers and colours are traditionally linked with certain occasions. Have you ever been disappointed when a potential partner surprised you with yellow roses instead of red? This is because society dictates that red roses are associated with love and romance.
It is also an energising colour that can elicit an amorous feeling between couples, which is why when your partner gives you red roses, you know he or she is trying to be romantic. Yellow roses, as mentioned above, is more appropriate for friends in the hospital.
The health benefits of flowers are real and proven. Fresh flowers and plants can boost a person’s physical and emotional health when they see it regularly in their living or working space. So, what are you waiting for? You can easily get your healthy dose of daily flowers and box roses so be inspired!