Flowers proven to elevate moods, university study finds

Behavioural research conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has confirmed something we at Direct2florist already suspected – flowers delivered can improve emotional health.

The presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behaviour, according to researchers. What surprised the US-based team was just how positive the impact can be – results far exceeded what is normally believed.

A team of researchers, led by Jeannette M. Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Project Director, Human Development Lab at Rutgers, explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study. Key findings included:

  1. Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers, particularly thank you flowers demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
  2. 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.
  3. Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.

Interestingly, the researchers from Rutgers determined that the flower recipients in the study experienced an elevation in mood that lasted for days.

“Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy,” said Dr. Haviland-Jones. “Now, science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional wellbeing.”

The study also explored where in their homes people display flowers. The arrangements were placed in areas of the home that are open to visitors – such as foyers, living rooms and dining rooms – suggesting that flowers are a symbol for sharing.

“Flowers bring about positive emotional feelings in those who enter a room,” added Dr Haviland-Jones. “They make the space more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere.”

The Society of American Florists worked in cooperation with the Rutgers research team, bringing an expertise of flowers to the project. The Society also detailed how certain flowers can make individuals feel better:

Increase energy with red roses

Since red has the slowest vibratory rate and longest wavelength, it stimulates adrenal glands, boosting energy.

Boost confidence with irises

The colour indigo stimulates the brain’s pineal gland, which is the regulator of sleep patterns. Indigo also helps to free the mind of worries, fear and inhibition.

Enhance alertness with sunflowers

Yellow lightwaves stimulate the brain, making you alert, clearheaded and decisive. And since we associate yellow with the sun’s rays and daylight, it’s said to help us feel more optimistic.

Relax with green zinnias

Green affects the nervous system, making us breathe slowly and deeply, slowing the production of stress hormones and helping the heart relax.