Home Leisure & Lifestyle Positive Mental Health Benefits of Flowers, According to Science

Positive Mental Health Benefits of Flowers, According to Science

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As part of World Wellbeing Week, Bloom & Wild, British inventors of the ‘letterbox flowers’, wanted to understand why flowers make us feel so good. 

They delved deeper into the psychological impacts of the plants with their “flower power” study – finding that blooms elicited biochemical changes in the body, impacting happiness and helping to alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety, while also boosting productivity and creativity. 

The company sent flowers to a range of remote workers with the instructions to track their heart rates while arranging their bouquets after completing a “stress test”. After the short exercise, participants completed a survey, along with their housemates or partners, to see how the flowers affected their stress levels and productivity.

The ‘flower power’ test

The “flower power” test found some interesting results for how it helped boost people’s moods:

  • 90% said they found focusing on something creative helped to reduce their stress levels.
  • 84% said flowers had an overall calming effect on their mood.
  • 53% said they felt relaxed or at ease when arranging flowers.

There’s a breadth of scientific evidence supporting the idea that connection with nature has important therapeutic benefits for human mental health. 

Bloom & Wild spoke to Lowri Dowthwaite, a specialist in psychological interventions at the University of Central Lancashire, who says humans react so positively to flowers because of our evolution.

‘There are many psychological theories about self-actualising, which is about becoming your true self and being a whole person. It’s about connecting to where you came from and nature is where we came from. When we’re with nature, we automatically feel more at home,’ she explains.

Flowers have a long-lasting impact

The experiment also indicated that flowers have a long-lasting impact on our immediate workplace:

  • 100% said they felt happier when working with flowers in their space.
  • 75% said they felt some reduction in their stress levels after working with flowers in their space.
  • 50% said they felt more productive after having flowers in their workspace.

Flowers are the perfect natural therapy for the whole family because simply having them in your home can lead to biochemical changes in the body, which can be especially helpful during stressful times.

‘When we’re stressed, we release something called cortisol, which is the stress hormone. But actually engaging with flowers, smelling flowers, and being mindful with flowers can actually reduce the levels of cortisol and help you feel more relaxed,’ Ms Dowthwaite explains.

A pop of colour

Did you know that the colour of a bouquet can impact your mood too? The human response to colour is intensely emotional and flowers can be a catalyst for feelings that stimulate more than just the senses of sight and smell.

According to Ms Dowthwaite, flowers with bright colours such as yellow are a great mood-booster, while green is especially calming for the human eye.

“The experience of flowers is not just a visual experience but a sensual experience. We use all of our senses when we’re engaging with flowers – so it’s the colours that we see, the way the flower feels, and importantly the sense of flowers as well.”

Thus, depending on the kind of flower you have in your home, your mood will be affected!

Natural therapy

In this new world of uncertainty, nature can be transportive so it’s more important than ever to get in touch with your roots because it will make you feel better from the inside out. And don’t worry if you can’t leave the house. Studies have shown that just looking at a flower can be as powerful.

‘There’s some encouraging research that shows that we can, as much as possible, bring the outdoors inside in various ways that can actually still act like a connection to nature even though we’re not physically in nature,’ explains Ms Dowthwaite.

So, with World Wellbeing Week upon us, it has never been more important to get back in touch with your roots!

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