There is a beautiful bush filled with Daphne flowers next to the front door of my house. It smells wonderful and makes me smile on my way in and out of the house. That got me thinking. Can flowers actually make us happy? I did a little research and found several studies that do indeed show that flowers can affect our mood in these positive ways.
They increase social interaction
A Rutgers University behavioral research study has found that flowers elicit a universal reaction that can help people feel happiness. Those who were given flowers felt less depressed and anxious after receiving them, and the flowers led to more frequent contact with friends and family.
They reduce anxiety
A study done at Harvard found that when people had freshly cut flowers around the house, they were less anxious. They were happier at work and also expressed more compassion and kindness towards others.
They hike problem solving
A study done at Texas A&M found that when both men and women were exposed to cut flowers at work, they both had an increase in ideas and solutions to office problems. Men generated more ideas than women, but women had more innovative and creative solutions to problems when flowers were nearby.
Flowers even have certain meanings (according to those who specialize in that sort of thing like Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of Flowers). If you want to say something specific you might try these, she says: Gerber daisies represent cheerfulness, baby’s breath reveal everlasting love, bird of paradise say magnificence, hyacinth communicate beauty and jonquils represent desire.
Blooming flowers and plants are everywhere this time of the year. So go ahead and brighten someone’s day. In addition to showing them you care, you just might put a smile on their face and make them more productive!
What would cheer you up most: a bouquet of flowers or walk in the park? Tell us in the comments section below.
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File under: Expert Spotlight