Scientific research is continually proving what we at Clare Florist have intuitively known for a long time; flowers make us feel good!
Nancy L. Etcoff is a clinical researcher in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. For two weeks she kept tabs on 55 women of assorted ages and backgrounds. She had them keep a diary to track their emotions and, over the course of the experiment, she would randomly surprise them with flowers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was discovered that having flowers around provided an unequivocal lift in the mood of the research participants. Flowers helped to reduce stress and were also conducive towards inspiring feelings of compassion towards others.
It’s already well known that placing plants around the office or work environment can lead to increased focus, motivation and overall productivity. It’s thought that the positive effect of plants and flowers is just as evident in the home, in light of this recent research. Positive psychology has been proven to be beneficial to healing and reproductive fitness which is probably one reason why we as a society often send get well soon flowers to those in convalescence. The association of flowers with cheerfulness and optimism also explains why we send flowers as congratulations and thank you gifts.
If you’re looking to cheer someone up, whether it’s or a loved one, colleague or even yourself, a lovely bouquet of flowers can work wonders. It’s already well established that receiving a bouquet of flowers can evoke the Duchenne or ‘true smile.’ The inherent joy we get from flowers has also been linked to studies in evolutionary psychology, suggesting that we are biologically hard-wired to adore flowers. There are various theories as to why this is including the hunter-gatherer survival-mechanism idea that we associate flowers with fruit. There is also the concept of Biophilia, which posits that we have an innate closeness to living things.
We could attempt to endlessly analyse why humans love flowers so much. The truth is that it’s probably a combination of myriad reasons. It would be like trying to explain what’s so good about a fine wine or a beautiful oil painting. Whatever the explanation, it cannot be denied that flowers make for a truly special gift, one that cannot fail to evoke a joyful response.