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More than just a pretty vase: The mental health benefits of flowers

More than just a pretty vase: The mental health benefits of flowers
(Image credit: 1800 Flowers)

If you’re finding yourself lacking productivity or feeling a bit blue while working from home, new research has shown that there could be a surprisingly simple solution: flowers. The research comes from Bloom and Wild, British-based company which wanted to look deeper into why flowers can be such a mood-booster. 

The ‘Flower Power’ experiment found that 75% of those surveyed felt a reduction in their stress levels after putting flowers in their workspace, and 50% felt a boost in productivity.

As part of the study, Bloom & Wild spoke to a specialist in psychological interventions, Lowri Dowthwaite, who said that evolution is at least partly responsible for why humans find flowers to be a source of happiness. 

"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.”

More than just a pretty vase: The mental health benefits of flowers

75% of those surveyed felt a reduction in their stress levels after putting flowers in their workspace. (Image credit: 1800 Flowers)

The study involved newly-remote workers who, upon receiving a delivery of flowers, used the best fitness trackers to monitor their heartrates. On average, 30 minutes of flower arranging made heart rates drop by 7.17 bmp, which is a good indicator that it reduced stress levels. As Dowthwaite explained, this may be due to the heightened connection to nature felt by these remote workers, most of whom had likely limited their exposure to nature due to lockdown requirements.

Which flower is the most uplifting?  

The research shows that ordering from the best flower delivery services online is a surefire way to boost your mood, or that of a loved one. However, Bloom and Wild also offers some advice when it comes to selecting your bouquet of choice. 

Floriography, or the language of flowers, attributes meanings to types and colors of flowers, but the ‘Flower Power’ study also revealed which types of flowers have the greatest emotional payoffs. 

More than just a pretty vase: The mental health benefits of flowers

Studies have shown that pink roses have physiological and psychological relaxing effects. (Image credit: The Bouqs)

Speaking to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, Bloom and Wild found that “our response to color is intensely emotional, and flowers can be a catalyst for feelings that stimulate more than just our senses of sight and smell.” So if you’re sending flowers to someone who is a bit stressed, you’ll find that blue and white flowers can have calming effects. Think irises, white roses, or lisianthus. Likewise, if you’re feeling down or lacking in motivation, bright colors such as yellow and orange can be energizing. That could be sunflowers, yellow tulips or orange roses.

The study points to roses in particular as a calming and mood-boosting influence. One study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that office workers, when exposed to pink roses, found physiological and psychological relaxing effects, so adding a bouquet of pink roses to your home office is a good place to start if you're struggling to focus or unwind. Pair with our ultimate flower care guide for long-lasting stress relief.