Flower Power: Emotional Benefits of Fresh Flowers

Want to banish a bad mood? Bring home some blossoms.

Don’t wait until your sweetheart appears with a bouquet of blooms to give your home some floral flair. The health benefits of adorning your abode with flowers are worth splurging on the blossoms for yourself. Science proves it.

Flowers - Emotional Benefits in Vase

Emotional Benefits in a Vase

A behavioral research study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Boston), reveals that people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when fresh-cut flowers are present in the home.

“Other research has proven that flowers make people happy when they receive them,” Etcoff says. “What we didn’t know is that spending a few days with flowers in the home can affect a wide variety of feelings.”

The Home Ecology of Flowers Study at Harvard uncovered three main findings:

Flowers feed compassion

Study participants who lived with fresh-cut flowers for less than a week felt an increase in feelings of compassion and kindness for others.

Flowers chase away anxieties, worries and the blues

Overall, people in the study simply felt less negative after being around flowers at home for just a few days. Participants most frequently placed flowers in their kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms – those areas of the home where they spend a lot of time. They reported wanting to see the blooms first thing in the morning. Etcoff explains, “The morning blahs, it turns out, is a real phenomenon, with positive moods – happiness, friendliness and warmth, for example – manifesting much later in the day.” She adds, “Interestingly, when we placed a small bouquet of flowers into their morning routines, people perked up.”

Living with flowers can provide a boost of energy, happiness and enthusiasm at work

Having flowers at home can have a positive carryover impact on your mood at work, too. The study found that people were more likely to feel happier and have more enthusiasm and energy at work when flowers were in their home living environments.

Emotional Benefits of Flowers in Bedroom

Flowers Make People Happy

“As a psychologist, I’m particularly intrigued to find that people who live with flowers report fewer episodes of anxiety and depressed feelings,” Etcoff says. “Our results suggest that flowers have a positive impact on our well-being.”

Etcoff was also surprised at the long-lasting effects flowers had on people’s moods. “What I find interesting is that, by starting the day in a more positive mood, you are likely to transfer those happier feelings to others – it’s what is called mood contagion,” Etcoff explains. “And, the kitchen is the place where families tend to gather in the morning. Imagine how big a difference a better morning mood can make?”

For more on the positive benefits of flowers to your emotional and mental health, read this article by InLieuOfFlowers.info.

Written by

Gina Kellogg


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9 Comments to “Flower Power: Emotional Benefits of Fresh Flowers”

  • If you are interested in more on the topic of how fresh flowers affect us in ways most people don’t understand, visit the Society of American Florists’ (SAF’s) website and read about research on flowers’ effect on seniors and flowers’ effect on those in the workplace, among other topics. You can visit SAF’s consumer website at: http://www.aboutflowers.com.

  • I love flowers!! Glad to see they have such a positive, wave-like effect!! Great article!

    • The bonus? Your husband probably already knew that bringing you flowers would make you happy–but now he can be assured that the mood will LAST! :)

  • As always I thoroughly enjoy reading your artciles. I however had to giggle to myself after reading this article! Who would have thought that the perfect “happy pill” is outside in our gardens ;)

    • Maybe we should suggest that the Rutgers researchers do an additional study on flowers in the bedroom? We could replace that other happy pill! :)

  • In the weather time, I have always brought myself fresh flowers just to make myself feel good. Now I know why. My friends would always comment, “Oh I see your husband brought you flowers.” When I would tell them no I just brought them for myself, I would get a funny look from them. I’m going to forward your article to my friends. Maybe they’ll start buying themselves flowers.

    Thanks, I enjoyed your article.


    • Rose: I can totally relate! I’ve bought myself flowers for the same reason–I just enjoyed having them around (even before I knew of the research). And most people assumed that someone gave them to me. But I think more people are beginning to appreciate the value of flowers and are considering them less of a luxury and more of a item they just need to regularly purchase, like milk and bread. They are becoming a staple. Let’s hope that trend continues so everyone can enjoy the benefits!

  • Fabulous blog. Just posted on my facebook page. Works really well with my September challenge of buying flowers for home every week for $10 or less. Of course I get the benefit of having flowers in my house for the month, they definitely make you happier!

  • Taryn: Love your Facebook page! Fabulous! So few people recognize the power of flowers! Great to hear someone else shares the passion!

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