Fresh flowers are definitely one of those little indulgences that I adore.
Last week, my Aunty went to the local flower market and picked up the most divine bunch of lilies (which are definitely one of my favourite flowers). Over the course of the week the flowers have opened in a spectacular, aromatic display of beauty. I don’t know why, but something about having fresh flowers around just makes everything seem brighter and life a little bit more beautiful.
I also absolutely love giving flowers to someone as an random or purposeful act of kindness. Even if it is just a single flower picked from the garden. Any excuse will do.
In a fascinating 3 part study conducted in the US, it was found that flowers have immediate and long term impacts on inducing position emotional reactions, moods, social behaviours and even improved memory in both females and in males (Havilland-Jones et al., 2005).
In the first part of the study, women who were presented with flowers consistently showed a true smile and reported more positive moods after 3 days. In the second, a flower given to a woman or a man in an elevator elicited more positive social behaviour than other stimuli (in this case, a pen). In the final part, flowers were presented to participants aged over 55 years, who then reported more positive moods and had improved episodic memory.
You can read more about the study here.
It is incredible to think that such a simple thing can have such powerful impacts on improving mood, memory, social interactions and emotions. It makes you realise how often we underestimate the huge effects of those little ways to spread love.
p.s. can you tell that I am completely into study mode at the moment? Published journal articles come at me.
Haviland-Jones, J., Rosario, H. H., Wilson, P., & McGuire, T. R. (2005). An environmental approach to positive emotion: Flowers. Evolutionary Psychology, 3(1), 147470490500300109.