When we lose a loved one we are often showered with gorgeous flower arrangements by our friends and family. This might seem like a small gesture, or even merely a social obligation, but gifting flowers to those who are grieving actually puts a whole new spin on Flower Power. Studies have shown that flowers have healing powers. No, this isn’t some form of ancient magic. It’s science!
The Study Of Flower Power
Scientists at Rutgers University proved that flowers have healing properties when when they conducted a study on the effects of flowers on happiness and wellbeing. The social experiment consisted of studying participants’ emotional responses upon receiving flowers. 147 female participants arrived for what they thought would simply be a day of filling out questionnaires. However, the real experiment happened when the women were given a “thank you” gift for participating in the study. Participants were given either a candle, a fruit basket, or a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Trained scientists focused on the participants’ faces as they were given the gifts. Those that were given a candle or a fruit basket exhibited only a polite smile. This is the type of smile we often use in quick greetings or social interactions with strangers – it’s polite, but it isn’t genuine.
On the other hand, every single participant who was given flowers exhibited a true smile – the type of heartfelt smile where your eyes crinkle at the corners and your cheeks feel like they’re going to burst! This smile is used as an indicator of excitement and joy.
Perhaps you are thinking that a participant simply smiling doesn’t prove anything about flowers and happiness. However, when scientists followed up with the women three days later, the ones who received flowers still reported feeling happier than those that didn’t. Let’s hope those scientists sent the rest of the group flowers after the study was over!
Everyone Loves A Flower Delivery!
The Rutgers study showed that most people, regardless of gender or age, benefit from receiving flowers. The study above focused only on female participants. This is because women typically are more willing to do social studies that are based on emotional responses. Rutgers later did a study to determine how receiving flowers would affect men. Once again, the scientists proved that men who received flowers as a gift exhibited escalated happiness and increased social interaction. The men who were given flowers made more frequent eye contact and produced more true smiles than those who didn’t.
While both the male and female studies had participants from a variety of age groups, Rutgers wanted to do a third study to test the effects of flowers specifically on senior citizens. This study showed that the flowers helped to refresh memory and increase happiness among the participants. The scientists also discovered that seniors who were gifted flowers had more social interactions in the time following the study. Perhaps this is because we often put flowers in our living rooms or kitchens where people can see them, which gives us even more of a reason to invite our neighbor over for a cup of tea.
A Light In The Dark
We know that flowers can’t bring back a loved one. But what we do know is that having flowers in the house can brighten the days of those who are grieving. Even though the gesture may seem small, it is important to do all we can to help when our friends or family are hurting. This is especially important for senior citizens who might have just lost their spouse and are in need of social interactions. Whether the flower arrangements are for the home or for a funeral service, Brown Floral can design tasteful and thoughtful displays to help when those we care for are mourning.