Can Flowers Positively Affect your Brain?

Can Flowers Positively Affect your Brain?

In the pursuit for happiness, your mental health and well-being should never take a backseat. Typically, people would choose their professional life or social life over their health -- obsessing over the next promotion at work, or throwing themselves into all of the next clubs and groups on campus. Having a positive mindset and knowing the best therapist at your fingertips can do wonders for you.

While there are so many ways to achieve the end goal, flowers are one of the best and natural ways which you can improve your general wellbeing. They can delight you on a special occasion, cheer you up when you’re sad or make a dull, dreary room much more appealing. But what is it about flowers that puts you in a good mood? And do they really have that much influence over your mental health?

5 Mental Health Benefits of Flowers

1) Flowers can improve anxiety

Stress and anxiety are part of everyday life. According to Beyond Blue, Australia’s most well-known and visited mental health organization, one quarter of Australians will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime. This is equivalent to 4.96 million people today.

While there are many things you can do to manage your mental health, flowers can help restore some short-term calm to your situation. Flower arranging can actually make us feel less stressed out as it can lower our blood pressure and heart rate. Yes, really! Many tests and studies have been carried out in the past on the effects that flowers can have.

One study that stands out to us features in Complementary Therapies in Medicine. It shows how giving college-aged women a fresh vase of roses for their dorm rooms helped them to feel more relaxed and stress-free than ever before. Even physical indicators like lower blood pressure and heart rates were recorded across the participants! Also, a 2008 study found that hospital patients who had flowers in their room felt less anxious. They were also more positive about their recovery and needed less post-operative care than patients without plants!

These interesting studies go on to prove how flowers have an immediate impact on happiness, help alleviate feelings of anxiety and increase emotional connections between friends and family.

Fill in your home and garden with beautiful blooms to take your mind off things. Have some in your bedroom to create a calming environment when you go to sleep and when you wake up, or make space for a plant in your study to help you keep a handle on work-related stress.

2) They are energy boosters.

Big seasonal blooms will simply bring you a burst of life and all sorts of energy. Some flowers are dramatic, from their color combinations to their size, and their scents. Whether you love gardening or having a pot or two in your space, bright vibrant flowers will always bring life while boosting your spirits. There's a study that shows 64% of people feel more comfortable when their environment has flowers and honestly there's something soothing about them.

Having a pretty bouquet on your workspace would make it easier to let go and focus on your work. Do you like the idea of having a constant scent around when you’re stressed or worried about something? In Bloom & Bud collection, we specially chose the Pamela which holds not only the soothing scent but also gives a reminiscent touch as it recalls joyful memories.

2) Flowers can help you sleep

Sometimes the quest for a good night’s sleep can leave you feeling exhausted. It’s hard enough to have a good day when you’re running on a sleep deficit, but it can be even worse when you find yourself stressing out about how to catch up.

Sleeping properly is really important. Fortunately, there are some natural, gentle sleep aids out there. Mother Nature has your back when it comes to falling asleep, so try some of these flowers and plants to get a good night’s rest.

Jasmine is a fragrant tropical flower that has proven properties as a sleep aid. It has a delightful scent, and if you live in the South, you may be able to plant some where the fragrance will waft into your bedroom window.

People also have been using lavender to help sleep for hundreds of years. The smell of lavender is proven to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, which will help you to relax. This calming scent can be used just like jasmine in a diffuser, or you can make a flower spray to use on your sheets and pillow instead. The more relaxed you are, the more likely you are to drift off into a restful sleep.

3) Flowers can improve your memory

Specifically, rosemary can sharpen your powers of recall.

In 2015, researchers conducted a very interesting experiment, in which participants went into one of three rooms and completed a memory test. One room smelt of rosemary, one of lavender and the other wasn’t given a specific scent. Each participant had to look at a series of objects hidden around the room and remember them for later. The project tested the impact of different smells on ‘future memory’ - in other words, how much you remember to remember. In real-life terms, this could be posting a letter you wrote yesterday, or paying your bills on time.

The people in the rosemary-scented room scored highest in this test. The lavender room scored significantly lower, presumably because the people here were far too relaxed and sleepy to keep up with everything!

4) Flowers can change your emotions with colours

We all associate colours with different moods. Red can mean love, anger or danger. Yellow is usually associated with happiness and sunshine. Blue can signify calm or sadness. Green is linked to safety, which could explain why having lots of leafy plants around creates such a comfortable environment.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute, “our response to colour is intensely emotional, and flowers can be a catalyst for feelings that stimulate more than just our senses of sight and smell.” For example, red is typically a colour that symbolizes love and passion. But it also has an energising and uplifting effect on us, just like the colour yellow. But other colours, like blue and white can have more calming effects on us.

On top of this, we each have our own personal relationships with colours that can bring to mind a happy or sad memory and influence our reactions. Suddenly, choosing the colour of your flowers becomes a bigger decision than you thought! Choose a flower that will bring you joy and we know the Nicole is the perfect fit as it stands for the courage of yours. If you’re a fan of bright colours, you would also love the Olympia to help you personalize the look of your home!

Why do humans react so positively to flowers?

Flowers are known to stimulate several chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin in our brains. These are the ‘happy’ chemicals. And whenever we see or receive some pretty flowers our brain instantly recognises that as a good, rewarding thing. Basically, it’s almost impossible to feel sad when looking at some beautiful bouquets!

Wondering what these chemicals actually mean though? It’s time to get technical.

  • Dopamine. Our brains have grown in a world where receiving flowers is seen as a rewarding thing. And dopamine is triggered by the anticipation of a reward so they go hand in hand. Whether you’re being given flowers or see them out in the wild starting to open up during springtime, our brains can sense that something special is coming.
  • Oxytocin. You may have heard this chemical being called the ‘bonding hormone’ or even the ‘cuddle chemical’. That’s because oxytocin creates the feeling of trust, romantic and maternal love. This is a feeling that’s hard to find and easy to lose. But flowers can help to stimulate it! Receiving flowers from someone communicates trust and effort in a relationship. This makes us feel good enough to release oxytocin.
  • Serotonin. Plays a major role in making us happy. It’s why it can be found in so many anti-depressant medications. This chemical isn’t only released by drugs or food though. Studies show that serotonin can be triggered by pride. So, when you grow, buy or send flowers it gives your brain the sense of pride it’s looking for. Flowers can help you to feel important and special.

Which flower is the most uplifting?

While having any flowers at home feels lovely and uplifting, there are some that are proven to work that little bit harder than others.

  • Roses. Ever heard the expression ‘stop and smell the roses’? That’s because they produce wonderful mood-boosting endorphins. A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology exposed office workers to pink roses. And the results showed that they brought significant physiological and psychological relaxing effects to the participants. In the study we mentioned earlier, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, again it was again the humble rose that was tested on the participants. So there seems to be a running theme that roses can help people to feel happier and more relaxed.
  • Peonies. Peony season is the most hyped-up flower season of the year. Our lovely customers look forward to it weeks before they launch and every year we’re flooded with messages about how they’ve boosted people’s days.
  • Sunflowers. These are perfect flowers for lifting your mood! They’re big, bright, bold and beautiful and make us smile as much as a sunny day.