Results Suggest That Flowers Have a Positive Impact on Well-being

One of the unavoidable facets of New York City life is that everything seems to move at a breakneck pace. From navigating the relentless traffic to juggling the demands of career and household, to generally being a person alive in 2024, it's no wonder that stress often feels like an unavoidable companion in our daily lives. Amidst this whirlwind, finding moments of tranquility and fostering a sense of wellness becomes essential for maintaining balance and peacefulness in our lives.

And according to a recent study from Harvard Medical School (chronicled in the Harvard Crimson), this sense of wellness may come in a surprising package – or should we say, vase.

This study, conducted by clinical researcher Nancy L. Etcoff, sheds light on the profound effects of flowers on our emotional state. Over the course of two weeks, Etcoff followed 55 women of various ages and backgrounds, surprising them with bouquets of flowers and asking them to keep diaries documenting their daily activities and emotions.

Her goal, she explained, “was to see if having just a few flowers in your home could change your mood.”

And the results were clear. Etcoff found that living with flowers for just a few days influenced a wide spectrum of emotions for participants, ultimately showcasing the power of nature's blooms in elevating spirits and enhancing people’s emotional landscape.

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

What started as a simple inquiry into the mood-altering potential of flowers revealed a positive impact on participants' overall well-being.

Etcoff, also the author of “Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty,” initially delved into the realm of "human beauty" out of curiosity about the effects of natural beauty on the human psyche. 

Through her research, she discovered an unexpected correlation between the presence of plants, such as flowers, in the home and heightened feelings of relaxation, energy, and compassion, even extending to the workplace. 

Further supporting these findings, Jennifer Sparks, vice president of marketing for the Society of American Florists, revealed that previous research confirmed that receiving flowers can bring “instant satisfaction and delight.”

These findings (though amazing) come as no surprise to us at Julia Testa. We get to witness the transformative power of our arrangements in each person who gives and receives them. We see the moment people’s eyes light up and cherish the notes of thanks from recipients for days after their arrangements are delivered.

Etcoff's findings and our own experience with flowers resonate deeply with the growing awareness of the importance of wellness practices in today's stress-filled world. In a city like New York, integrating simple yet effective rituals, such as surrounding ourselves with the beauty of flowers, becomes an unexpected tool for nurturing our mental and emotional well-being.

Whether it's a vibrant bouquet on our kitchen counter or a single stem gracing our bedside table, the presence of flowers can serve as a gentle reminder to pause, breathe, and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. So keep calm, and flower on.