Why Send Flowers? How Flowers Affect Emotional Wellbeing
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Why Flowers?

Flowers really can make us happier.  

What is it that brings us back to this practice of giving others (and ourselves) fresh blooms? How is it that something so simple can carry such emotional weight? Do flowers really affect our emotional well-being? Do flowers really matter?

Flowers are mostly ornamental, they don’t last forever, and they often cost a pretty penny. Why, then, throughout history, has humankind invested such a significant amount of resources to grow and/or purchase something that serves little purpose in helping us survive? 12,000 years ago, ancient Egyptians carved images of flowers in stone, while the Romans threw entire festivals in their honor. As far back as 2000 years ago, artists in China painstakingly created them out of silk. Why do flowers maintain such a powerful hold over us?

You might think that as florists, we assume that we carry an implicit bias when it comes to appreciating the value and role that flowers play in the world. Everyone has their own reasons, but we all share a common obsession with these delicate, beautiful stems– even after ten years working in this industry a tiny flower can still make our heart race. But time and time again, when we’re lucky enough to witness someone engaging with the work we do here (whether it’s through receiving one of our arrangements, inviting us to provide wedding or event florals, stumbling across the daily bucket of free flowers we place outside our studio, or attending a workshop,) the intensity of our community’s reaction to flowers is moving. Florist or not, no matter! Having an emotional reaction to flowers is truly a universal human experience.

  So why are we asking ourselves these questions?

Knowing the emotional significance of flowers energizes us to continue to push ourselves to create arrangements and experiences that connect our community through a shared appreciation of nature, beauty, and sentiment. We wanted to do a bit of a deeper dive into the history behind this practice, and share some of the ways that flowers affect our emotional well-being. This is more than just a hunch, too– we were delighted to find that there is a wealth of scientific research that mirrored what we’ve experienced first-hand. Flowers really can make us happier. Let us list some of the ways:

  Flowers help us to stay in the present moment.

 

 

 

Stop and smell the roses! We live in a very fast-paced world, and we need to be pulled away from our various responsibilities and screens. A growing trend in the mental health field is “mindfulness” which often uses mood-regulating techniques involving multiple senses to bring our awareness into the present moment, with hundreds of studies linking it to improved mental and physical health. What better way to pay attention than to mindfully appreciate a beautiful, fragrant, soft-petalled bloom? So stop and smell the roses– for your health!

If you'd like to come visit our studio to mindfully engage with an array of beautiful blooms (roses almost always included) we reccomend signing up for one of our in-person floral workshops!

 

  Flowers can connect us with our memories and our culture.

Just as they can bring us into the present moment, they can also transport us back into our past. Colour, shape, and smell all play a significant role in connecting us with our autobiographical and long-term memory, and in our experience, most people have a flower that reminds them of someone special in their life. Beyond our immediate community, flowers have played important roles cross-culturally and in many societies around the world, with many identifying them as symbols of strength, resilience and love.

  Flowers can have an immediate positive impact on our mood.

Participants in one study unanimously reacted with “true” and “excited” smiles when receiving flowers, regardless of age and/or cultural background, sharing that they triggered an experience of “delight” and “gratitude.”

Flowers can have a lasting effect on our life satisfaction. The same study above tracked the long-term effects of receiving flowers, which were again, unanimously positive. Feeling less anxious, depressed and stressed was a common effect, as well as admitting to feeling higher levels of life enjoyment.

 

  Flowers can help us feel awake and energized in the morning.

Believe it or not, one Harvard study found that the simple act of placing a flower arrangement in the kitchen can be a viable alternative to starting your day with a cup of coffee. Participants in the study reported increased energy and mood after interacting with blooms first thing in the morning!

Some of our brighter, more carpe-diem colour palette arrangements available right now are Skittles or Season's Best. For a softer start to your day something like our Sugarplum or Periwinkle would be perfect!

  Flowers connect us to our community.

Humans are social animals. Our need for connection is biologically rooted within us as a survival instinct; the mental and physical impact that our social connections have on our health cannot be overstated! When we receive flowers, the emotional significance is undeniable. I am thinking of you, and I care about you is generally the unspoken message.

Studies have shown that being in close contact with flowers increases levels of compassion towards others! Beyond this, we often display flowers in areas of our homes that we keep open to our friends and family, suggesting that flowers act as a welcoming, inviting symbol of shared experience. It’s really no surprise that the hippie rhetoric of peace, unity, and love that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s was commonly referred to as flower power! Just as the world needed more of this then, we continue to need it now. One way to maintain an on-going reminder of your connection with someone is by gifting them one of our floral subscriptions– this could also be a connection you maintain with yourself!

 

  Sometimes when it feels impossible to find the right words, we can easily say it with flowers.

We deepen our relationships when we celebrate and support each other, and flowers have done a lot of emotional heavy-lifting throughout history as they commemorate life’s most emotionally-charged moments. Whether it’s to celebrate your culture, yourself, a loved one or just to boost your mood, we’ll always be here to treat your arrangement with the respect and emotional weight it deserves.

The “power” in flower power demands a connection to community, so we thank you for being a part of ours. Without you, we wouldn't be able to do the work that we so love to do.

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