People have been decorating with flowers since the dawn of time. It’s only recently, however, that scientists have started exploring the true benefits of this practice. In addition to making events and home decor more attractive, displaying flowers can positively impact our health and wellness.
Here are some of the positive effects of flowers on our well-being and what blooms you should choose for your home.
Improve Sleep Quality
One of the main reasons to schedule flowers for delivery is to contribute to better sleep quality.
Low-quality sleep can negatively affect one’s physical and mental health. Sleep plays an integral role in hormonal regulation and immune function. People who experience sleep deprivation or insomnia have higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), which can lead to the development of several chronic diseases and inflammation. High cortisol levels also impact one’s metabolism and digestive health.
There’s a direct link between poor sleep and immunity. The worse your sleep hygiene, the more likely you will catch this year’s cold or flu. As muscle tissue repair also occurs during periods of rest, athletes are more likely to sustain an injury or struggle to recover from an intense workout.
Fortunately, several types of blooms can help induce restfulness and contribute to better sleep. Lavender is one of the best flowers for sleep and is commonly used in aromatherapy for this purpose. Studies have shown that lavender reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and promotes better restfulness throughout the night. The same meta-analysis showed that lavender in drop form is as effective as the prescription anxiety medication Lorazepam for inducing restfulness.
There’s also anecdotal evidence that gardenias, peace lilies, orchids, bromeliads, and jasmine positively impact sleep, though studies on aromatic effects are limited.
Reconnect with Nature
Humans are more disconnected from nature now than ever before. Yet, exposure to nature is proven to improve our health and well-being. The biophilia hypothesis shows that humans have an innate desire to connect with nature. It stems from our ancestral days when we spent most of our time outdoors.
We can see this connection in practices like Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), which is scientifically proven to improve wellness. Anthropologists also believe that many of our idioms stem from biophilia. When we use terms like “making a mountain out of a molehill” or “extending an olive branch,” it showcases a connection with nature that transcends time.
Displaying flowers can help us reconnect with nature and bring it into our homes. Displaying wildflowers from a local field or ordering a bouquet of spring tulips is a beautiful way to bring the outdoors in.
Triggers Positive Memories
Decorating with flowers can help us relive positive memories. Memory is closely tied to our olfactory system or sense of smell. While it may seem magical, the reasoning is quite scientific. The part of your brain that registers odors is the limbic system, which includes your amygdala and hippocampus. For those who don’t remember high school biology, those are the parts of your brain responsible for memory and emotion.
Olfaction is even being used in studies around Alzheimer’s and dementia treatment. Scientists have discovered that an astounding 90% of Alzheimer’s patients lose their sense of smell, further highlighting the connection.
Smelling flowers can trigger positive memories and emotions. Maybe smelling the roses reminds you of your first date with your now husband or your grandmother’s garden. The scent of honeysuckle may bring back memories of running around with friends in the summers of your childhood.
Choose fragrant blooms, like geraniums, hyacinth, and daffodils. Some florists will also add herbs like eucalyptus or rosemary to your arrangements for an extra olfactory boost.
Keep Things Fresh
The need for change and stimulation peaked during 2020, with many people stuck in their homes for months at a time. In addition to the financial and social challenges of this trying time, many people felt bored and frustrated with their surroundings. Cabin fever is very real, and now many of us know why pilgrims and sailors struggled.
Flowers are one of the most versatile, affordable ways to change up your home decor. If you need a change but don’t have the option for a complete interior design overhaul, you can add a floral arrangement to keep things fresh. Consider using a flower subscription service to get a different, seasonal bouquet delivered every month.
Studies have shown that engaging with flowers can dramatically boost productivity while reducing stress levels. Whether you’re back in the office or working from home, this can have tremendous effects on your health and well-being.
Getting your work done efficiently allows you to improve your work-life balance by unplugging and engaging in meaningful activities, like family time or self-care. Productivity also impacts wellness by helping you create a clean, tidy space when approaching housework and chores.
There’s a lot of controversy about productivity and whether it’s a good thing for our society. It’s important to understand the difference between being productive and working to the point of burnout. Being productive can help you feel more engaged and accomplished while reducing stress.
Choose blooms that help you feel energized and content when trying to boost productivity. Bright colors and tropical blooms are great for this purpose.
Improve Air Quality
Another physiological impact of displaying flowers is the improvements in air quality. Many flowers and indoor plants absorb toxins and produce oxygen. These plants absorb formaldehyde, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like benzene and trichloroethylene, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Many of these toxins are found in household materials like paint or carpets, as well as cleaning chemicals.
While most plants that absorb toxins are green plants like English ivy and aloe, some flowering plants contribute as well. Gerbera daisies are considered the most effective for absorbing toxins and creating oxygen, closely followed by peace lilies and lavender.
One caveat when decorating your home with plants: if your home has excess levels of humidity, it can diminish air quality and promote mold growth. As plants naturally increase humidity levels, it’s important to put proper controls in place.
Displaying flowers offers more than a beautiful decor element or thoughtful gift. You can use flowers to spark positive memories and emotions, improve physical health, and improve overall well-being.