Science Shows Flowers Make Us Happy
We all know that receiving gifts makes us happy, but did you know that there is scientific evidence that even smelling flowers causes happiness? You don’t even have to stick your nose into a bouquet of beauties and inhale deeply to reap the benefits. The effects take place with the slightest, almost undetectable aroma.
Doctor Jeannette M. Haviland-Jones of Rutgers University has done multiple studies in recent years showing the positive effects of flowers on emotion. There has been growing evidence in the scientific community for years that pheromones and odors have profound influence on human moods and cognitive processes. A full 3% of the human genome is used for detecting odors in the nose. This might not seem like much, but the only other system that takes up more of the genome is the immune system. Neuroscience also supports this link between aromas and emotion because both systems share common pathways through the system of nerves and networks in the brain. Aroma processing takes place in the amygdala, which is also activated by memories and emotions. Simply smelling a flower can affect your mood because it brings up emotional memories. Emotions can be triggered based on the memory of having smelled that scent before. Haviland-Jones focused on olfaction (the sense of smell) and flowers for these studies with some undeniable and surprising results. She noted an earlier study from 2000 showed that some flowers even mimic scents created by mammals to attract each other.
Throughout history, humans have been aware of this connection between floral aromas and positive environments. 3000 years ago, Persian scientists used Lavender oil to cleanse a sick room, and positive beliefs about fragrances at weddings creating positive outcomes for couples are found in ancient writings. In Egypt, the Pharaohs were surrounded by flowers when they were buried to ensure their acceptance into the afterlife. Today, in aromatherapy, floral scents are considered soothing and relaxing. They are regularly used to treat nervous tension, irritability, anxiety, stress, and depression.
Recently I was contacted by Lexi Klinkenberg at Redfin asking for some tips on how to use flowers to spruce up your home. My answer? Improve your mood by bringing bouquets into your space - whether small bud vases in the bedroom and bathroom or a weekly delivery of a table centerpiece. Studies have shown that people report reduced stress levels when receiving bouquets or having flowers in their home after just 3 days. For other tips from Redfin check out the full article on Redfin's website here: https://www.redfin.com/blog/