Have you ever wondered what the effect of giving or receiving flowers has on the brain? Well that question has been asked and answered by a multitude of psychologists with some interesting results. Stick a potted plant on your work desk, because researchers Raanaas, Evensen, Rich, Sjostrom, and Patel concluded that cognitive performance is better in offices with plants than in offices sans plants.
Researchers Park and Mattson determined that patients in hospital rooms with flowers or plants needed "less postoperative pain medication, had lower systolic blood pressure and pulse rates, and generally were in a better psychological state than rooms without" (Mattson & Park, 2008). Luther Burbank was onto something when he said flowers were "medicine for the soul."
Lastly, participants in a Rutgers University study received one of three gifts- a candle, a fruit basket, or a bouquet of flowers. The results showed 100% of participants who received flowers exhibited a Duchenne Smile- a "true smile" involving the mouth, cheeks, and eyes. According to researcher Jeannette Haviland-Jones, "In the emotions lab, you never get a 100 percent response unless you’re dropping a snake on people, which gives you a nice 100 percent fear response. But, happy? No."
The takeaway message of this post is to show the positive effects that flowers have on mental health. It is a simple way to put a Duchenne Smile on someone's face or to make your employees more productive!