Flowers may alleviate the symptoms of depression, according to a study by Rutgers University. Researchers gave 147 women either flowers, a candle or nothing as a gift in order to assess the effects of flowers on mood and mental health. Those who received flowers reported a significant improvement in mood and a decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression. The study’s authors said flowers have evolved to activate positive emotional responses in humans, likely thanks to their vibrant colours and pleasant scents, leading to increased feelings of happiness, lower stress levels, and better overall mental health.
New Study Finds Flowers May Hold the Key to Battling Depression
Depression can be a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Although there are various treatments available, such as therapy and medication, researchers are constantly exploring new ways to help those struggling with the mental illness. A recent study has uncovered a potential source of relief: flowers.
Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey conducted a study to examine the effects of flowers on mood and mental health. The study involved 147 women, who each received either flowers, a candle, or nothing as a gift. Those who received flowers reported a significant improvement in their mood and a decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The study’s lead author, Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., stated that “flowers have evolved to activate positive emotional responses in humans,” likely due to their vibrant colors and pleasant fragrances. These responses can lead to increased feelings of happiness, reduce stress levels, and boost overall mental health.
How Flowers Can Help in Depression
Depression is characterized by feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and a decrease in interest in everyday activities. It can be challenging to find relief from these symptoms, even with traditional treatment methods. Flowers may offer a novel approach to mental health care, as they have the potential to trigger positive emotions in individuals with depression.
The study’s findings support the use of flowers as a complementary treatment for those with depression. Additionally, simply having flowers present in a person’s living environment may provide ongoing benefits for mental health and wellbeing.
While the study involved giving participants flowers as a gift, flowers can be incorporated into daily life in various ways. Individuals can purchase flowers for themselves, grow their own flowers or visit botanical gardens to experience the uplifting effects. Additionally, floral scents can be added to a living space through candles, essential oils, or air fresheners.
Including flowers in daily routines may provide a burst of positivity during difficult times, helping individuals cope with depression and anxiety.
Can flowers replace traditional treatment methods for depression?
No. While the study suggests that flowers may be a useful complementary treatment for those with depression, they should not replace traditional treatment methods, such as therapy or medication. Consultation with a mental health professional is essential for those experiencing depression.
What types of flowers were used in the study?
The study did not specify which types of flowers were used. However, various flowers, such as sunflowers, roses, and lavender, have been shown to have positive effects on mental health.
Can smelling flowers have the same effects as seeing them?
Yes. A study on the effects of lavender essential oil found that its scent had positive effects on mood and reduced anxiety levels. Therefore, even if individuals cannot see flowers, they may still benefit from their therapeutic effects through scent.
Are there any potential side effects of using flowers as a complementary treatment?
Although flowers are generally safe, individuals with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues should be cautious when using floral scents, as they may exacerbate symptoms. It is also essential to be mindful of any reactions or allergies to specific types of flowers.