When guests enter a spa, we want them to leave their worries at the door and create a safe space for them to relax and unwind. While chromatherapy, aromatherapy, and music can certainly aid that, flowers are an often overlooked element that can calm guests as they enter the spa. Though some may think that it is more time efficient and cost effective to have fake flowers decorating their spa, or to skip the idea of flowers all together, the truth is that there is nothing quite like the scent, look, and feel of a bouquet of natural flowers. Of course there are reasons some might want to pass on an authentic flower arrangement, but science has proved that the inclusion of real flowers into the home or workplace provide emotional benefits, like boosting happiness and decreasing anxiety.
The Society of American Florists, About Flowers, and celebrity interior designer Kelli Ellis have partnered together to spread the word about the wellness benefits of flowers. The team studied research from Harvard University about how living with flowers strengthens feelings of compassion and decreases anxiety and worry; and research from Rutgers University about how flowers improve emotional health.
“Flowers bring about positive emotional feelings in those who enter a room,” says Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Rutgers and lead research of the Rutgers study. “They make the space more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere.” Haviland-Jones' team explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study of participants behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers. The results show that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods.
Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., conducted the research study at Harvard Medical School that yeilded similar results. “As a psychologist, I’m particularly intrigued to find that people who live with flowers report fewer episodes of anxiety and depressed feelings,” Etcoff said. “Our results suggest that flowers have a positive impact on our well being.”
With both studies proving that flowers can be beneficial in a number of personal and professional ways, here are six reasons why you should consider having real flowers in your spa:
- Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
- Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
- Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends, or at the spa, between client and therapist.
- Flowers feed compassion. Study participants who were in contact with fresh cut flowers for less than a week felt an increase in feelings of compassion and kindness for others.
Flowers chase away anxieties, worries and the blues at home.Overall, people in the study simply felt less negative after being around flowers for just a few days. Participants most frequently placed flowers where they spend a lot of time, at home or at work. They reported wanting to see the blooms first thing in the morning. Flowers in the entryway of a spa can create the same feeling study participants had when seeing flowers early in the morning.
Living with flowers can provide a boost of energy, happiness and enthusiasm at work.
Having flowers at home can have a positive carry-over impact on our mood at work, too. The study found that people were more likely to feel happier and have more enthusiasm and energy at work when flowers were in their home living environments. Flowers in the spa can benefit more than just your clients, it can benefit your practitioners, too.
Ellis also partnered with master color expert Mark Woodman to produce Two Minute Trends, a video series that discusses the benefits of flowers in both professional and personal settings, what flowers can do for mood, mental health, and of course, design.
Here, Ellis and Woodman discuss the power of flower's soothing effect on our psyche in this Two-Minute Trends video on Quiet Spaces:
In this Two-Minute Trends video on Enhancing Wellness, Woodman and Ellis share tips on how flowers can drastically change the space they are in, whether in a home or elsewhere. While the video is oriented towards flowers for the home, Ellis told American Spa she highly recommends spa owners and directors follow these tips to incorporate flowers into their wellness spaces:
For the full analysis on the health benefits of flowers, click here.