From first dates to anniversaries, birthdays to Mother’s Day, celebrations of new life, new jobs, and new joys, finding the right way to express how you feel is vital. Flowers have been used for centuries as a symbol of admiration, affection and sincerity. While it may sound twee and cliché, a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers is the perfect gift to let the people you care about know how much they mean to you.
Flowers and Psychology
Cognitive science gives us great insight into the practical basis for how flowers enrich our lives. When we give or receive flowers, the tangible object that signifies our feelings delivers a swell of emotion within us by releasing what are known as the “happiness chemicals” in our brain: dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin
Flowers can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain through their symbolism of care and empathy. Dopamine is often known as a driver of pleasure, but in truth it is more of a motivator, driving us towards or away from things that are desirable or undesirable. A beautiful bunch of flowers can trigger this response in us, reminding us of how much and why we care for those around us.
Flowers and plants require care and attention, just as much as people. Caring for our flowers and gardens – feeding and watering them and ensuring they are nice and healthy
– can remind us of the same care and attention we give in our relationships with others. This process releases oxytocin (the so-called “binding hormone”) to instill within us a sense of trust and love.
Professor Loretta Breuning, the author of the book Habits of a Happy Brain, explains in her work how flowers can help our brain release the hormone serotonin:
“This chemical is often mentioned in the context of antidepressants, but research on monkeys in the twentieth century made it clear that the good feeling of serotonin is released when a mammal advances its social importance. Flowers can help you do that. Whether you grow them, buy them, or admire them from a distance, flowers can stimulate the sense of pride that your mammal brain is looking for.
No one likes to admit they care about social importance, but if you fail to stimulate your serotonin, you end up feeling bad. This is why we’re always looking for socially acceptable ways to trigger it. Many of our social rituals exist to satisfy this natural urge in a healthy way. Flowers support these rituals. Whether you give them, receive them, or buy them for yourself, flowers help you feel important in ways that do no harm.”
So if you’ve ever received a gift of flowers and wondered why they changed your mood or made your day, now you know the science behind it.
Different species of flowers and their colors can even have their own meanings. If you are trying to send a message to your significant other, then sending him/her a bouquet of flowers may send a different message depending on your choice of blooms. Red roses, carnations and tulips symbolize eternal devotion and love, while simple baby’s breath means eternal love and innocence. Did you know that a pink rose means praise, while a yellow rose means friendship?
Matching specific flowers and colors can also convey different messages! Red roses and white roses together symbolize unity, while red roses and yellow roses signify happiness.
For the Romantic
If you are a romantic at heart, choosing the right time to surprise your partner with a gift of flowers can go a long way. Going on a holiday together? Surprise them with flowers from the local flower shop! The simple gift of a posy can make a memory that will last a lifetime.
Celebrating a special day together with a night out on the town? Organize to collect a bunch of flowers enroute or even have them delivered to the restaurant! A beautiful arrangement of seasonal florals can set the mood and get the night started in the best way possible.
Even if you’re the more practical sort and prefer a night at home with family and friends, those comfortable moments at home can be complimented by the beautiful gift of flowers. If you’re ordering a delivery of food for dinner, why not order a bouquet of sweet flowers to accompany it? A gorgeous vase of seasonal florals can be used as the centerpiece of a family dining table or decoration to invigorate the room and make everybody feel at home!
Flowers are a thoughtful gift
The best occasion to send flowers is when there is no occasion at all. Sending a surprise bouquet “just because” shows just how much you are thinking of the person and can help the people you care about get through difficult or draining situations and cope with the harder times in life. Never underestimate the power of a simple bouquet; an unexpected gift at the right time can do incredible things in the lives of those we love.
Whether it’s a bouquet of fresh seasonal flowers to show Mum how much she means, or a single red rose to set the mood on date night, or a decadent vase of glorious blooms to celebrate an anniversary, flowers are the perfect gift to make the day of those you love. Don’t know what to say? Then say it with flowers!