As if you needed an excuse for this one, but just in case, here you go A study of older adults found that memory and mood improved when people were given a gift of flowers, which wasn’t the case when they were given another kind of gift.
Why would flowers have this effect?
One reason may link to research on the attention restoration effect, which shows that the passive stimulation we find in looking at greenery helps to restore our ability to concentrate. Perhaps improved attention also results in improved memory. Another possibility, which is pure speculation at this point, relates to the evolutionary rationale for our interest in flowers. Because flowers eventually become fruit, it would have made sense for our ancestors to take an interest in them and remember their location. Monitoring the locations of flowers would allow them to save time and energy when it came to finding fruiting plants later, and potentially reach the fruit before other hungry animals. I have to stress that there’s no evidence I’m aware of to support this explanation, but it’s an intriguing possibility.
Taking it a step further, research has also shown that gardening can have mental and physical health benefits for older adults. So whether you buy your flowers or grow them, know that you’re taking a joyful step toward greater well-being in later life.
This post was first published on Ingrid Fetell Lee’s site, The Aesthetics of Joy.
To order yourself a bunch of rejuvenating flowers contact me here