Research Shows Flowers Help Emotional Well-Being

Westchester Flower Shop Says ‘In Lieu of Flowers’ Phrase is a Major Barrier to the Healing Process.

Westchester County, NY – Research indicates that sympathy flowers may not only brighten and warm a funeral or memorial service setting, but also have a positive impact on the emotional well-being of the bereaved.

A Harvard University study reveals that flowers feed compassion and chase away anxiety and worries. The research participants lived with fresh flowers for just a few days and reported increases in feelings of compassion and kindness for others. Overall, people simply felt less negative after being around flowers.

What we learned is that flowers can have profound positive effects on our emotions. We have an innate attraction to flowers and through research we’re beginning to discover why that is so.

Previous behavioral research by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, also found that flowers improve our emotional health, according to The Journal of Evolutionary Psychology. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction. The bereavement process is a pivotal time when worry, anxiety, and many sad emotions are present. With such compelling research that shows the presence of flowers make a positive impact on people’s emotional well-being, Westchester Flower Shop wants the funeral industry to know flowers are a critical part of the bereavement process.

“In lieu of flowers”

Florists are more concerned than ever about the trend toward the use of the “in lieu of flowers” phrase in obituaries and death notices. In light of the emotional benefits of flowers, it is hard to imagine a funeral or memorial service without them, however, floral industry members nationwide believe ‘in lieu of flowers’ runs the risk of just that.

The “in lieu of flowers” phrase, which traces its roots back to the 1950s, has seen prominent use in the last couple of decades with the proliferation of charitable organizations actively seeking memorial donations.

Florists continue to be concerned that the use if this phrase diminishes people’s ability to express their sympathy through flowers.

Westchester Flower Shop suggests funeral directors eliminate the “in lieu of flowers” phrase, unless directly specified by the family, and instead use an alternative phrase such as: Donations may be made to a designated charity.