5 Reasons Flower Images Make You Feel Good

By Kurt Johnson Photography • February 12, 2024

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Stop and smell the roses,” but did you know you can benefit from just looking at flowers?  And you don’t need to be outside to do it.

Numerous studies suggest flower images reduce stress and have a calming effect on both your body and your brain.  We decided to dig a little deeper and find out why flower images make you feel good.

There’s no substitution for the real thing – when it comes to flowers and the healing benefits of nature.  But if you could be outdoors 24/7 living in gorgeous landscapes with perfect temperatures, there wouldn’t be a need for what we do.

But doctor’s visits, hospital stays, Zoom meetings, and just living in a world dependent on technology means, realistically, you can’t be outside all the time. 

When considering the safety of patients in healthcare environments, the Children’s Cancer Research Fund found that most hospitals don’t allow live flowers in their buildings because of potential allergies.

Bringing nature indoors is essential for our well-being, especially when you consider the wellness needs of healthcare environments.  Nature imagery provides the benefits without the risk.

Looking at flowers can have several positive effects on your health and well-being.

Here’s the rundown on why flower images make you feel good – with lots of visuals so you can start feeling good now.  And it’s also a great starting place for healthcare environments looking for the right images to start improving outcomes for patients and staff.

5 Reasons Flower Images Make You Feel Good:

1. Connection: Biophilic design was created because of our innate human tendency to seek connections with nature and other living organisms.

Viewing images of flowers taps into this natural inclination and evokes feelings of connection to the natural world. That’s why bringing nature indoors, especially via flower and landscape photography, is increasingly sought after in healthcare environments.

Large amounts of research support that access to nature images, when being outdoors isn’t possible, increases our connection to the natural world, making us feel good, by promoting a sense of well-being and fulfillment. This can have long-term benefits for mental and emotional health.

2. Color Psychology: Color plays a big part in why flower images make you feel good.

Flowers come in a wide variety of vibrant colors, each of which can evoke different emotional responses. For example, warm colors like red, orange, and yellow are often associated with feelings of happiness and energy, while cooler colors like blue and purple can evoke a sense of calm and relaxation.

The diverse array of colors in flower images can stimulate the brain in different ways. The colors and shapes of flowers can stimulate feelings of happiness, joy, and tranquility.

Bright colors have been found to help cancer patients feel hopeful during treatments and children are more engaged and less afraid when they see recognizable images of nature such as green trees and blooming flowers.

Color is a powerful way to engage the senses and promote healing. 

3. Reduced Stress: Research suggests that exposure to nature, including flower imagery, reduces stress levels. Viewing flowers can trigger a relaxation response in the body, leading to lower heart rates, and reduced muscle tension.

Allowing the mind to rest and rejuvenate while looking at flower images is another way flower images make us feel good.

In a 2020 study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology patients viewing flower images had reduced negative emotions, blood pressure levels, and cortisol release.  Proof that flower imagery can be just as effective as being in nature.

In today’s fast-paced world, images of flowers provide a temporary escape from stressors and distractions. Immersing oneself in the tranquil beauty of flower images creates a sense of calm and relaxation – important research for healthcare design experts looking for ways to improve patient outcomes. 

4. Cultural Significance: Flowers have been used symbolically in various cultures throughout history to represent concepts such as love, purity, and renewal.

When we view images of flowers, we may unconsciously interpret them through the lens of their cultural symbolism, which can evoke deep-seated emotions and feelings of resonance.

Nothing matches the excitement when new blooms start popping up in springtime.  We feel hope for what’s to come.

Many people associate flowers with positive experiences such as weddings, celebrations, or leisurely walks in gardens. Flower images make you feel good, leading to a boost in mood and emotional well-being.

Looking at flower images can evoke a range of positive emotions by tapping into our innate appreciation for beauty, connection to nature, and positive associations with flowers.

5. Beauty and Aesthetics: This one’s a no-brainer – flowers are pretty.  They’re some of nature’s most glorious works of art.

When you look at images of flowers, their intricate shapes, delicate petals, and overall aesthetic appeal draw us in. And since appreciating beauty elicits feelings of awe, wonder, and hope, it makes sense that flower images make you feel good by contributing to a positive emotional state, improving your mood.

When you can’t be outdoors enjoying the beauty of flowers in their natural environment, look for the next best thing, flower imagery.  It calms the mind, relaxes the body, and leads to faster recovery and better moods.  Something beneficial to you and those around you.

Taking breaks to admire flowers or spending time in flower-filled environments, even if it happens to be flower imagery, can inspire new ideas and perspectives. This is one of the reasons incorporating nature art into healthcare environments is getting increased attention with more and more research articles making the case for flower imagery to be the next best thing for healing when you can’t be outside.

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