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Can flowers make you feel better

Jim Boxberger - Correspondent
Posted 4/30/21

The International Association of Horticultural Producers recently completed a twelve month study on how flowers improved covid outcomes from March 2020 to March 2021.

Findings show people who …

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Can flowers make you feel better

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The International Association of Horticultural Producers recently completed a twelve month study on how flowers improved covid outcomes from March 2020 to March 2021.

Findings show people who have flowers in their home feel happier and more relaxed. Through this positive energy the chances of suffering from stress-related depression are decreased. Positive emotions help put life events in a broader perspective and so lessen the negative effects that may result from negative emotions.

Positive emotions such as gratitude, hope, empathy, joy, love, pride, calmness, surprise and awe can all be associated with flowers. Overall happiness, well-being, calm and intimacy benefit from surrounding yourself with flowers. Flowers have both immediate and long-term effects on emotions, mood, and even memory in both men and women.

Women who received flowers had more positive moods even three days later. Remember that this coming week as Mother's Day is May 9th. Flowers impact people emotionally at home, causing them to feel less anxious and more compassionate. Having flowers in the home gives a boost of energy that lasts through the day.

Flowers are the perfect morning pick-me-up for people who are less positive in the early hours. They are happier and more energetic after looking at flowers in the morning. So forget the coffee, stare at a petunia instead.

The study also showed that flowers and plants accelerate healing due to their stimulation of a positive outlook. Exposure to natural surroundings has been shown to be restorative, based on measures such as self-reported mood, performance and attention tasks, and physiological measures that signify positive emotions and reduced stress.

The presence of flowers in the home can deliver these benefits. Visible greenery reduces stress, stimulates the mind and moves the focus away from pain and discomfort. With plants in the room people are able to tolerate more pain, and this can reduce the need for painkillers.

Consult your doctor though before tossing your meds for marigolds. Indoor plants release water vapor, humidifying the air and reducing the likelihood of headaches. Although to achieve this benefit your living room will have to look like a jungle.

For the elderly flowers and plants have even greater benefits. Flowers presented to elderly people generated a positive mood and improved episodic memory - the memory of everyday events. “Instinct tells us that flowers lift our spirits, but their effects on seniors are especially profound, if not surprising,” said researcher Dr Haviland-Jones.

There is a strong sensory and emotional connection with flowers. Simply the sight and smell of flowers improved mood in 69% of consumers. And flowers give happiness to both the giver and the reciever. The most common reason for flower purchases is as a gift. There is great power in giving the gift of flowers. Nine in ten people remember the last time they gave flowers as a gift.

Females are more likely than men to remember the last time that they received flowers as a gift. I think the last time I received flowers was when I graduated high school and that was 1985. Flower givers are considered to be caring, personal and sentimental.

The study went on to say that when presented with flowers, women always respond with a ‘true' smile. The ‘true smile' is where both the mouth and the eyes smile, and this generates a reciprocal positive response. Both the giver and the receiver benefit.

Other common gifts, such as fruit or a candle, generate less of a positive initial response in the receiver, and have no lasting effect. Despite most flowers being bought as a gift for someone else, the tendency to buy flowers for home decoration or as a gift for oneself is increasing.

This tendency to buy flowers for home or self is particularly noticeable in GenY (26 to 34 year-olds). Both Gen Y and Gen X are more likely to purchase houseplants than Baby Boomers.

And lastly but probably the most significant is 92% of women say that the best reason to receive flowers is “just because”. So you don't need any special day on the calendar to buy her some flowers.

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