It’s common knowledge that the majority of Americans, if not the world, if living in a high-tech and fast-paced lifestyle that is taking a heavy toll on our personal lives. Experts are constantly cautioning us to find ways to reduce stress and improve personal wellbeing. Now may be the time to rediscover FLOWER POWER.
According to a 10-month study by Rutgers University, nature provides us with a natural way to improve our emotional health – flowers. The mere presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of satisfaction, and positively affects social behavior. Researchers found:
1) Flowers have an immediate impact on authentic happiness. The simple act of receiving flowers triggered feelings of delight and gratitude.
2) Flowers had a long-term immediate impact on moods. People felt less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and experienced higher overall life satisfaction.
3) Flowers increased the contact with family and friends.
The study also found when flowers where placed in common areas, where they could be shared with family and friends, it made a positive impact on the shared experiences in those areas.
In a separate six-month Rutgers study, this time looking at America’s Aging Population, found that flowers had a similarly positive effect on the health of seniors. That study demonstrated that flowers ease depression, inspire social networking, and refresh memory as we age. This research follows a study conducted in 2000, which links flowers to greater happiness and life satisfaction in women. The 2001 study affirmed:
1) Flowers Decrease Depression – 81% reported less depression
2) Flowers Refresh Recent Memory – 72% scored significantly higher on memory tests
3) Flowers Encourage Companionship – 40% report significant increase in social circle
In a separate study between Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, found that people were more compassionate towards others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed with fresh flowers in the home. It only took a couple of days, less than a week, for the “flower affect” to start to take hold. Of particular note, was the carry-over between the flowers at home and the attitudes and temperaments displayed at work.
Speaking of work, a Texas A & M University study found that having plants and flowers was more than an esthetic choice, but a strategic imperative. Their research concludes that workers’ idea generation, creative performance, and problem solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.