The Health Benefits of Fresh Flowers
The “flower power” mantra from the 1960s, which represented anti-violence, not only signifies peace but also peace of mind. Whether the 1960s activists knew it or not, flowers have significant health benefits, especially for mental health. So when you’re giving someone fresh flowers this Valentine’s season, you’re not only brightening their day; you’re adding value to their overall health! Read more to learn about the health benefits of fresh flowers.
Flowers Improve Mood and Create Positive Energy
Over the years, research has consistently linked indoor flowers and plants with health. In 2008, Park and Mattson confirmed what many have intuitively known for years – giving flowers to those in the hospital improves overall well-being. When a patient is surrounded by colorful blooms, studies show that they need less postoperative pain medication, had lower systolic blood pressure, as well as lower pulse rates, and were less anxious and tired, and were ultimately in a more positive psychological state than patients without plants.
Though your living room or dining room may not be a hospital room, you can still benefit greatly from having fresh flowers in your home. Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands studied restaurant diners. From their observations, they found that people with fresh flowers on their tables appeared to be in a better mood.
Why limit yourself to feeling amazing in your home? Keep a vase of fresh flowers or a potted plant on your desk at work! According to a study done by Raanaas, Evensen, Rich, Sjostrom, and Patil, cognitive performance is better in offices with plants than in those without them. Therefore, maintaining plants in your workplace is worth the effort required in keeping them alive. If you work in a creative environment (i.e. graphic design, marketing, etc.), then you should definitely invest in an office plant. Shibata and Suzuki discovered evidence linking green, leafy plants with creativity. Whenever you have your brainstorming sessions, make sure you have a plant present. The plant will not only give you brain power, but it’ll freshen the air.
Flowers Have Positive Aromatherapy Properties
Speaking of fresh air, smelling floral scents improves mood and makes people feel less anxious. Granted, if you struggle with anxiety, plants will not eliminate the need for medication. However, that doesn’t mean that a plant won’t add value to you and your health. Stressed about an upcoming exam or a presentation at work? Smelling some fresh flowers will take the edge off without giving you a hangover.
Each scent can have a different effect so find the one that suites you! For me, I have always been a fan of gardenia and lavender. However, since lavender is the go-to scent for relaxation, having it at work might make you a little sleepy, rather than energized. Keeping lavender in your bedroom though can help you fall asleep. In a study conducted on 42 college women, lavender significantly eased sleep problems, as well as depression.
Another fan favorite is jasmine. While aesthetically pleasing, jasmine is also aromatically pleasing. Like lavender, jasmine helps with depression. Additionally, it creates a sense of alertness and has an uplifting effect. So while lavender might not be the best choice for the workplace, jasmine is.
Some Tips When Purchasing Flowers
When picking flowers in an open field or at your local florist, remember to pick less saturated and brighter colors if you’re looking to feel more relaxed. However, if you’re wanting to feel energized, then stick to the bold, saturated colors.
Creating a bouquet of flowers with colors that fall within the same section of the color wheel will add a calming effect. For instance, a combination of yellow, orange, or red flowers will appear coordinated and therefore balanced, thereby creating a more calming ambiance. If you want the opposite effect, don’t pick complimentary colors; choose instead violet and yellow.
Pay attention to this section, gentlemen. The message each flower evokes matters! The color of a rose sends a different message! Your Valentine’s date may be disappointed if you show up with yellow roses instead of red ones. This doesn’t just apply to roses. Each and every flower holds a special meaning. So before you send someone flowers, be sure you know what the flowers mean.
But ladies, you don’t have to wait to have a man send you flowers. Treat yourself. If you see a pretty bouquet at the farmer’s market while you’re picking up some avocados, buy them! Think of it as part of your health regimen because, again, flowers have a positive psychological payback.