Surprising Benefits for Mind and Body
In the hustle of our daily lives, we often turn to tried-and-true methods for health and happiness - exercise, nutrition, hobbies that light us up. But there’s an unsung hero in this pursuit of well-being: flowers. Yes, those bursts of color and life we often relegate to the background or reserve for special occasions. But what if I told you that these natural beauties hold more power than we give them credit for? This isn’t just a florist’s fanciful claim. There’s solid research from Rutgers University, spearheaded by Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., that sheds light on the profound impact flowers have on our emotional well-being.
Picture a world where flowers are more than decorative elements. They’re catalysts for genuine joy, creators of lasting positive mood changes, and enhance your everyday health. The Rutgers study, “An Environmental Approach to Positive Emotion: Flowers,” unveils the remarkable ability of flowers to evoke the Duchenne smile – a genuine, heartfelt smile, a pure reflection of happiness. But the wonder of flowers doesn’t stop at just triggering smiles. Their influence is enduring, embedding a sense of well-being that lingers for days.
I’m on a mission to shift our habits around flower buying. Let’s leave behind the notion that flowers are just for birthdays, anniversaries, or the occasional special event. Flowers deserve a regular spot in our lives. Imagine having fresh, beautiful blooms in your home as often as possible. It’s not just about adding a splash of color or a lovely scent; it’s about enhancing your everyday environment. Embrace flowers as part of your daily routine, and feel the difference they make in your space and your mood. Let’s start this floral revolution together!
Now, let’s delve into a surprising twist from this study. We often associate flowers predominantly with women, but the research reveals that flowers have a universal language, speaking to men as well. In a fascinating subset of the study, groups of men were observed after receiving flowers. The result? A noticeable change in their social behavior. These men exhibited more open body language, engaged in more eye contact, stood closer during conversations, and displayed more genuine smiles. Who new flowers enhance men’s health in the same way as women? It’s a groundbreaking revelation that flowers have a universal appeal, breaking down gender stereotypes and suggesting that everyone, irrespective of gender, can appreciate and be affected by the beauty and simplicity of flowers.
The study also sheds light on the positive impact of flowers on the elderly. Not only do they bring a splash of joy and color into their lives, but they also aid in enhancing cognitive functions, particularly memory. This finding adds a new dimension to the role of flowers, positioning them as not just items of aesthetic value but as tools for emotional and cognitive enrichment, especially valuable in the lives of older adults.
It’s a common thought that flowers belong at the entryway or on the dining table. But let’s think outside the vase! Place your flowers where you’ll enjoy them most, in the spaces where you spend a lot of your time. If your dining table is a daily gathering spot, then sure, it’s a perfect choice. But what if you’re someone who spends evenings bustling around in the kitchen? In that case, pop that bouquet right on the kitchen counter! And for those of you who work from home, why not brighten up your desk? Flowers aren’t just decor; they’re a daily delight. Place them where they can really sprinkle joy into your everyday moments.
But let’s circle back to the aspect of flowers and men. This part of the study, conducted by student researcher Holly Hale and Dr. Haviland-Jones, involved two groups of men – one that received a surprise gift of flowers and a control group that did not. The men who received flowers showed enhanced social interactions. They not only smiled more, but their smiles were truer, their eye contact more frequent, and their physical proximity during conversations decreased. This suggests that flowers can be a powerful tool in enhancing social bonding and communication.
Moreover, the study suggests that flowers have a leveling effect on emotional expression. Dr. Haviland-Jones notes, “When it comes to receiving flowers, men and women are on the same playing field.” It points to a universal emotional response elicited by flowers, transcending cultural and gender norms. Flowers tap into a fundamental human appreciation for beauty and nature, evoking a shared experience of joy and connectivity.
A fantastic and affordable option for enjoying fresh flowers regularly: flower shares! Check out local flower share programs with a quick Google search. They’re available in various frequencies throughout the growing season.
In Northern Virginia? Explore our “Blooms in the Burbs” flower shares. If you’re outside our delivery area, email me. I’ll either find a way to reach you or connect you with a fantastic flower farmer nearby. Fresh, beautiful blooms are just a click away!
In essence, what we glean from this is that flowers are more than nature’s eye candy.
Enhancing your health with flowers goes beyond mere aesthetics and celebratory life moments; they are silent yet potent mood enhancers, connectors, memory aids, and a simple, natural pathway to joy.
They remind us to pause, to breathe in the beauty, and to connect with those around us. In a world often dominated by technology and fast-paced lifestyles, flowers bring us back to the basics – to nature, to simplicity, and to the joy of being. So next time you pass a floral display, or consider whether to pick up a bouquet, remember the power these natural beauties hold. They’re not just pleasing to the eye; they’re nourishment for the soul, a bridge to better social connections, and a simple, profound way to brighten our world.