The old saying "Stop to smell the roses" is as apt today as it ever was. In fact, our busy modern lives, compounded now by the pandemic, may just need a little more slowing down and enjoying small moments. The International Association of Horticultural Producers (IAPH) recently produced evidence that flowers can improve moods, accelerate healing, impact episodic memory in elderly people, and increase happiness. IAPH relied on scientific studies to reach these conclusions.
Here are the Top 10 takeaways from the IAPH study:
🌸 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.
🌸 Flowers have both immediate and long-term impact on emotions, mood, and even memory in both men and women. The positive energy from receiving, harvesting, seeing, and smelling flowers can lessen stress-related depression.
🌸 Women who received flowers had more positive moods even three days later. Overall happiness, well-being, calm and intimacy benefit from surrounding yourself with flowers.
🌸 Flowers are the perfect morning pick-me-up for people who are less positive in the early hours. These people are happier and more energetic after looking at flowers in the morning.
🌸 Flowers and plants accelerate healing due to their stimulation of a positive outlook.
The beauty of flowers is the stuff of poems and our sweetest memories. The fact that flowers can improve our health, our mood, and even our memory just makes each bloom more special.
🌸 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.
🌸 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.
🌸 Flowers induce positive emotions which can be measured by the type of smile. When presented with flowers, women 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.
🌸 3 in 5 studied participants (60%) believe that flowers have special meaning, unlike any other gift.