Want to banish a bad mood? Bring home some blossoms.
Don’t wait until your sweetheart appears with a bouquet of blooms to give your home some floral flair. The health benefits of adorning your abode with flowers are worth splurging on the blossoms for yourself. Science proves it.
A behavioral research study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Boston), reveals that people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when fresh-cut flowers are present in the home.
“Other research has proven that flowers make people happy when they receive them,” Etcoff says. “What we didn’t know is that spending a few days with flowers in the home can affect a wide variety of feelings.”
The Home Ecology of Flowers Study at Harvard uncovered three main findings:
Flowers feed compassion
Study participants who lived with fresh-cut flowers for less than a week felt an increase in feelings of compassion and kindness for others.
Flowers chase away anxieties, worries and the blues
Overall, people in the study simply felt less negative after being around flowers at home for just a few days. Participants most frequently placed flowers in their kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms – those areas of the home where they spend a lot of time. They reported wanting to see the blooms first thing in the morning. Etcoff explains, “The morning blahs, it turns out, is a real phenomenon, with positive moods – happiness, friendliness and warmth, for example – manifesting much later in the day.” She adds, “Interestingly, when we placed a small bouquet of flowers into their morning routines, people perked up.”
Living with flowers can provide a boost of energy, happiness and enthusiasm at work
Having flowers at home can have a positive carryover impact on your mood at work, too. The study found that people were more likely to feel happier and have more enthusiasm and energy at work when flowers were in their home living environments.
“As a psychologist, I’m particularly intrigued to find that people who live with flowers report fewer episodes of anxiety and depressed feelings,” Etcoff says. “Our results suggest that flowers have a positive impact on our well-being.”
Etcoff was also surprised at the long-lasting effects flowers had on people’s moods. “What I find interesting is that, by starting the day in a more positive mood, you are likely to transfer those happier feelings to others – it’s what is called mood contagion,” Etcoff explains. “And, the kitchen is the place where families tend to gather in the morning. Imagine how big a difference a better morning mood can make?”
For more on the positive benefits of flowers to your emotional and mental health, read this article by InLieuOfFlowers.info.
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