Science Behind Why Flowers Make Us Happy

Posted on January 18, 2019 in Gardening, Health, Slider

Science Behind Why Flowers Make Us Happy

Luther Burbank was a botanist who knew what he was talking about when he said..

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful, they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul”.

Famous actress, Marilyn Monroe once said “Diamonds are a girls best friend”. From day one, my husband has known that, that is not the case with me. I could care less about diamonds and sparkly stuff. But you tell me I can buy or pick any flower, I’ll ask you, “Can I have it all?!!”. I’m sitting here writing this and I can smell my hyacinth everywhere in my room. I’m not talking about smelly candles or soaps, I am talking about fresh flowers. I think we all know the positive effect that flowers can have on people, but there is so much more to that notion. According to a recent study done by Rutgers- State University of New Jersey, there is now scientific proof, of centuries old belief, that flowers can alter our mood for the better.

Hyacinth and Kalanchoe

Hyacinth and Kalanchoe on my kitchen table.

In this study that was conducted, researchers found that flowers can activate  positive emotions chemically in the brain. For hundreds of years, flowers have been a symbol for love, empathy and much more. People have for centuries used flowers to express there feelings and used them at weddings and funerals. Each flower is as unique as every person.  There are hundreds of varieties and types of flowers. The most common of all flowers is probably the Rose. Flowers awaken almost all of our senses with their beauty and scent.

Pink Baby Roses Picked from our backyard

Pink Baby Roses picked in our backyard

 

Gift To Mankind

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Earth Laughs in Flowers”. Not only are flowers beneficial for our emotional well-being, but there has been several other studies done that show additional valuable properties. Flowers help our environment, can enhance workplace productivity, they create a haven for wild life and bugs. Flowers are useful as healing and medicinal purposes. Not only are flowers pleasing to the eye in a garden but they can also have financial value too, if used properly in landscaping. Real-estate agents often speak of curb appeal and how flowers can move emotions of belonging, to potential home-buyers. Growing flowers in a garden can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Yes, Hans Christian Andersen  was right like Emerson, when he said “Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower”. Different colors of the flowers will stimulate the brain in different ways, and that in turn releases chemicals into our body. The scent of flowers can trigger memories and moments.

 

 

Stress Relief

According to a research done by University of North Florida, a simple flower can help to relief stress symptoms. I found it very interesting when I read this study and a few others, that of all the gifts that women could receive, there stress levels responded the best, when given flowers. Personally, I have found growing and taking care of flowers to be the best medicine for stress. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with both adults as well as children, who have found relief from there daily worries and problems when working with flowers. We all know how good exercise is for us, gardening is a great tool to help with a sedentary lifestyle. Consequently we feel better.

Pink baby carnation

Baby carnation, a living inexpensive decor that you can change out with your mood.

 

Helps Us With Relationships

Buying flowers to someone you love can have greater impact in your relationship than you might realize. Flowers are often connected to social and human interaction, when we receive or give flowers, we feel bonded. Our brains react and releases the “love and bonding hormone” called Oxytocin. This hormone that is released, acts as a reminder to us, to nurture and care for those around us, like we would flowers. Do I need to say more? get out there and pick up a bouquet!! It’s just as important to give as to receive. This is where the “bonding” takes place.

Azaleas

I always keep flowers in our bedroom – so peaceful and beautiful. Try lavender, natural sleep inducer.

 

Physical and Emotional Healing

One study that was done showed the benefits of plants and flowers in patients that were recovering from surgeries. Flowers can help you sleep (lavender), they can make you feel emotionally connected. Just by looking at a flower our brains releases serotonin, which is a big mood enhancer. Another study from 2008, showed how flowers can help patients with anxiety recovering from surgery. There are dozens of emotional and physical side effect with low dopamine. One indicator of dopamine imbalance is depression .  The healthiest way to release dopamine is thru life sustaining activities, such as food, sleep, and healthy relationships with those around us. Dopamine is considered the “reward” hormone. It releases in our brain when we believe we are going to be rewarded. And for some reason, flowers have the effect of feeling rewarded. This is true whether we are giving, receiving, just looking at them or growing them.

Lavender

Lavender – a great physician.

Enhances Productivity

This one is real interesting. Research shows that  plants and flowers in a workplace can boost and enhance productivity, mood as well as memory. The workers thoughts became more creative and they were able to find solutions. Flowers and plants are also easy decoration and they really make people happy. I can’t imagine a better pick-me-upper than a vase full of flowers on someones desk on a Monday morning 😉 . Sometimes the best de-stresser is to take short break to water your plants. Allowing employees to take care of flowers and plants increases their emotional well-being, which can lead to higher production.

White Cyclamen

White Cyclamen in my office.

Environment

Plants, flowers and trees help to improve the air quality in our environment. Flowers that have roots that live in water can act as filter for polluted and toxic water. Even dead flowers are valuable and beneficial to the environment. After they die down they become mulch, which then returns  back to the ground as nutrients. I have seen this circle of flower life in my own garden. This cycle creates healthy soil for better production . Another reason why I always encourage people to have flowers and plants, is because it prevents erosion of the soil. Flowers keep soil in place. What would the bugs, the bees and all small insects do without the pollen from flowers? I love watching the hummingbirds outside of my window every morning during the warmer months. When we talk about a good Ecosystem, well this is the best example of a healthy ecosystem.

Fruitless cherry tree

Love Spring blossoms on our fruitless cherry tree-Kwanzan

 

Conclusion

Flowers are nature’s natural way of making us feel happy, grateful and alive. There is no better medicine for me than a deep, mindful inhale of fresh cut flowers. Nothing speaks louder of love, connection and beauty than flowers. Take time for flowers in your home, in your workplace and your garden. You will be rewarded for your efforts. Flowers may be delicate, but they are very grateful for any attention you might give them . And when you fall short on words to speak, let the flowers do all the talking.

Zinnias from our garden

Zinnias in our garden.

 

 

“Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound”

-Edwin Curran

Pink Cyclamen

Cyclamen are easy care house plants that can last up to a month.

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