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  • The Mental Health Benefits of Flowers

    May 4, 2017

    by Hilary Smith

     purple flowers

    Fresh flowers are an excellent way to show someone affection or appreciation, brighten up a dreary room, or update your landscape and beautify your yard. But did you know that flowers are actually good for mental health? Recent studies are showing the simple pleasure of visually seeing and smelling fresh flowers has multiple benefits for enhancing and improving our state of mind. Their scent provides free aromatherapy for relaxation and a sense of peace, while the colors can either calm you (softer tones) or invigorate and energize you (bold, saturated colors). Either way, the effects are powerful in bolstering our physical, mental, and emotional outlook and increasing positivity.

    Some examples include lavender, jasmine, and lilac. They have scents that are particularly effective for relaxations and destressing. Spider plants, ficus, and peace lilies are known to help filter and clean the air we breathe. Eucalyptus, aloe vera, and chamomile have excellent medicinal abilities for soothing coughs, colds, and skin rashes. Other plants that are specifically known to have positive health effects include Golden Pothos, Arrowhead Vine, Chinese evergreen, Dracaena, Philodendron, Snake plants, and Vinca vines. So who specifically can benefit from the power of these plants and how? Let’s take a closer look.

     Hospital room

    For hospital patients or those with poor health

    Visitors have traditionally taken flowers to patients in the hospital simply as a nice gesture. In actuality, it goes way beyond a nicety. Flowers are influential in healing sick or recovering bodies. It has been shown that when fresh flowers or plants are in the room, postoperative patients require less pain medication and have reduced recovery times. Their blood pressure and heart rates are lower, and they are less tired and anxious. In general, their overall mental outlook is more positive.

     

    For employees

    In the workplace, flowers have been found to increase productivity and cognitive functioning, help with concentration and memory, and enhance creativity. Specifically, studies have found that being in a work environment with natural stimuli actually lends itself to better task performance and higher quality of work with increased accuracy. Additionally, plants are linked to improving reaction time in dealing with stressful situations, increasing attendance, and raising job satisfaction and overall well being and personal satisfaction.

     

    For children and families

    Flowers can have tremendous impact in the home, as well. Our families will benefit from an increased sense of vitality and energy and a decrease in anxiety and depression. For example, gardening is an excellent way to minimize stress, and it provides people a physical way to cope with negative feelings. Further, it encourages a nurturing attitude and dedication to a craft, which can lead to healthier relationships and higher levels of personal satisfaction. Using the fresh flowers from your garden in your home helps build positive levels of energy and increased focus. This is particularly beneficial for young learners as they prepare for school. The enhanced concentration helps them be better able to learn new information, as well as making it easier for them to process, absorb, and retain information.This even carries over into a win-win situation in classrooms with plants and increased concentration and focus. Also, as mentioned in the workplace above, plants help students with increased attendance. The more students are present in the classroom, and the better focused they are, the more the will get from their educational experience.

     couple flowers

    So what’s the bottom line?

    Flowers can make a significant difference in mental attitude. Hand picked from the yard or bought at a florist, flowers naturally help people find a better state of mind. Whether the intent is to heal quicker, focus and revitalize, or function with less stress, flowers can make you feel better, clear your mind, and prepare you to mentally tackle the day. Buy some for yourself, plant some with your children, or give them to your neighbor. In any scenario, the results will be astonishing. Who knew that flower power was such a real thing?

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