The Power of Flowers in Reducing Stress

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Last Sunday I would have loved to have had a team of testers out in the market place measuring mothers stress levels early in the day and then immediately after they received their Mother’s Day bunch of flowers from their loved ones.

Both of our sons who are fathers themselves arrived at different times over the weekend at our home with flowers for Judy. The joy their mother received from receiving these very special multi coloured heart felt gifts was palpable. The smells the flowers brought into our home have lingered all week.

A major study at Harvard University indicates that flowers are a natural stress reliever.

University research has linked flowers to enhanced happiness, tranquility, compassion and creativity in individuals.  Flowers and plants provide positive behavioural and emotional changes, as well as their aesthetic and environmental benefits.

Flowers as well have a way of bringing a sense of happiness and wellbeing into the life of both the receiver and also the giver.

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A behavioural research study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, revealed 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.

“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 wellbeing.”

Living with flowers can provide a boost of energy, happiness and enthusiasm at work.

Having flowers at home can have a positive carry-over impact on our 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.

A study at Rutgers University, published in the April 2005 issue of Evolutionary Psychology, reveals that flowers improve emotional health.  It showed that people can manage their daily moods by healthy and natural means, and that flowers trigger happy emotions, a feeling of life satisfaction, and positive social behaviour beyond what most believe.  No matter the age group, all participants in the study displayed immediate happiness on receiving flowers.  They felt less depressed after getting flowers, were less anxious or agitated, and showed a higher level of life satisfaction.  Female participants reported these positive feelings lasted for days.  Flowers led to increased intimacy with family and friends in this study.

On the giver side, in a related study at Rutgers by Dr. Haviland-Jones, both men and women who gave flowers were perceived as happy, achieving, strong, capable, and courageous people.  They came across as more emotionally intelligent.  Female floral givers were seen as more appreciative of beauty and nature.

In the UK, a report by researchers at the Kings Fund suggested to the National Health Service that they should prescribe working with plants and flowers to improve many aspects of your health, including managing stress.

The Stress Management Institute® conducts training for those individuals who wish to become a qualified Stress Management Practitioner or Stress Management Facilitator and in July 2018 we are launching a new short course, the Emotional Resilience Advocate. We invite you to embark on one of these exciting career courses for supporting people who are struggling to cope with stress. If you are looking for a career change, or you wish to add a Stress Management and Emotional Resilience specialty to your current career, please call us on +61 1 300 663 979 or email info@stressmanagementinstitute.org

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