For those who may experience the winter blues in the cold dark months ahead, a new study reveals fresh flowers can be a natural remedy to enhance moods and increase energy. The behavioral research study, conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, revealed that people feel more compassionate toward others, less depressed and anxious, and have more energy when fresh-cut flowers are present in the home…
"Flowers really do have an impact," said Harvard University researcher and psychologist Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., author of the study. "If you’re looking to change your mood or increase your energy level, flowers really can make a difference."
The research showed that those who lived with flowers for less than a week felt an increase in enthusiasm, energy and compassion toward others. Overall, people in the study simply felt less negative after being around flowers at home for a few days. The elevated mood stayed with people even in the workplace.
Etcoff and her research team investigated the effects of flowers on fifty-four people, ages 25–60. The study used a series of self-report measures allowing the research team to know where the person was, with whom and what they were doing when they experienced an emotion, both when flowers were and were not present. Half of the participants received a "control" home décor item (a decorative candle and hurricane vase) to enhance the study’s validity.
Before and after living with either flowers or the control intervention for approximately one week, participants rated their feelings during specific periods of the day, recording emotions during each episode. The research team also took photographs before and after the flowers were delivered to determine any changes in use or appearance of the room.
"I was surprised how something as simple as having a few flowers in the home can have such a major impact both inside and outside the home on moods, emotion, and energy level," reported Etcoff, who is author of the book, Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty.
The Flower Promotion Organization suggests placing flowers in high traffic areas, like the dining room, family room and kitchen. Seeing flowers when you awake in the morning can be a boost, but you don’t need a whole bouquet. Try snipping 2–3 short stems and placing them in a small jar or glass. Check out more ideas at FlowerPossibilities.com