Flowers are a classic accompaniment to many of our lives special moments, but is there more to them than that. Why do we give flowers to someone in the hospital? Why do we have flowers at funerals or weddings? Have you ever wondered these same questions. Well, I did some research and I found some cool evidence.
First of all, research has shown that memory retention and concentration are improved by having natural elements like plants and flowers around us. In the early 2000's studies were conducted at the University of Michigan and showed that the effect of nature in the home and in the workplace served to stimulate both the senses and the mind, improving mental cognition and performance. (Bisco Werner 1996; Brethour 2007; Frank 2003; Pohmer 2008; Serwach 2008; Shibata, 2001, 2004; Yannick 2009)
Now this doesn't surprise me at all. For years I've known that plants within the home can improve our lives by simply cleaning the air if nothing else. So I find it reassuring that they actually improve out mental ability too.
Studies went on to find that flowers can actually help us develop a sense of happiness. This is due to the reduction in people's stress when there are plants around. When people have flowers in their homes they were found to feel happier, less stressed, and more relaxed. Which also means that the stress and experiences of depression in the home are reduced. Flowers can also help you achieve a more positive outlook, by bringing visual pleasure and an increased perception of happiness. (Brethour 2007, Collins 2008, Dunnet 2000, Etcoff 2007, Frank 2003, Haviland-Jones 2005, Hartig 2010, McFarland 2010, Rappe 2005, Waliczek 2000)
Now about flowers being in hospitals. "The presence of plants in hospital recovery rooms and/or views of aesthetically-pleasing gardens help patients to heal faster, due to the soothing affects of ornamental horticulture. "(Brethour 2007, Frank 2003, Friend 2008, Lohr 2000, Park, 2009, Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Assn. 2009, Ulrich 1984)
Being around plants can also improve our relationships. This is because of elevated feelings of compassion.
Reduced stress, increased compassion, decrease in depression, better relationships.... wonderful side affects of having plants and flowers in your life.
Having a painting of a flower in your home brings you into the naturally healing realm of horticulture any time of year. No longer are you dependent on the growing season or the cut flowers from the florist.
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If you are interested in where I found these research finding on the affects of flowers and plants you can take a look at it here: Research article link.