Having grown up in Holland, I've always loved flowers. I've even had one named after me (the Frederique’s Choice lily, in 2005). That honor furthered my desire to learn more about how flowers improve our mood, our health and our lives. I'm not alone in my affection for all things floral — the flower industry is a $100 billion business. Here are some benefits to keeping flowers around.
1. They brighten our mood.
Scientists have long known that color can affect our mood and behavior, and the psychology of color has been studied for decades. Simply seeing flowers, with their beautiful shades and hues, can improve feelings and moods. For me, just seeing the blue in hydrangeas and delphiniums can help me feel calm.
2. Their scent has been shown to positively affect our mood.
Scents have powerful effects on our emotions. The very latest in interior design is “scent décor,” which is just what it sounds like — adding a pleasant aroma as an integral touch to the overall feel of the home. This idea is also one of the underlying principles of using essential oils to de-stress and stabilize mood.
3. Placing flowers in our environments is good for our mental health.
Did you have know that having plants around the office can improve your memory and make you more productive? Another study from Rutgers University found that flowers have incredible power to make us happy. In that experiment, people were sent various gifts (a candle, a fruit basket or a floral bouquet); those who received flowers were happier than the other participants for three days after they'd received their gift.
4. Edible flowers are often rich in antioxidants.
Flowers add a dash of beauty to any dish, and they can also add nutritional value. (Just be mindful of which varieties you’re eating.)
5. They're therapeutic.
Flowers have been shown to help patients heal faster, use less pain medication and complain less to staff. Fragrant herbs and flowers are becoming common in healing gardens — for example, jasmine bushes are planted outside the windows of the Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco.
6. They'll get you inspired to clean. (Seriously!)
A study by Dutch researchers showed that citrusy floral scents trigger us to want to straighten up. (Leave it to my country to find such a practical benefit!)
7. Flowers are great for communities.
Did you know that flowers, gardens and parks create environments where families feel better about their neighborhoods and feel more inclined to socialize outside with their neighbors? So, helping plant a flower and vegetable garden in your neighborhood can be the most beautiful way to make a difference in the world.
Photo courtesy of the author