A *Pretty* Way to Brighten Your Day
‘Tis the season”, right? This time of year is beyond stressful. Between class parties, field trips, Thanksgiving feasts, and preparing our wardrobes for the arctic blasts that have been blowing in, there’s a lot of stress on mama’s plate. I have quite a few things that give me a strong dose of happy, but nothing compares to a nice bouquet of fresh flowers. Whenever I come home from a long day to a surprise bouquet from my husband, my heart literally smiles.
It’s not surprising that a recent survey showed 68 percent of people feel stress on a weekly basis, and 32 percent are stressed every day. Women, in particular, are affected, as 1 in 4 report experiencing stress multiple times a day. From finances and health concerns, to lengthy to-do lists, there are numerous sources of strain in our lives, and today there is a surprisingly simple way to relieve it – flowers.
A new study from the University of North Florida shows that living with flowers significantly alleviates daily stress. These new findings follow decades of behavioral research studies conducted by researchers at universities including Harvard, Rutgers and Texas A&M that demonstrate flowers’ ability to make people happy, strengthen feelings of compassion, foster creativity and even provide a boost of energy.
The 2018 study, entitled, The Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women, concludes that adding flowers to indoor environments results in a statistically significant and meaningful reduction in stress.
“There is a growing body of research that illustrates how environmental design positively impacts health. Now it is both intuitive and scientifically known that adding elements of nature, like flowers, to interiors promotes well-being,” said lead researcher Erin Largo-Wight, Ph.D., Associate Professor of University of North Florida’s Department of Public Health.
The specific results include:
- The average reduction in stress among the women who received and lived with flowers was -5.5 points on the Perceived Stress Questionnaire, a strong statistical significance in a decrease in stress.
- Flowers are a unique gift with the proven potential to reduce stress among women — likely because flowers provide the opportunity for nature contact, an established health-promoting environmental exposure.
- Participants who received flowers overwhelmingly reported that flowers improved their mood.