Sunday, April 7, 2013

Flower Power

My daughter surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of burgundy coloured freesias, which she delivered to me at work this week, along with a kiss. I have been surprised and spoilt with fresh flowers, either handpicked in the wild or purchased, from the time my children were little.  Each bouquet has been equally important to me. As  I enjoy the  flowers and her thoughtfulness, it got me to thinking about the effect flowers have. Activists during the 1960’s wore flowers and chanted “flower power” to promote peace.  Do flowers really have that power?

Park and Mattson in 2008 confirmed that hospital patients recover better with flowers.   They need less pain medication, have better blood pressure and pulse rates, and have a better sense of wellbeing than patients who do not have flowers.
In the flower country of Holland, Wagengen University researchers have also proven that people eating in restaurants having tables with fresh flowers are in better moods.
But is it important to have flowers at home or work?  A fresh study done by Dr. Nancy Etcoff, Harvard University, says that flowers in the home or office create long lasting feelings:
Being in the presence of flowers creates a feeling of compassion towards others.  Putting flowers in your home encourages feelings of wellbeing and chases away worries…and these feelings carry over into our mood at work!
I routinely carry my watering can from the office kitchen down the hall to my desk and I sometimes sense that my coworkers feel my obsession with plants is a little “over the top”.   However, researchers Raanaas, Evensen, Rich, Sjostrom, and Patil determined that the brain power of employees is better in workplaces that have plants (regardless of whether they are flowering). 
Who knew, other than perhaps florists, that they are so good for business!  Now I also feel some satisfaction in knowing that flowers are good for the body, soul and mind.  There really is truth to “flower power”.  Enjoy, it really is simple.

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