Flowers and Happiness
Flowers are not only beautiful to look at, but bring us happiness and uplift our mood so says science. If you ever had a doubt about how important flowers can be in your life and the lives of those you care about, this post will put those doubts at rest.
Flowers can make us happy
Studies demonstrated that we smile when we receive flowers. Now I’m not talking about any old smile, but what is called the Duchenne smile. So, what the heck is a Duchenne smile? It’s a smile that indicates true enjoyment and can be identified by the upward curl of the lips and extends to the eyes. This smile indicates that whatever stimulus that caused the smile created genuine positive emotions. In other words, flowers make us happy. The first study by the researchers indicated this was true for both men and women equally. That gave me pause since you don’t often hear about men receiving flowers. I wondered if it was actually true that receiving flowers made men happy (Dimberg, Thunberg, and Elmehed, 2000).
I checked out the forums and most men that posted said they would prefer something other than flowers as a gift. (Some were very graphic in what they would prefer.) However, since the studies indicated the pleasure of receiving flowers was enjoyed equally by both men and women, what could be going on? Perhaps the difference between the forum posts and the study could be more based on cultural influence than reality. By that I mean it’s the whole “real men don’t cry” and “real men don’t eat quiche” syndrome. There may be another element that enters the picture with the forum guys too. They may be a little fearful of what other guys will think of them if they receive flowers. Will their friends and associates think they are too girly? Who knows? The bottom line though is that flowers make men happier.
Flowers can draw people closer to you
In a second study by the same group of researchers, people in elevators were presented with flowers. The results showed that instead of the characteristic behavior of positioning themselves at the opposite corner of the elevator, the recipients were drawn toward the person who had given them the flower.
Flowers can improve mood and memory tasks in seniors
I thought this study was really interesting. Seniors, who as a demographic group often suffer from depression, experienced an upward mood swing. They also increased their performance in memory tasks. This study really puts a light on how important our mood affects our overall brain function. (Dimberg, Thunberg, and Elmehed, 2000).
Morning blahs no more
In another study, conducted by the Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital the researchers wanted to know if flowers would have a positive effect on people who suffered from the morning blahs. This study included only women. The participants of this study were happier and more energetic when they viewed flowers first thing in the morning. Not only were they happier, but the people around them became happier because happiness is contagious.
So, for all you goddesses and gods, who suffer morning doldrums, put a bouquet of flowers in the kitchen to get your day off to the right start. The colors you choose are up to you, but cheery yellow and orange flowers work well. Instead, you might want to use your favorite colors or those that coordinate with your kitchen décor.
Now you know why flowers are important in your life and the lives of those around you. It is our hope that you will take advantage of these beautiful gifts of Nature and let their ethereal beauty flood your life with happiness.
Now go have fun and relax.
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