In the present era, our daily lifestyles have been swallowed whole by the fast-paced nature of things. Technology with all its dynamic buggage, money chasing endevours, family committments, emotional traumas ... all these and more have contributed to many of us living stressful lifes. Various experts have come up with a number of solutions to stress including lifestyle changes, exercising among others. According to a behavioral research conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, flowers are a simple and effective way to improve emotional health.
It has been noted that the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed.
"What's most exciting about this study is that it challenges established scientific beliefs about how people can manage their day-to-day moods in a healthy and natural way," said Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Rutgers and lead researcher on the study. Research Findings
The researchers explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study of participants' behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers. The results show that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods.
- Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed "true" or "excited" smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
- Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
- Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.
"Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy," said Dr. Haviland-Jones. "Now, science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional well being."
The study also explored where in their homes people display flowers. The arrangements were placed in areas of the home that are open to visitors - such as foyers, living rooms and dining rooms - suggesting that flowers are a symbol for sharing.
According to Dr Haviland Jones, flowers make the space more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere. He added that flowers enables those who enter the room experience positive emotional feelings.
Here is what the researchers observed and measured from those who received flowers ... Three different smiles as well as verbal reactions were coded upon the delivery of the flowers. The information was recorded into a field computer within the first 5 seconds of the flower delivery, to measure accurately the first, immediate reaction.
- Polite Smile: This is used most commonly in quick greetings or acknowledgements. No discernable facial movement is present except the turning up of the corners of the mouth.
- True Smile: This is seen when there are possible changes in behavior indicating pleasure. Hence it is called “true” – the person is truly happy.
- Excited Smile: This smile combines two emotions – excitement and happiness. Here we see the true smile, but also the eyebrows are raised so that there are high, horizontal wrinkles across the forehead.
Other research findings by Rutgers reveal that Flowers Decrease Depression, Flowers Refresh Recent Memory and Flowers Encourage Companionship