You might think it strange that I am bringing up the subject of flowers in February! But think about it- is this not the time of year when we could really use a bit of color in our lives?
Flowers brighten our homes and freshen the air with beautiful scent. They are a talking point with visitors and if the flowers are a gift they show us that someone cares about us. On the subject of caring, whether it is a single rose, a bunch of fresh flowers or a pot plant, we also have to care for it, to make it last and flourish.
Professor Jeannette Haviland-Jones did research on the emotional effects of flowers on people.
She found that:
- “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."
The other side of the coin- isn’t the act of giving a powerful experience too? Remember what you feel like when you present an unexpected gift to someone else? The expectation before you hand it over? Your day will be lifted by a smile, gratitude and joy from the recipient, all of which is contagious and will make you feel good too.
Research shows that the act of giving has an even stronger emotional impact on a person than receiving does, and the increase in happiness levels are greater.
So, I think you can figure out what my thought of the week for you is this time! Is there anyone in your life who could do with a bit of cheering up, or someone you would like to surprise or just show that you are thinking of them? Go for it, it will benefit you too!
Wishing you a great and giving week,
CQO and Activity director at Maria’s Place