I am one of those people who always has to have a bunch of fresh flowers or greenery in my home. It makes me happy. I buy myself flowers more often than I buy new clothes.
I know that nature is meant to make us more relaxed, so bringing some into our homes would have the same effect, right?
Interestingly, I came across several studies which indicated that flowers and foliage certainly do have a physiological effect on our wellbeing.
One study had participants rate their feelings upon entering a room with flowers, foliage or no plants and found that confidence, composure and relaxation all improved in the room with the flowers. Interestingly a proportion of participants reported feeling "annoyed" with deep pink and red flowers, but calm in a room with green foliage, with green foliage having a more positive effect on males, and flowers a more positive effect on females.
A Japanese study discussed the effects of scented roses in reducing cortisol and adrenaline, having a direct impact on stress levels, while dampening down the sympathetic nervous system and promoting the parasympathetic nervous system - promoting "rest & digest" activity, rather than "fight or flight".
American researcher, Kaplan, conducted a series of studies showing the positive impact of nature in reducing stress related fatigue and how this could be used therapeutically, as well as suggesting flowers and foliage in the workplace may be a cost-effective way to promote productivity, especially where it is not possible for windows to look out on scenes of nature which is the case in most situations. In saying that, this could certainly be applied to many living situations as well.
We naturally use flowers and plants in situations to convey feelings and promote wellbeing - in hospitals to break up the sterility and wish the patient to get well, as a house warming gift and in our own homes, especially when expecting visitors, to promote ambience and comfort. I always make a point of having fresh flowers in my guest room when visitors are staying and it is very important to me to have fresh flowers and plants in my place of business. I'm always surprised how often people tell me that flowers here make them feel "happy". Enough to ensure it's a priority.
Flowers and plants are not just gifts for others. If your space isn't looking very green then jump over to FreshFlowers.com.au (sign up for 10% off your first order and they deliver flowers in Sydney and other cities) and get yourself a bunch of roses or a beautiful orchid and notice the positive effects a little nature in your space can have on your health and wellbeing. It costs less and is easier to maintain than having a garden full of flowers (if you have both, you’re blessed!) and can be changed up and moved around as you need, doubling as the perfect styling piece!
*This post was proudly sponsored by Fresh Flowers.
The content and opinions are 100% my own
Adachi, M., Rohde, C. L. E., & Kendle, A. D. (2000). Effects of floral and foliage displays on human emotions. HortTechnology, 10(1), 59-63.
Kaplan, R., and Kaplan, S. (1989). The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective. Cambridge University Press, New York, p. 340
Kaplan, S. (1987). Mental fatigue and the designed environment. J. Harvey, D. Henning (Eds.), Public Environments, EDRA, Washington, DC (1987), pp. 55–60