Flowers = Happiness 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, according to behavioral research from Rutgers University. The study demonstrates that flowers ease depression, inspire social networking and refresh memory as we age. Flowers & Seniors Everyday, America’s aging population—40 million and rising—faces the challenges of growing older, including depression, memory loss and social withdrawal. Recently, Rutgers University released the results of a six‐month behavioral study on the health effects of flowers on senior citizens. The The Results: A team of 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. Study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. Flowers have a long‐term positive effect on moods. Study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers. Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends. The Results: of Flowers Power More than 100 seniors participated in the Rutgers research study, in which some received flowers and others did not. The results shed new light on how nature’s support systems help seniors cope with the challenges of aging. 1. Flowers Decrease Depression. Study participants showed a significant increase in happiness and positive moods when flowers were present. 2. Flowers Refresh Recent Memory. Seniors performed higher on everyday memory tasks and experienced enriched personal memories in the presence of flowers. 3. Flowers Encourage Companionship. Seniors who received flowers re‐engaged with members of their communities and enlarged their social contacts to include more neighbors, religious support and even medical personnel. All information provided by the Society of American Florists. Research was conducted by Dr. Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Human Development Lab at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; Dr. Roger Ulrich, Ph.D., Behavioral Scientist, Director of the Center for Health Systems and Design, Texas A&M University; and Dr. Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. Director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being, Harvard Medical School and psychologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry. For more information about these studies, visit www.aboutflowers.com • • “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.” Dr. Jeannette Haviland‐ Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University Research provides scientific proof that flowers improve emotional health. It Can Be Better to Give Than to Receive According to research from Rutgers University, the gifts we choose to convey our special messages say a lot about us. The research reveals that those who send flowers, in comparison to other gifts, are viewed as successful, caring and emotionally intelligent people. The Benefits of Flowers in the Home A behavioral research study conducted by Harvard Medical School, reveals that people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when fresh cut flowers are present in the home. The Benefits of Flowers and Plants in the Workplace. Worker’s idea generation, creative performance and problem solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants, according to Texas A&M University research. Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital research found that commitment is largely influenced by one’s sense of purpose, feeling of personal impact and overall trust in the organization; productivity is largely affected by the quality of human relationships including cooperative, social group moods and interaction. The Results: • Both men and women who give flowers are perceived as happy, achieving, strong, capable and courageous people. Men and women come across as more emotionally intelligent; they give the impression they can effectively express their feelings and take time to understand the feelings of others. Female floral gifters are viewed as more appreciative of beauty and nature. • The Results: The Results: • 1. Flowers Feed Compassion. Study participants who lived with fresh cut flowers for less than a week felt an increase in feelings of compassion and kindness for others. 2. Flowers chase away anxieties, worries and the blues at home. Overall, people in the study simply felt less negative after being around flowers at home for just a few days. Participants most frequently placed flowers in their kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms, where they spend a lot of time at home. They reported wanting to see the blooms first thing in the morning. 3. Living with flowers can provide a boost of en‐ ergy, happiness and enthusiasm at work. Having flowers at home can have a positive carry‐over impact on our mood at work, too. The study found that people were more likely to feel happier and have more enthusiasm and energy at work when flowers were in their home living environments. “A successful person is not necessarily someone with a lot of money and material goods, but rather someone who is in tune with people and knows how to touch their hearts. I can think of no other item besides flowers that evokes such positive feelings and perceptions for both the giver and the recipient.” M.J. Ryan, award‐winning author of the Random Acts of Kindness book series and The Giving Heart. In an eight‐month study, the Texas A&M University research team explored the link between flowers and plants and workplace productivity. Participants performed creative problem solving tasks in a variety of common office environments. The conditions included a workplace with flowers and plants, a setting with sculpture and an environment with no decorative embellishments. During the study, both women and men demonstrated more innovative thinking, generated more ideas and original solutions to problems in the office environment that included flowers and plants. In these surroundings, men who participated in the study generated 15% more ideas. And, while males generated a greater abundance of ideas, females generated more creative, flexible solutions to problems when flowers and plants were present.
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