We all know by now that spending time outside can positively effect your mental health. There’s just something about being in nature, what with all the fresh air and sunshine and whatnot. While spending time outdoors isn’t the be-all, end-all cure for mental illness and mental health struggles, there are proven benefits. But, let’s be real. Finding the time to just sit and let nature heal you isn’t always easy. We’ve got jobs! And kids! And a million other responsibilities! As much as we’d love to unplug from life and go hike through a forest, it just isn’t in cards a lot of the time. Luckily, there’s a quick (and relatively easy) fix: bring nature indoors! A study suggests that having fresh flowers in your home can actually help your anxiety.
Fresh flowers do more than gussy up a room – they can actually have a positive effect on your mental health.
The study isn’t exactly recent, and it’s a bit limited in scope. But the findings are still pretty interesting, and they make a lot of sense! The American Society for Horticulture Science (how amazing does that sound?) conducted the study in 2008. The goal was to measure the effects of fresh flowers in hospital rooms on patients recovering from surgery. They studied 90 patients who were recovering from appendectomies. Some of the patients received fresh flowers and plants to keep in their hospital room, while the rest did not.
Can you guess how the patients fared?
The patients who had fresh flowers or plants in their rooms had lower blood pressure, lower heart rates, and rated their pain, anxiety, and fatigue lower on the scale than the patients who did not have fresh flowers in their rooms. They also reported feeling more positive in general, and were more satisfied with their rooms. And can you blame them?! It’s sort of amazing what a bunch of fresh blooms can do to a room, and those hospital rooms aren’t exactly known for being warm and welcoming. But the effects on the patients’ anxiety is particularly interesting. If you’ve ever been in the hospital, then you know it’s a pretty stressful experience. Good to know that something as simple as fresh flowers may help.
Fresh flowers obviously aren’t a replacement for prescribed or effective management of anxiety. But it seems like they might be a good supportive therapy. At the very least, your home will smell lovely and look pretty, which is a win in and of itself.