Welcome to HuffPost Canada’s (almost) daily guide to helping you pick up an easy, everyday ritual that can make your life a bit better, in a small but significant way.
Canadians are stressed out, anxious, and are feeling disconnected from each other. Every Monday through Friday, we’ll share a little tip to help you feel good. We’ve got your back.
Today’s Habit: Buy yourself a bouquet of gorgeous winter flowers.
For whenever you’re feeling: Like you want to be treated with something nice but don’t want to or can’t afford to spend a lot of money; like your home needs a refresh.
What it is: I’ve never been one to wait around for someone to buy me flowers; in fact, I don’t like getting flowers. But, I do like having flowers and plants in my home; they brighten up the place and somehow make me feel good.
And, aside from being nice to look at, flowers in the home also provide health benefits.
How it can help: Danish author Hans Christian Andersen once said, “Just living is not enough … One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
Of course flowers make you feel better; just look at them, they’re gorgeous and smell better than I ever will even after I shower.
A 2016 study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, a Harvard Psychologist, found that people felt less stressed and more compassionate towards others when they were surrounded by flowers.
“I’m particularly intrigued to find that people who live with flowers report fewer episodes of anxiety and depressed feelings,” Etcoff said in a press release. “In all, our results suggest that flowers have a positive impact on well being.”
In fact, it only took a few days after being around flowers at home for study participants to report feeling less negative.
Etcoff also found that having flowers in the home can boost your mood at work. The study found that “people are more likely to feel happier and have more enthusiasm and energy at work when flowers are in their home living environments.”
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More recently, a 2018 study, The Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women, echoed what Etcoff found: that adding flowers to your home or any indoor environment, such as an office, results in significant and meaningful stress reduction.
“There is a growing body of research that illustrates how environmental design positively impacts health,” said the study’s lead researcher, Erin Largo-Wight, Ph.D. “Now it is both intuitive and scientifically known that adding elements of nature, like flowers, to interiors promotes well-being.”
You don’t need to spend tons of money on a dozen roses (they’re over-rated, IMO); head over to the grocery store and pick up a bouquet of flowers for $10. They’ll smell great and liven up your space, and your mood.
Where you can do it: Add flowers to any room in the home where you spend the most time so you get the benefit of looking at them a lot. If you work in an office, leave a bouquet of flowers, or a plant, on your desk. Taking care of greenery may help you feel good.
How it makes us feel: We love looking at colourful flowers; they make us feel happy and content. Even having a couple of plants on our desk makes us feel good; and watering them every other day makes us feel like we have something to take care of, which is always a nice feeling.
And that’s your tip of the day.
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