May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and there is no better time to focus on mental health and ways to improve it. The global pandemic has affected us all, and our mental health has taken a real knock. I speak from personal experience when I say that being surrounded by flowers has helped me through the last year. There is something so calming, therapeutic and peaceful when around flowers, and there are proven scientific links between improved mental health and exposure to plants and flowers.
It sounds so simple, but flower arranging is a therapeutic activity, and studies have backed the notion that it is a creative, meaningful activity that can help reduce stress, lower levels of agitation and anxiety, and reduce pain.
Experts are predicting a mental health crisis is looming. There is significant research available supporting the notion that flowers can improve mental health. Rutgers University found a link between life satisfaction and flowers.
Let’s have a look at the top 5 reasons why flower arranging is good for your mental health.
Flowers Enhance Mood
Flowers not only brighten the room but they also impact your mood. There is evidence that suggests that the simple act of being around flowers, seeing their visual beauty, and smelling their scent, can make people less depressed. The heady scents from a bunch of flowers can bring a real sense of calm and belonging. Add that to the feeling of achievement when you arrange flowers and you can’t help but leave the experience with a brighter outlook.
Flower arranging is a meaningful activity. By that, I mean that it holds meaning and can be a form of meditation and self-care. Flower arranging involves all five senses, and being around the beauty of flowers can aid memory and bring relief from worries. A good bunch of flowers can last a long time, so you can continue to enjoy them day after day. Looking after flowers and tending to them adds value to people’s lives and can help boost self-esteem and worthiness. You don’t need any training to arrange flowers, it is entirely dependent on what you like, and it is a relatively cheap activity.
Building fresh flowers into an arrangement of your own making is not only therapeutic, it’s also a form of creative and meaningful self-care. Partaking in activities that hold meaning for us as individuals has huge benefits to our psyche, particularly when we are able to be creative. There is such a sense of accomplishment when you have designed a flower arrangement you can be proud of. Flower arranging also helps us build a sense of control and choice, as we participate in this calm and joyful activity. Creativity is known to help reduce stress, so next time you feel a little stressed grab some bunches of flowers and watch your mood lift.
Flower arranging involves the use of most of our senses – touch, smell, sound, sight. How we respond to color can be intense and mood-enhancing. Flower arranging can trigger endorphins and happiness. Flowers such as jasmine and lavender have calming properties and can help you relax and sleep, having a calming effect on the body and brain. The great thing about arranging flowers is that you can use whatever flowers you like, you get to choose the types of flowers, foliage, colors and placement.
Positive Effects on Visual Stimulation, Hand-Eye Coordination and Memory
Studies have shown that flower arranging can be a form of art therapy, helping people with their visual stimulation and memory. The visual stimulation flowers provide means you can engage your mind, distracting it from distressing or triggering thoughts. Flower arranging can release serotonin in the brain, and bring on those happy hormones.
The uplifting colors and scents of flowers, and the richness of texture means that handling them can have a positive effect on your mental health and wellbeing. Flower arranging is a hobby that reconnects us to nature, it is a relatively inexpensive form of self-therapy which we should all indulge in more often.