Stop and Smell the Roses
There's a popular song out right now that reminds us that we can buy ourselves flowers. Being a bit older than the singer and her main demographic, my friends and I had already figured that out, but it's a message worth repeating.
For a while, I avoided buying fresh flowers regularly because it seemed environmentally unsound to waste resources on growing flowers instead of food or hemp or other more useful crops. But there is something about the pops of color, the interesting shapes, and the lovely scents that can really lift the spirits.
Turns out, it's not just a feeling. It's science. A recent article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, available online at https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/19/10258, indicates that during the early days of the Covid pandemic, when activities were curtailed severely, lack of access to the outdoors caused stress levels to rise. It wasn't just missing seeing the games or chatting with friends. Being away from green spaces caused us grief.
The research reported in this article measured physiological responses in people exposed to white, red, and yellow roses. All of the flowers improved people's physiological and emotional conditions, but yellow and red were particularly effective.
Even before Covid, many of us spent most of our time indoors. An earlier study (2014) in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, available https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24607069/, showed similar positive results for mind and body in office workers exposed to roses in the workplace.
It’s nice to know that we had the right idea about buying ourselves flowers, and it’s comforting to know that a whole new generation knows it now, too.
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