Flowers calm frazzled mind: Study

New Delhi (NVI): Next time you have a frazzled mind, treat yourself with flowers and feel the positive difference. Yes, flowers have instant soothing effect on your charged nerves, a Japanese study has found.

The study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology revealed that office workers who looked at a vase of roses for four minutes showed enhanced parasympathetic nervous activity, which denotes the degree of relaxation, and felt more comfortable than those who were not exposed to the roses.

The study says that “in recent years, the physiological relaxing effect brought by nature is becoming clear; however, many workers find it difficult to be exposed to nature in their working environment. Exposure to fresh flowers represents an opportunity to incorporate nature into their working lives.”

The study examined the effects of exposure to roses on physiological and psychological variables (heart rate variability, pulse rate, and subjective responses) in office workers”

The experimental site was Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Inc., in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Thirty-one male office workers were included in the study. The subjects were exposed to thirty unscented pink roses (Rosa, Dekora) arranged in a cylindrical glass vase for 4 min. In the control condition, the subjects were not exposed to flowers. After the experiments, the subjects completed a questionnaire. The order of exposure was counterbalanced among subjects. Among subjects exposed to roses, the high-frequency component of heart rate variability was significantly higher than in controls. Similarly, ‘comfortable,’ ‘relaxed’ and ‘natural’ feelings were more common in subjects exposed to roses.

Data from this study support the presence of physiological and psychological relaxing effects of being exposed to flowers on office workers.

Flowers not only have the power of cheering us up when we are feeling down, but they also have many other properties such as helping us get a proper night of sleep, boosting our creativity, increasing our productivity, making our tolerance to pain higher, boosting our health, and even improving our attention span.

Park and Mattson conducted a study in 2008 and found that patients in hospital rooms decorated with flowers and potted plants needed less postoperative pain medication, had lower systolic blood pressure and pulse rates, were less anxious and tired, and generally were in a more positive psychological state than patients in rooms without flowers.

Another recent scientific study conducted at Texas A&M University finds that nature can also hold the secret to business success. The research demonstrates that workers’ idea generation, creative performance and problem-solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.  (NAD)

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