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Flower Power: How to Find Happiness Among the Petals

Posted By Chris Freytag On May 20, 2010 @ 9:26 am In Eco Decorating, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Home, Personal Growth | No Comments

Learn the power of flowers, and what it means for your health

The best physical results come when you take care of the whole person — mind, body and spirit! You could say I am a big fan of anything that will help change your mood and attitude, like affirmations, meditation [1] and, yes, flowers too. In Minnesota, where things have been pretty drab and covered with snow for months, it is mood-changing [2] to see all the flowers and foliage blooming.

People have cultivated flowers for more than 5,000 years. They spend countless hours planting, weeding, fertilizing, arranging, painting, taking pictures of and buying/selling flowers. Furthermore, it turns out that flowers are more than just a “thing of beauty.” Research shows that women who are given flowers enjoy a more positive mood for a full three days after they receive them. When flowers are presented to the elderly, they not only report happier moods, but also report having a better memory [3]. As you can see, flowers have an immediate and lasting effect on how we feel and react, so try using flowers and plants to help you in your quest for a healthier lifestyle [4]. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Make a small investment in flowers for your environment.

We all know that trying to change lifestyle behaviors and lose weight [5] can be stressful. Juggling our schedules, resisting temptations and changing long-standing habits add extra stress [6] to our lives, even though the ultimate rewards are great.

A vase of fresh flowers or a beautiful plant can make you feel better and keep you in that elevated mood, making you more likely to make good lifestyle choices. I’m not talking about a huge investment in grandiose arrangements; this is an area where you can reap big rewards from a small gesture. A small indoor plant or even a few cut flowers from your garden [7] can make a difference. I will actually buy one less food item at the grocery store (something we don’t actually need) and substitute it with a bouquet of fresh flowers, which I put on my kitchen’s center island and enjoy all week long.

Take up gardening.

Gardening [8] time is coming into its prime for those of us in the Midwest — those of you in more Southern states have probably already started on your gardens. Keep in mind that the benefits of doing some gardening outside are two-fold.

First, you’ll reap the mood-elevating benefits of the beautiful flowers and plants you cultivate.

And, second, gardening [9] can be a great form of exercise [10]. Carrying flats of flowers and bags of soil back and forth, weeding and turning over the soil all burn calories [11] and work muscles that you may not otherwise be using. Believe me, I spent three hours the other day spreading mulch over my gardens, and boy could my arms and legs feel it the next day. An hour of gardening (based on a 150 pound woman) will burn approximately 250 calories. Keep in mind that any weight-bearing activities like digging, carrying and lifting will help build muscle too.

Get familiar with local public gardens.

If there is a community garden [12] or local botanical garden, take advantage and incorporate it into your lifestyle. Botanical gardens are often great places to walk [13] and run. They’re full of interesting paths, and the beautiful change of scenery could be just the motivation you’ve been needing. Public gardens can also be great places to meditate [14] and reflect, both necessary parts of a healthy routine.

Chris Freytag Signature [15]

Visit my website [16], or connect with me on Facebook [17], Twitter [18] and LinkedIn [19].

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URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/flower-power-how-to-find-happiness-among-the-pedals/

URLs in this post:

[1] meditation: http://www.gaiam.com/category/wellness-clinic/meditation-energy-practice/meditation.do?SID=WG107SPRTAPEMACS

[2] mood-changing: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Get-in-the-Mood.html

[3] better memory: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/9-Ways-to-Improve-Your-Memory.html

[4] healthier lifestyle: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Top-15-Ways-to-Be-Healthier.html

[5] lose weight: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Weight-Loss-Guide-Answers-Solutions.html

[6] stress: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Stress-Relief-Tips-from-Mayo-Clinic.html

[7] garden: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Organic-Gardening-101.html

[8] Gardening: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Gearing-Up-For-Your-Organic-Garden.html

[9] gardening: http://www.gaiam.com/category/eco-home-outdoor/outdoor/gardening.do?SID=WG107SPRTAPEMACS

[10] exercise: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/How-to-Choose-a-MindBody-Exercise.html

[11] burn calories: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/5-Workout-Techniques-to-Burn-Major-Calories-in-Less-Time.html

[12] community garden: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/5-Best-Ways-to-Green-Out-Your-Town.html

[13] walk: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Walk-This-Way.html

[14] meditate: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Why-Meditate-Science-Finds-Clues.html

[15] Image: http://chrisfreytag.com

[16] website: http://chrisfreytag.com/

[17] Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Freytag/702667286

[18] Twitter: http://twitter.com/chrisfreytag

[19] LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisfreytag

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