“Your skin and mood are an outward reflection of an inward condition”
– Melissa Crispell
Too many people are going through life over-nourished and underfed and I’m not just talking about food. It’s easy to get caught up in the race to the finish line and forget to look around and enjoy the course. Everyone, at some point in their life, has wished for the to-do list to be shorter or for there to be more hours in the day. If you’re the one wishing for more hours, please stop!
In those times of feeling overwhelmed, we can become grumpy, irritable, and even anxious. It is important to stay mindful that we are what we eat, drink, think, and do. We can make the choice to change a situation. If you haven’t tried it, as a mood changing situation, add fresh cut flowers to your home or office (or home and office) and witness the difference.
In a 2007 behavioral study by researchers at Rutgers University(1), the connection between flowers and life satisfaction was explored and results showed “flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods”. The team of researchers found:
- Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
- Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
- Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.
“Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy. Now science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional wellbeing.” Dr. Haviland-Jones.
Flowers can change the brain with their color, scents, or symbolism.
Chinese healers (who have believed in “flower power” much longer than I) believe there are more benefits to flowers than just mood enhancing. They say that “the secret to using flowers to summon any power or emotion you want is in the color”. Their belief is that different colors create different frequencies. Those frequencies produce light waves that travel through the retina and down the optic nerve to set off a chain of reactions in the body. Among those reactions are neurotransmitters being released which induce the production of hormones like melatonin, adrenaline, and serotonin. These are our calming, stimulating, and mood-enhancing hormones.
Need to change an inward condition? Here are some tips:
Energy – Red roses
Red has the slowest vibration and the longest wavelength, it stimulates the adrenal glands, boosting energy.
Confidence – Irises
Indigo stimulates the pineal gland which regulates sleep patterns. Indigo helps to free the mind of worries, fear, and inhibition.
Alertness – Sunflowers
Yellow light waves stimulate the brain, helping you to be more alert, clear headed, and decisive. Yellow is also associated with the sun and daylight, this can help us to feel more optimistic.
Relaxation – Green zinnias
Green affects the nervous system, making us breathe slowly and deeply. This in turn slows the production of stress hormones and helps the heart relax.
Sending flowers is like getting happiness at your front door. But this is really not new information. People have been giving flower gifts since ancient times. Interestingly, gifts of fruits, candles, or even fake flowers do not elicit the same response or genuine smile that fresh flowers do. The colors are not the only part that can have a lasting impact on you. The scent of certain flowers can change your mood as well.
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils for improving psychological or physical well-being. Personally, I love the smell of magnolia and honeysuckle (can you tell I’m from the south?) which both have calming and relaxation properties. When you smell either of those you can simply close your eyes and imagine the front porch on a warm day, the ceiling fan blowing cool air over head and a glass of iced tea on the side table… no matter where you are. Lavender can relax you too, but I associate that with sleep and wouldn’t use it during the day. Other popular scents are Jasmine, used for soothing feelings of stress, relaxing muscles, help increase libido; Wisteria to aid in meditation, embrace one’s femininity, and help overcome the fear of intimacy; and of course, we can’t forget roses that help boost energy, self-esteem, and mental strength. If you like chocolate, try adding chocolate cosmos to your backyard. They’re known for their unique reddish-brown flowers and have a light vanilla fragrance. The smell is intriguing, but the blossom is poisonous so don’t eat it!
As with all our recommendations, please start with the LRA by ELISA/ACT test. Sniffing flowers, adding them to a meal (edible flowers), to a bath (soap or bubble bath), or on your body (essential oils) can be problematic if you have a delayed sensitivity to them. Even the most detailed food log won’t pick up something that you’re having a reaction to 1-3 weeks down the road.
Don’t just slow down to smell the roses – stop an enjoy them for a moment.
Share pictures of your flowers and help brighten someone’s day by using these hashtags so we can see them as well: #PIHflowers #BrightenSomeonesDay #Smile #FlowerPower
About Melissa Crispell
Melissa Crispell is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Natural Health Provider, Certified Lifestyle Educator, Certified Wellness Coach, and Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist. That’s just during the work day! The rest of the day is spent as mom, Abuela (Abbie for short), coach, wife, cook, chauffeur, cheerleader, marathoner and triathlete. Melissa has been published in Living Well (local health magazine), DC Practice Insights (a national magazine to help Chiropractors grow their businesses) and Acupuncture Today. In addition, she has spoken at the, Functional Medicine Success Summit, The Easter Seals Annual Caregiver Conference, and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. She is a Member of Health Studies Collegium speaker’s bureau, and has given classes for Naturopathic Physicians, Chiropractors, Medical Doctors and other healthcare providers.
Melissa has served almost 9 years as a Clinical Training Specialist for PERQUE Integrative Health, teaching physicians and providers all over the world how to grow their functional medicine practice using medical grade supplements and functional immunology. Melissa’s mission is to empower people of all health statuses to take control of their wellness journey. Melissa believes that when we have better information we make better choices. This includes debunking myths and sharing basic health concepts that are frequently overlooked. The future of healthcare is definitely self-care and we must take responsibility for our choices.