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Here’s How You Can Feel Happier: Plants

Posted by Celine Kate on

Your hormones are responsible for so many changes that take place on your body. Your skin's changing textures, mood, appetite, emotions, and complex processes in your anatomy are all run by hormones.

Whether you are falling in love at first sight, feeling proud of your promotion or craving for a bag of Cheetos - it's all your hormones.

Little did you know that plants can play a crucial part in keeping your blithe hormones around. Plants, specifically fragrant blooms, give you a feeling of vibrancy and happiness.

Women who are given flowers randomly exhibited the Duchenne smile - a smile of true happiness. This alone helps show that plants can make you feel closest to cloud nine.

Here are three hormones that makes up your happiness when you encounter plants.

Serotonin

This hormone is mostly heard when talking about remedies for dysthymia, blues or depression. However, further research conducted proves that serotonin appears to be boosted when an individual receives social validation. The acknowledgment received from a good job, or a feeling of pride after accomplishing your goals are the peaks of your serotonin levels.

Flowers can provide you with the same feeling of social importance. Through growing them on your own, or spending the time to interact closely with nature - the feeling of self-pride is still gained.

Humans, being the highest form of mammals, seek social importance. Through the use of social media, aesthetic surgeries, the internet, and many other facets to gain social validation - we're all looking for that ''high'' to be recognized. Flowers give you the same feeling - and it usually comes free!

Dopamine

Dopamine is a hormone triggered whenever an individual is expecting a reward. If you are a risk-taker or a daredevil, then you might enjoy the dopamine hormone!                                                    

Dopamine is responsible for your memory retention and your learning process. Dopamine, attached to your desire for a reward, lets you look for and continue doing things you enjoy. If you hate math or you're forced to do something you're not interested in, your dopamine levels reduce in your brain's prefrontal cortex.

Not convinced how plants can help you maintain your focus? A research study conducted examined 34 participants that are randomly assigned to two rooms - one with indoor plants and one without them. Their attention capacity was assessed three times, and participants assigned to rooms with plants performed the demanding cognitive tasks better than the other group.

Another study from the University of Exeter revealed how employees' productivity leaped to 15% after their 'lean' office spaces were ornamented with houseplants. Dr. Chris Knight spearheaded this experiment and found out that adding even just one plant per square meter remarkably improved memory retention.

Oxytocin

Did you know that when you hug someone for more than 10 seconds, oxytocin is released?

That makes you trust the person even more. Oxytocin is the so-called ''trust hormone''.

This peculiar hormone helps you trust your friends, your partner, a colleague and comes first through maternal attachment. Basically, your instinct of who to trust also comes from oxytocin.

This is why flowers are often symbolize someone's intention to invest efforts in a romantic relationship. Flowers are also given to people with notable achievements to convey that their characteristics are credible.

Brain oxytocin is also known to reduce stress. Plants also have these oddly-satisfying abilities. A 2010 study from the University of Technology, Sydney, showed how plants aid with work stress.

Employees showed remarkable positive responses after plants were put on their workstation.

The result? 58% drop in dejection, 37% reduction in work tension and performance anxiety and 38% reduction in fatigue.

If you are looking to revamp the overall look and feel of your home, and charge your brain with positivity, start it right. Start growing your own houseplants and let the plants perform their alchemy.

Humans have long been dependent on the ability of plants to heal scars, seal wounds, and help them improve their well-being. In fact, the simple act of smelling plants and aromatherapy has been a huge recreation option for thousands of years!

Plants even had the ability to keep people from depressive episodes seemingly cheering them up just by their mere presence. Scientists are still trying to find out why plant fragrances are so beneficial to humans, but one thing's for sure: human lives would never be the same without plants.

So, what houseplants should you add to bring on the happy vibe?

Lily of the Valley

Garden expert David Domoney spearheaded the Positive Power of Plants campaign for three months. Domoney's objective is to find plants that make people happiest, giving them an uplifting feeling and reminding them of happy memories.

Domoney asked participants to nominate plants that made these people happy. He then created a scientific exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show to see how these plants impact people's emotions.

Domoney's team showed the images of plants to the visitors while monitoring their facial expressions through facial recognition cameras from Premier Epos.

Out of the 30,000 people that have visited Domoney's exhibit, the Lily of the Valley plant garnered most of their attention. This mood-boosting plant is the crowd's favorite for its simplicity and scent. The Lily of the Valley scent evokes the fresh fragrance of walking in the woods. The small bell-shaped flowers give the plant its depiction of innocence.

This plant easily grow in shady spots, and once planted, Lily of the Valley can spread through rhizome roots and populate really well. Keep in mind that Lily of the Valley may look harmless, but it is a very poisonous plant. Make sure to keep it away from younger children and your pets

Roses

A study led by Harumi Ikei and his team examined thirty-one male workers from the Mizuho Information & Research Institute aimed to determine how roses can impact the psychological and physiological health of workers.

These respondents were exposed to thirty unscented pink roses for 4 minutes. Researchers tracked the heart rate, pulse rate and subjective responses of these workers. The participants were then presented with a questionnaire to determine their responses.

The group that encountered flowers for 4 minutes reported a feeling of being comfortable, relaxed and worry-free. This study was published in the Japan Society of Physiological Anthropology (JSPA).

Sweet Pea

This plant is pink and happy as it can be. From David Domoney's Chelsea exhibit, most people voted this plant for its sentimental relevance. Most people reminisce of the memories of their childhood working in the garden with their grandmother.

Sweet Peas are one of the top voted garden plants as they make impressively shaped flowers.

The fresh fragrance also makes it a crowd favorite.

Basil

Well, who doesn't love this herb? This captivating plant gives off the aroma that takes you back to your favorite epicure restaurant. The positive effects given out by the basil plant is triggered by linalool.

Linalool is an organic compound that is present in a huge variety of plants. This compound is widely used in an extract form to add in aromatherapy and perfumes. This floral scent relieves stress and is commonly found on lavender and basil.

A study from Aiko Nakamura and his team of Japanese researchers found that linalool, a compound found in basil, helped the stressed-out lab rats to calm down. Their elevated lymphocyte and neutrophil levels were stabilized after inhaling linalool.

This study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry back in late June 2009 found that linalool slowed down the activity of over 100 genes that "freak out" in times of stressful occurrences.

Conclusion

Feeling sad and fatigued can be debilitating.

If it starts affecting your productivity, effectiveness, mental health and physiological well-being, you may need professional intervention. But with the right combination of help from science, a healthy lifestyle, a fine-tuned diet, and the aid of these plants, you can divert your brain chemicals to help you feel a little better and a tad bit lighter.

The same goes for keeping a close connection with nature.

Spending a few minutes to walk among green-spaces, garden, go hiking, or go biking on a walk among trees can all make you feel happiness only nature can give.

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