Plants and well-being

It's true—flowers have power. Being outside in nature—whether it's a backyard, tending a balcony flower pot, or in the garden—relieves stress and makes us feel better. This may be one reason why spring seems to perk up our happiness factor—who doesn't feel a little boost when you see your first crocus and, perhaps, a momentary flashback to springs past?

A study by researchers at Kansas State University showed that contact with flowering plants has a direct effect on patients' psychological and psychological well-being. Patients with flowering plants in their rooms during post-op recovery from appendectomies took less pain meds, had lower blood pressure and heart rate, and generally lower symptoms of pain, anxiety, and fatigue.  This study showed that plants were better than cut flowers for patients because of the plant's longevity and since patients became involved in their care—watering, moving them, etc.

 Warsh Cloths make a perfect hostess gift—with flowers on top!

Warsh Cloths make a perfect hostess gift—with flowers on top!

Boost your creativity with plants

According to a landmark European study, there are cognitive and creative benefits to having plants in the office—even plain green ones. This may explain the greenery in many business interior landscapes. Plus they help with stress and relaxation, which could explain why plants are so common in doctor's (and dentist's(!) offices.

Flowers aid relaxation and stress reduction, but choose your colors well. Vivid and saturated tones are energizing, while “less saturated colors are calming,” as are colors near each other on the color wheel. are colors near each other on the color wheel. More from Huffington Post

And if you're giving a thank you or a hosting gift —say it with flowers on top and you won't go wrong! According to a study at Rutgers University in New Jersey, recipients of gifts (a candle, flowers, fruit basket) reacted with true and heartfelt smiles (known as the Duchenne smile) and were still feeling the boost of the gift of flowers three days later.