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Flowers Bring Happiness

Nanki-Poo in poster for Mikado
Nanki-Poo

In Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado, Nanki-Poo sings about  flowers, because he’s happy about his upcoming marriage to the lovely Yum-Yum, which for him was as wonderful as the flowers that bloom in the spring.

The flowers that bloom in the spring, Tra la,

Rose

Breathe promise of merry sunshine –

As we merrily dance and we sing, Tra la,

We welcome the hope that they bring, Tra la,

Of a summer of roses and wine.

And that’s what we mean when we say that a thing

Is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring.

Tra la la la la — Tra la la la la — Tra la la la la la!

Do Flowers Make Us Happy?

Smiling emoji

The association of flowers with happiness is a fact recently proven by researcher Jeannette Haviland-Jones. In her experiment, she sent unsuspecting women three different types of gifts – a candle, a fruit basket, or a bouquet of flowers. Everyone who received the flowers responded to the gift with a Duchenne smile. This is a particular type of smile indicating true enjoyment. More than a smile that lifts the corners of a person’s lips, a Duchenne smile reaches a person’s eyes until the corners crinkle. A Duchenne smile elevates a person’s mood.

Nancy Etcoff’s research found that having flowers in the home can bring residents increased personal well-being with less worry and anxiety.

How Do Flowers Cause These Effects?

Apparently, smelling flowers reduces, our levels of stress-causing cortisol while stimulating the production of happy chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin.

In general, we see flowers as a reward, and if someone gives flowers as a gift, we know we’re special.

And that’s what we mean when we say that a thing is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring.

🌺. 🌸. 🌼

Illustrations

Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes Emoji. Attribution: Vincent Le Moign

Nanki-Poo

Rose by Gunnar Ries

Gallery Flower Photos by Author

Loretta G Breuning. “Why Flowers Make Us Happy.” Psychology Today. June 21 2017.

Jeannette Haviland-Jones, et. Al. “An Environmental Approach to Postive Emotion: Flowers.” Evolutionary Psychology. 2005. 3: 104-132.

Leonard Perry. “Relieve Stress with Flowers.” University of Vermont.

Author Sandra Wagner Wright

Sandra’s latest book, Saxon Heroines: A Northumbrian Novel, is available in eBook and print editions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play and Kobo. Her previous books Two Coins: A Biographical Novel and Rama’s Labyrinth: A Biographical Novel are available in print and eBook editions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play and Kobo, and in audiobook editions at Amazon, Nook, Audible, Apple Books, and Kobo. Two Coins is narrated by Deepti Gupta and Noah Michael Levine. Rama’s Labyrinth is narrated by Deepti Gupta.


Sandra blogs weekly about topics related to her travels, writing life, and the incongruities of life in general.



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