We are embarking on a wonderful season of joy and festive celebration! But let’s face it, decking the halls and many other to-do’s in the month of December can also bring stress. According to a recent poll, 68 percent of people feel stress on a daily basis, and 32 percent experience stress daily. Add the busyness of the holidays — from shopping, to organizing the guest lists, to putting up the decorations, wrapping presents, etc., etc., etc. — our feelings of overwhelm are heightened, as we worry about how everything will get done.

It’s important in these hectic times to step back, breathe, and take small opportunities to have a moment of calm, so we can enjoy the holiday festivities, rather than stress over them. Easier said than done, I know! But science offers a surprisingly simple solution: FLOWERS.

New research from the University of North Florida shows that women who lived with flowers, even just for a few days, reported a significant reduction in their stress levels. Click here to hear the results straight from the researcher herself.

Could it really be that easy? You’d be surprised at how just having flowers in your environment can make a difference in how you and your family approach your day. Try one or more of these tips on how flowers can help you and your loved ones have a productive, and enjoyable,  holiday season:

Combat Day-to-Day Busyness and Overwhelm: Keeping flowers on the kitchen counter, bedside table, or even the bathroom – somewhere that you will see as you are coming and going – can help provide a reminder to take a mental break. Flowers have a calming effect. We can use it to our advantage during busy times. 

Support Stressed Out Friends: We can help our friends cope with daily stress too. An unexpected surprise gift of flowers for a friend can go a long way. It might be the best gift they receive this season!

Show Appreciation to the Busy Party Host: Especially now that we have scientific proof of their positive impact on our well being – I find flowers are a great way to show our appreciation to the host of a holiday party. For instance, send flowers to the house the day before so he or she can experience their calming effects during the preparations — or thank them after the party is over.

Minimize Family Dinner Friction: If you sense there might be some conflict at the family gathering, use the stress-relieving effects of flowers to “ease the tension” by having flowers right there on the dinner table. It’s worth a try, and might take the conversation in a more agreeable direction.

Help Prevent Loneliness: As wonderful as the holidays can be for most, for some it is a season of loneliness — missing deceased loved ones, not having family in town, or even estrangement from relatives.  This can be a stressful time, and flowers can be a real help to show a neighbor or friend that they are acknowledged and cared for.