MorningWe have sung Auld Lang Syne and 2016 is underway. We are packing away our decorations and making New Year’s resolutions regarding our health and well being. We are going to exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier, quit bad habits, be more generous, be more understanding and, by doing all of that, be happier. We join the gym, skip the middle of the grocery store and only shop the perimeter, and promise to go to church every week. We might even find a buddy who shares our goals to team up with to ensure good results. Our intentions are sincere and we are off and running. Want to know a secret weapon that can help in our quest? Flowers.

You might think, flowers? How can they possibly help? In a research study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School it was revealed that people feel more compassionate towards others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when fresh flowers are present in the home.  Another behavioral study conducted at Rutger’s University found that nature provides us a simple way to improve emotional health, and that is with flowers. Just having fresh flowers in our living spaces triggers happy emotions, therefore putting us in a better frame of mind to carry on with our other resolutions. Having even small bouquets in the most frequented places in your home can make a big difference.

FlowrsInKitchedJanuary and February in many parts of the country are very bleak. There are no leaves on the trees and the landscape is barren and brown. It can also be pretty cold. Snow and ice added to the scene can be pretty to look at but challenging when it comes to work, school and all the other tasks that occupy our days. It’s easy to lose some of that enthusiasm that spurred us on the first week in January. When you start feeling a little sidetracked, turn to flowers for a “pick me up”.

Picture1Bulb flowers are readily available this time of year. Tulips, Hyacinths, Narcissus, Iris and Daffodils can put a smile on anyone’s face. Pick up a bunch or two and keep them as part of your 2016 plan. As we move through the year the change of seasons makes all kinds of beautiful flowers available. Peonies in the spring, sunflowers in the summer and chrysanthemums in the fall, or whatever your favorites might be, will keep a smile on your face. I guarantee you will get great results. To make it even better, bring or send some flowers to someone else. Flowers make people happy and if they make you happy they are bound to make others happy too. And believe it or not making others happy makes us happy. See this firsthand in this amazing video.

Happiness is a powerful emotion. When we are happy anything is possible. Take the “happy” in Happy New Year seriously and work on your joy as part of your wellness plan for 2016. You might be surprised that this is the year you actually stick to those resolutions.

What are your thoughts for 2016?