31 Mar Winter Always Gives Way to Spring
is author of the best-selling book, “Hot Chocolate for Seniors”(winner of national & international awards); winner of Gold Halo Award from the So. California Motion Picture Council for Outstanding Literary Achievement; winner of First Place Excellence in Journalism Award (SPJ –Southern CA); Town & Gown “Phenomenal Woman” Award; former television host & KSPA radio host of “Senior Living at its Best with Jan Fowler”; speaker, contributing author for “Savvy Women Revving Up for Success”; founder of Starburst Inspirations, Inc. 501(c) (3) nonprofit which supports Redlands Drug Court. www.janfowler.com. Jan welcomes feedback and comments about her columns and invites you to leave her a message on her website.
“Winter Always Gives Way to Spring”
By Jan Fowler
In these difficult uncertain times, we’re all trying our best to cheer ourselves up and find something to smile about. So I hope this month’s topic helps lift our spirits as we cope with worry over the coronavirus outbreak.
Afterall, there’s still so much to be grateful for and to enjoy. For example, spring is here, which means the fragrance of orange blossoms in the air, plus the mystical realm of pure delight for those of us who have the opportunity to take time and smell the flowers.
Over the years, flowers have become a symbol of love, beauty, affection, romance and emotional endearment.
And have you ever noticed how nature never needs reminders as to when to bloom? When it comes to new beginnings, nature is generally right on schedule.
I always love to recall one special March afternoon many years ago when my firstborn baby and I were driven home from the hospital in the middle of a blinding east coast snowstorm. But when we arrived home an unexpected surprise awaited us in the form of beautiful tiny purple crocus which had bravely burst its head up through the snow right next to the front door to welcome the new baby home. There was nothing timid about this crocus (which I later preserved in a baby book.) It knew exactly when to bloom–it was timed for March and no blanket of snow could hold it back.
Everything seems to come to life in springtime. Flowers bloom, animals come out of hibernation, and people find reasons to emerge from their homes. But it’s entirely possible that we may know more about fine wines than we do about flowers and their powers.
While most of us would agree that flowers help us feel better science has actually proven that flower recipients experience an elevation in mood which can linger for days.
According to behavioral research at Rutgers University, (Evolutionary Psychology, 2005), lead psychology research professor, Jeannette Haviland-Jones states, “Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy. Now science shows that flowers have strong positive effects on our emotional well-being…which is every bit as true for men as it is for women.”
Flowers make people feel cared about and special. Giving flowers is thoughtful.
It has also been observed that the problem-solving skills and creative performance of workers are enhanced when their desks and workspace are accented by plants and flowers.
Some findings indicate that seniors who received flowers socialized more with friends, neighbors, plus the medical and religious staff. One study (Rutgers 2001) which involved 100 senior citizens reported that 81% of them experienced a reduction in depression, 40% expanded their social contacts, and 72% of the seniors who received flowers performed very high on memory tasks compared with seniors who were not flower recipients.
Throughout history, Chinese healers have believed that flowers could be used to evoke whatever emotion you desire and that the true secret lies in the flower’s color. The belief is that each color creates a different frequency of light-waves, thereby setting off a chain reaction of responses in the body. Some involve neurotransmitters which serve to calm hormones, such as melatonin. Others stimulate hormones such as adrenaline, or contain mood-boosting hormones like serotonin.
Theory behind the Colors of Flowers:
Red Roses – Red stimulates adrenal glands and boosts energy.
Irises – Indigo helps free the mind of worries, fears, and helps regulate sleep patterns.
Sunflowers – Yellow is associated with daylight and the sun’s rays. It helps enhance clearheaded thinking and levels of alertness.
Bluebells – Blue stimulates melatonin, a brain chemical which promotes sleep and relaxation.
Green zinneas – Green slows down the stress hormones and helps the heart to relax.
Orange daisies – The color orange benefits the lungs and digestive system and helps ward off spring allergies.
Lilacs – Lilac helps us release tension. It “cools” us down, fights off hunger, and helps to balance metabolism.
So poof! There is no finer magic than the enchantment of flowers, even when it comes to storybook wonder.
So whenever possible, pick a flower for yourself, put it in a vase, and place it where you can see and enjoy it. It’s a reminder that winter always gives way to spring.