Learning from the Flowers

Flowers work as a mood changer and even as a stress buster
"Why we love flowers? This straightforward question, however, has a complex answer."
"Why we love flowers? This straightforward question, however, has a complex answer."File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

What scene in nature gives you pleasure? The ready answer lies in the concluding lines of the poem ‘Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth: ‘And then my heart with pleasure fills, /And dances with the daffodils.’ Only when the poet later recalls what he saw, does he fully appreciate the cheerful sight of the dancing daffodils.

Well, that is not true just of daffodils, but of most of the flowers including those that abound in the beautiful vale of Kashmir where they blush and spread their fragrance all around. The beauty of the roses and flowers of myriad hues and fragrances makes us feel refreshed.

Why we love flowers? This straightforward question, however, has a complex answer. Most of us will say they are beautiful. Right? But beyond this, there are many reasons why everyone loves flowers! Flowers are beautifully designed by nature to attract people.

From ancient times flowers have been playing their vital role in our lives. Indeed, we can say that there is a significant relationship between flowers and human beings. From new life to death, from purity to passion, flowers have had many meanings in myths and legends.

Swelling from tender bud to full bloom, flowers are associated with youth, beauty, and pleasure. But as they wilt and die, representing their fragility and the swift passage from life into death.

In 2005, Prof. Jeannette Haviland-Jones sent out three different types of packages - a candle, a fruit basket, or a floral bouquet to 147 different women. It was a thank you gift, she said, a ruse that seemed plausible enough. The recipients had all participated in one of her recent psychological studies. But they weren’t actually gifts; they were variables. And the delivery men carrying them weren’t couriers, they were observers, measuring each recipient’s facial expressions. Afterwards, studying the results in her lab, Haviland-Jones discovered something that, she recalls, shocked her.

Those who got the flowers unanimously exhibited a Duchenne smile - a genuine expression considered by psychologists to be “the sole indicator of true enjoyment.” In fact, three days later, the flower group felt happier than their fruit-basket and candle brethren.

“When I saw that every person who got the flowers responded with the Duchenne smile, I thought, No, this doesn’t happen,” Haviland-Jones said. “In the emotions lab, you never get a 100 percent response unless you’re dropping a snake on people, which gives you a nice 100 percent fear response. But, happy? No.” Empirically, Haviland-Jones proved what, anecdotally, many of us already knew: Flowers have power.

Flowers are considered “Pure and Auspicious” as people use them for the worship of God. They are used for decoration on many occasions, even to adorn brides and bridegrooms. So, if we say that life seems incomplete without flowers, then this statement will not be wrong.

It is rightly said by someone “Flowers Are The Sweetest Things God Ever Made And Forgot To Put A Soul Into.” Maybe we never consciously thought about the reason why we love flowers, all the same we have all along been only appreciating them.

Flowers work as a mood changer and even as a stress buster. When you receive flowers, your face instantly brightens with joy! They are proven to improve your overall worse mood and lift spirits. Waking up to a gorgeous arrangement of flowers around you on your nightstand will start your day off right and fill you with positive vibes.

Sending flowers to someone when they are going through a tough time is so popular to boost up their mind and make them happier. Have you noticed this? If not, then send flowers online on their doorstep and see the magic on their face. Flowers constitute the best and ideal gift options that one can present one’s close friends on their special occasions, moments and to lift their mood. From birthday celebration to Valentine Day, people love to present flowers as a gift.

Flowers have many powers beyond beauty and emotions. Withholding many meanings and sentiments, they have been known to help cure medical diseases for many centuries now. Some flowers are known to fight against nausea and provide pain relief. This unique skill has lead to the creation of many health medicines. These are the main reasons that we can’t imagine life without flowers. And there are many places in India where people still use flowers or herbs to get rid of the illnesses.

Nature gives us a beautiful gift: “flowers”. Different flowers of different hues and aromas convey different meanings: the red rose symbolizes love and romance; the white flowers are known for respect and care; yellow flowers are known for real friendship, whereas multiple flowers are known for bringing colours to life.

There are a lot of meanings that we can’t simply explain in words, but the shades of flowers do. That is why everyone loves to present flowers as a gift to their loved ones on special occasions. Not only colours, different flowers emit different fragrances. Many of us do gardening outside our homes or decor our living rooms with flowers only to get a whiff of the fragrance to please our souls.

Sometimes, it seems complicated to find the right words to express our emotions. In that dilemma too, flowers help us to speak our heart out. People would give their loved ones beautiful flowers to express their feelings of admiration and love. For years blossoms have been used as a way to send unspoken messages of the heart.

This secret language is attractive and leads us to love the flowers all the more. If the world were without flowers, the whole environment would be blank, bland and dull. Flowers are like an ornament on the neck of a woman, which enhances her beauty.

Flowers not only beautify our earth but also give us many benefits, the most important of which being the message they are intent upon conveying so that we should emulate them and that it is possible to live their way.

Always Start Your Day with Infectious Energy and Freshness. The way a flower embraces a new day can be a real inspiration for all of us. Even before the first ray of sunshine hits the treetops, the flower rises from its slumber, opening its petals wide.

The dew drops sprinkled on its morning body is its bath. Once it opens its petals, the flower never closes them till dusk. Anyone who sets eyes on a flower gets affected by its energy. So, start each day like that, full of enthusiasm for the upcoming day and freshness while infecting others through the day.

Be Open to both Opportunities and Challenges. A flower with its beautiful open petals is an invitation to admirers of beauty and even those who want to use it for themselves. A blooming flower has to face many good and not so good things in a day. On the positive front, it gets to bathe in sunlight and get healthier, fresher and more fragrant.

On the downside, it attracts bees and butterflies that suck out its nectar, devotees and lovers who pluck it to offer it to their deity and partner, etc. Even your open-mindedness can make you fall prey to manipulative people and also attract those who are likeminded and a boon to your overall personality development.

Learn to accept both with open arms just like a flower does. It is similar to taking appreciation and criticism with a big smile. Tough thing, but with a flower in sight, you can accomplish it.

Give, Give, Give. Examples are always drawn from nature as regards the purest form of love. Nature teaches all selflessness and compassion without expecting anything in return. Even the human body is composed of five elements from nature, namely air, water, earth, fire and space. So, it is high time, we started adopting this way of living from Mother Nature.

Flowers give us happiness with their positive vibes, make us feel relieved, help us reach a meditative state of mind when we smell them. They continue to give even as their petals are turning brown and accept nothing in return.

Always aim at giving love, comfort and things that matter to your loved ones without seeking anything in return. Only then will you be living and experiencing love in its true form.

Learn To Thrive and Grow Despite Negative Energies around You. Rocks, dirty water, a mountaintop, a flower can be found in the most unlikely places and grow to live a healthy life, even though no one cares for it. So why can’t we too grow and stay positive despite being surrounded by negative people and situations? All we need is a flower for inspiration.

Bask In Your Own Glory. No flower ever compares itself with other flowers. Each one enjoys its own presence and beauty. There is the life lesson here for us humans. Why should we feel jealous or angery at other’s lives, their privileges? Why can’t we celebrate ourselves for what we are and appreciate others for who they are? We should not be judgmental but stay humble, grateful, and in love.

Stay Natural with Your Looks and Feelings. A flower is so natural, so real without a trace of any make-up or adulteration of any kind. We humans have also been given these natural beauties. But here we are talking about natural flowers as our inspiration to achieve simplicity, and authenticity in our behaviours and appearances. No pretence, no bringing down others, no fake additions to our natural beauty; just being us, simply real us.

Nothing Is Permanent, So Live Each Moment to the Fullest. Every flower has a lifetime, in which it blooms to the fullest. Life is short and ever-changing. We must rejoice in every moment, and live it to the best of our capabilities before our time is up. Next time you experience a dejected, angry or sad feeling, recall this valuable life lesson from a flower.

Be Patient, and Everything will Fall into Place with Time. In this world of instant food and connectivity with a click, patience can be a virtue hard to inculcate; but that is exactly what we all must have.

As most important things in life take time: be it the blossoming of a relationship, or result of a hard work done, earning mastery over a newly acquired skill, etc. You have to give these intricate and value-adding things in life, a lot of patience.

When you plant a flower, it doesn’t grow and bloom overnight. You have to nurture it day by day and wait to enjoy its beauty and calming effects on your mind by letting it sprout buds and bloom naturally.

Bhushan Lal Razdan, formerly of the Indian Revenue Service, retired as Director General of Income Tax (Investigation), Chandigarh.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK. 

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