Researchers say flowers can be a surprising solution for reducing stress

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Flowers are still in bloom at Penn State's garden in Lancaster County.

Feeling down?

You can improve your mood with just one sniff.

New research shows flowers can be a surprising solution for reducing stress.

If you’ve heard the expression, “You’ve got to take time to stop and smell the roses,” now you have a big reason to do it.

“In our study, we focused on flowers,” says Dr. Erin Largo-Wight, who led the behavior research study from the University of Florida. “And what we found were women who lived with flowers, even just for a few days, had significant reduction in stress.”

Largo-Wight says flowers have a unique gift to reduce stress, because they allow for contact with nature.

“We know that natural sunlight, a potted plant, even recorded nature sounds have been shown to reduce stress,” Largo-Wight says. “So it makes sense that flowers also reduce stress”

Surveys show 68 percent of Americans report feeling high levels of stress, multiple times every week. And one-third of Americans have high stress every day.

Largo-Wight says reducing stress levels is something everyone should be working on all the time.

“Especially now as schools are starting back up, and we have a lot going on,” Largo-Wight says. “Thinking about the environments where we spend most of our time is one way that we can promote our health and reduce our stress without a tremendous amount of effort and commitment.”

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