Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Flowers and Relaxation: A Simple Way to Reduce Stress

When it comes to relaxation and reducing stress, flowers have a multi-dimensional way of helping.  Not only are they beautiful, colorful, and pleasing to the eyes, but they hold the additional advantages of bringing aroma-therapy into our lives.

Contrary to popular belief, flowers are not just for women and not just gifts to give others.  Getting some flowers for yourself--be it from your own garden or from the local florist--is a pleasant treat that can enhance your surroundings and contribute to your overall level of stress reduction.

Lavender flowers have traditionally been associated with relaxation and are used in many stress reducing products such as bath oils and pillows.  Rose flowers are frequently used to create soothing lotions for the skin and gentle room fresheners.  But the most immediate reward from live flowers is their soft beauty and pleasing smell.

Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement.  The practitioner that arranges the piece works to become one with the work of art, and to minimize the use of effort and items.  In other words, to simplify the arrangement while simplifying oneself, and one's life.

We are not all skilled Ikebana practitioners, but using our creativity, we can arrange a flower vase for ourselves that we can enjoy for several days at a time.  It's okay to explore with flowers.  Maybe trying some you've never seen before, or going right for the ones that catch your eye.  Try a new arrangement each week and eventually you may find flowers that become your favorites to have near your meditation space.

One final word of advise:  If you have pets, be sure to do a little investigating before placing certain flowers around your home or relaxation space.  Some flowers, like daffodils and azaleas might be dangerous for your furry friends.

Thanks to Richard Riccardi for his beautiful photo (top) - Flower, and to Ligia Miranda (lower) for the beautiful arrangement - Streliza1