Flower arranging mental health benefits may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the activity, but there are lots of mood-boosting perks to making bouquets. "It’s a way of calming your body, thoughts, or emotions by shifting attention away from them to something more pleasant," says Aimee Daramus, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist. "A lot of different forms of creativity can help to ground you, and flower arranging is a full sensory experience that can fill your mind and leave less room for anxiety."
In order to really reap these rewards, it's important to allow yourself to become immersed in the process. Really examine the flowers, their textures and shapes. Touch them; smell them. Listen to the water running while you fill your vase—maybe even dabble in adding some edible floral options into the mix and try tasting them. The key is to recruit as many of your senses as possible, says Dr. Daramus. This will help keep your focus back to the task in front of you.
Not only is flower arranging a good way to stay grounded, but it's an ideal form of self-care too, says Tobore Oweh, lead floral designer and founder of The Petal Effect in Los Angeles. "It's a medium that you can use to release creativity," she says. Now that's what we'd call flower power.
Scroll down for 6 expert tips for making better bouquets at home.
1. Clean your flowers
The first thing you want to do when you get your flowers is to make sure you take off the leaves from the part of the stems that will be in water. Leaving foliage of stems in water will cause bacteria in the water and decrease the lifespan of your flowers.
2. Cut the stems
Trim each stem at an angle and put them in water immediately. Fresh cut stems allow your flowers to have the best chance at absorbing water.
3. Wash your vase
Make sure that the vessel or vase you'll be using is clean. Any signs of bacteria in the vase will cut the lifespan of your flowers short.
4. Brainstorm your arrangement
Assess your vessel and consider what type of design would be best suited for its shape. Knowing where you want to end up in your design allows you to plan the proper mechanics and implement the most effective methods to achieve your goals. For example, if it has a large opening, Oweh suggests using tape to create a grip over the top to support the flowers while you’re building out your bouquet.
5. Care for your flowers
"Refresh the water daily or every other day," says Oweh. This will prevent bacteria from building up in your vessel.
6. Enjoy the experience
Flower arranging is meant to be therapeutic and mood boosting—so don't overthink it or put pressure on yourself to create the perfect bouquet. It’s important to have fun and remember that they are just flowers. "Relax and let the creativity flow!" says Oweh.
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