Not a morning person? Perk up with some flowers


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A flower a day keeps the sorrow away. OK, we just made that up, but a study by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that seeing flowers in the morning might offer a much-needed pick-me-up for people who don’t consider themselves morning people.

Participants of the behavioral study confirmed that they feel least positive in the early hours but reported being happier and more energetic after looking at flowers first thing in the morning, particularly in the kitchen.

"The morning blahs, it turns out, is a real phenomenon, with positive moods — happiness, friendliness and warmth, for example — manifesting much later in the day," said lead researcher Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. "Interestingly, when we placed a small bouquet of flowers into their morning routines, people perked up."

The study also found that flowers gave people a boost of energy, and left them feeling less anxious and more compassionate.

"What I find interesting is that by starting the day in a more positive mood, you are likely to transfer those happier feelings to others — it's what is called mood contagion," Etcoff said. "And, the kitchen is the place where families tend to gather in the morning — imagine how big a difference a better morning mood can make."

New York City floral and interior designer Rebecca Cole, host of Discovery Channel's Surprise by Design, offers some easy tips for displaying flowers around your home.

• Choose interesting containers, such as tea tins, jelly jars, salt and pepper shakers or wine glasses.

• Use lots of one type of flower.

• Select surprising color combinations. Try red and purple stems or use monochromatic flowers from one color family

• Choose citrus-colored flowers for a sunny feeling.

• Get inspired by the accent colors in your kitchen. Match flowers to decorative wall plates, placemats or curtains.

• To keep clutter at bay, place flowers where it tends to congregate.

And if you can't seem to keep flower bouquets alive for longer than a day, here are five easy steps.