How flowers and plants restore peace and soothe pain

(ORDO NEWS) — Flowers and greenery are a symbol of spring, the coming warmth. We have selected scientific studies that show that our brain got used to smells and plants millions of years ago. And today flowers can calm a person.

Smells awaken the memory

Marcel Proust’s great novel In Search of Lost Time was written at the beginning of the 20th century. In one of the episodes of the book, the hero smells a Madeleine cake and suddenly remembers his childhood when he was happy and drank tea with such a cake.

This episode gave the name to the psychological phenomenon “Proust effect”. Scientists wondered: Is it true that smell can awaken memory? It turned out that it is . Smell receptors transmit a signal to the olfactory bulb in the brain. It is closely related to the amygdala.

It has to do with emotional memory. Further, the signal is transmitted to the hippocampus, which is responsible for the formation of autobiographical memory.

A very small amount of odor molecules is enough for a memory to arise in the mind. Proust was right. The brain catches a familiar smell, and the person returns to childhood.

How flowers and plants restore peace and soothe pain 2

The memory of childhood soothes the pain

We wrote about a new study that shows that childhood memories can alleviate physical pain. The subjects were shown pictures that were neutral or related to their childhood memories. At the same time, a heating device was applied to the forearm.

It caused short-term discomfort. In the fMRT images, the scientists noticed the excitation of one of the regions of the thalamus. It is excited both with memories and with the sensation of pain.

If the temperature of the fuser is not too high, childhood memories almost completely block the pain. Since the smell awakens childhood memories, it also alleviates pain and not only physical.

Trees stimulate the brain

A recent study of more than 3,000 children and adolescents showed that a forest or park environment has an exceptionally good effect on brain development.

The reasons for this influence, as scientists suggest, are in the observation of branching crowns – they represent a probabilistic fractal, both ordered and at the same time random.

Plants restore peace

In the stress recovery theory, psychologist Roger Ulrich points out that the modern brain remembers prehistoric times, when places with abundant vegetation helped to find food and water.

The calming effect of interacting with nature is the result of processes in the oldest parts of the brain, including the thalamus and amygdala. A person, experiencing a defensive reaction, returns to simple non-verbal communications with nature.

The hero of the film “Leon”, speaking to Matilda about his flower: “Always happy and does not ask questions,” notices one of the advantages of plants – unobtrusiveness.

Flowers, trees, grass are “silent”, but they awaken ancient memories of safe shelter and peace. They help a person to restore a dialogue with himself and the world, to feel stability and beauty.


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