“Hope Springs Eternal”
This famous proverb has never been more appropriate than now! Meaning never give up hope, things will get better. The green ring symbolises unending and everlasting love, the cycle of life and hope. Green is for renewal, balance and progress. Wreaths are certainly now not just for Christmas! For our final design in the series for Mental Health Awareness Week, we are creating a moss based greenery wreath ideal to hang on a door or decorate an interior table. Greet those long awaited loved ones, as at last we can have that longed for hug.
In this blog, we explore how hope and optimism can impact mental health, but first here is a step by step guide on how to make your own wreath. You can find the video tutorial here.
Make your Own Wreath
- Wire Frame
- Binding wire (or twine)
- Begin by creating the moss wreath base. Secure the binding wire or twine to the frame with a simple knot. Create small, even bundles of moss and attach to the frame by binding the wire or twine around in a clockwise direction.
- Once you have finished the moss base, keep the binding wire or twine attached.
- Cut the greenery into small pieces using a sharp pair of scissors
- Create small clusters of greenery and attach using the binding wire or twine.
- If you have any gaps, you can add small wired clusters of greenery. You can simply do this by creating a double leg mount, pushing the wire through the moss base and back into itself to secure.
- Create a loop with twine or wire to hang on your front door
- Remove the wreath from position to water. Simply pour water over the wreath on the patio or in the sink to rehydrate. Leave to drain before hanging on your door.
Hope and Optimism
Hope and optimism are similar but distinct concepts. Both are positively correlated to health and resilience, but while hope is more directly related to agency, optimism is more directly connected to expectations.
- Hope: Hope typically refers to a feeling often connected to motivation. A hopeful individual is more likely to believe they have the power to reach their goals.
- Optimism: Optimism may more often refer to a person’s expectations for the future. When someone is optimistic, they are likely to believe that what they hope for will eventually come to pass.
Optimistic Thinking and Mental Health
There is evidence that optimistic thinking is correlated with better mental health. People experiencing depression tend to be overwhelmed by negative, pessimistic thoughts that then exacerbate the depression. Some mental health professionals work to help people develop healthy thought processes to combat depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Researchers have investigated how optimism affects physical health as well as mental well-being. One way optimism benefits physical health is by establishing positive expectations. For instance, a person who believes they have the power to improve their health may be more likely to successfully improve their health, as opposed to someone who does not believe in their ability to improve their health.
Many studies have illustrated the benefits optimism can have on health. A 10 year study found that its most pessimistic participants were two times as likely to end up with heart disease than the most optimistic participants. The study accounted for other risk factors of heart disease. Optimism has also been linked to lower blood pressure.
Optimism may be just as important when it comes to mental health and emotional well-being. Research on burnout among hospital nurses found that nurses with higher levels of optimism had lower chances of experiencing burnout. In another study with combat veterans, dispositional optimism was linked to fewer posttraumatic stress (PTSD) and depression symptoms as well as overall stronger mental health. And one study even found that optimists were more likely to experience greater satisfaction in romantic relationships.
Over the course of the week, we have explored multiple factors that can contribute to boosting both your physical and mental health. Being more connected to nature through gardening, flower arranging or simply taking a walk outdoors can influence you on a much deeper level than first thought. What do you do to help your own mental health?
To raise awareness for Mental Health, we are selling The Well Being Flower Boxes this week. Every box sold in the month of May will be donated to the Mental Health foundation in the hope to raise awareness, support and reduce stigma within our society.
For more information on Mental Health Awareness Week and the Mental Health Foundation, click here.