The sense of smell is hands down one of the most evocative of our five senses. A simple, gentle whiff of flowers can take you right back to your childhood garden, or when you are passing by a stand with freshly baked cookies, can teleport you back in time to your grandma’s kitchen. But is this wave of nostalgia just a coincidence? Scientists have discovered that powerful feelings and memories are conjured because your olfactory reaction (the way you experience scents) is linked to the part of the brain responsible for emotions.
It’s also true that the sense of smell isn’t just useful for its memory inducing superpowers; it has many benefits and can help your physical health and your mental health.
How does a sense of smell impact your well-being?
Studies have suggested that the sense of smell in us is still powerful because many years ago, it played a significant role in determining whether we survive or not.
We relied on our sense of smell to be able to sniff out danger before it could cause us any harm, leading to quick, instinctive reactions.
The smell cells responsible for all this are linked to the limbic system, which is also inherently accountable for governing our emotions, behavior, and long-term memory.
Even though we rarely use our sense of smell for its original purpose of survival, the effects of certain scents on the brain remain very powerful.
Various aromas can easily alter and change our mood and improve our well-being, especially during a SAD season.
Peppermint is most commonly used to revitalize and invigorate the mind.
It is an energy booster and aids in stimulating clear, creative thinking — a must-have for anyone who works a high-stress job.
Lavender is a beautiful scent most people turn for relaxation as it can instantly calm both the mind and body.
Lavender has also been linked with insomnia treatment and helping ease other sleep disorders.
Lavender has a strong effect on our sense of well-being, and the scent can be used to cheer people up or help them when they feel overwhelmed.
While most of us get used to turning to coffee for a pick-me-up fix, fewer people know that citrus is equally helpful in boosting energy levels and focus. The strong smell is refreshing!
Take a sniff whenever you need to settle down to focus on a task, or if you are ever feeling overwhelming emotions, such as anger or fear.
A tired mind can have a sizeable impact on your productivity and your mood.
Luckily, cinnamon is celebrated for its ability to fight mental fatigue. It is also one of the most commonly used ingredients in both men’s and women’s fragrances.
This beautiful floral aroma is the true essence of springtime and immediately elicits feelings of joy and contentment. No wonder it is such a powerful antidepressant employed by aromatherapists across the globe.
Reduce stress and uplift your mood with a good whiff of pine. It may be because we associate it with the joy-filled festive season, or it may be because it takes us back to nature even for a few seconds. Either way, it is an irresistible scent guaranteed to enhance your day.
Now that you know how much of an effect certain scents can have on your mood, and therefore your health, be sure to make the most of them. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover just how powerful they those scents genuinely are.