SMELL…. That’s right. It is the little things that count. How much time does it take you to smell something? How much effort is there to get a noseful? How many calories do you have to burn to sniff? How much money do you have to spend to get a whiff of something?
The answer is none or very little to all these questions. Is that right? You knew it, but you never thought about using it for your benefit. How does smell change your mood? By stimulating your olfactory bulbs and taking it to the limbic center of the brain area where emotions are processed.
Smell something, and it rings a bell in your head! Yup, they are so powerful that they bring you to the moment- to your present and your past.
I was in Pinehurst, North Carolina last week and the place had pine trees everywhere. Pine reminds you of festive occasions and no wonder the smell of the surroundings brought joy inside me.
So next time you are in need of a mood boost, get out and smell that freshly mowed grass (unless you are allergic to grass pollen). Bake some cake…. Don’t miss the chance of smelling coffee aisle at your grocery store, even if you are a tea person or you are trying to cut down on caffeine.
Eliminating smells you don’t like
Lavender is good for relaxation. A few sprigs in your bedroom is nice to have. But make sure you surround yourself with only the smells that you love, not the ones popular among others. Be wary of smells you don’t like or associated with unpleasant experiences.
When I was pregnant with my first child 13 years ago, I was bedridden for first two months with severe nausea. I always felt some unpleasant smell in my apartment that ramped up my nausea and finally figured out it was coming from some lavender scented candles. Although they were there before pregnancy, I never noticed the smell, but with the heightened sense of smell during pregnancy I started feeling them. I had to pack them in 10 airtight bags and had to shove them in a closet of a bedroom we never used. I was hoping to use them after my pregnancy, but even to this day, the strong lavender smell makes me sick to my stomach.
Bring some from places you love
When I was vacationing in Costa Rica, one of the hotels we stayed gave us face towels soaked in essential oils. They were so refreshing and heavenly so while checking out I mentioned this to the hotel folks. They surprised me by giving me a small bottle of that scent during my departure. I still use it sparingly due to the fear of running out of it. It is a beautiful combination of vanilla and peppermint. Sniffing it when I need a vacation is my way of sensory time travel to one of my favorite vacation spots. So next time you visit a place, see if you can bring some smell from there.
Get Out of that Mood
Feeling anxious or stressed in the morning? Rub the lemon or orange you just cut for your morning tea or smoothie on your hands and smell them.
When you get physically or mentally exhausted in the middle of the day, smell Rosemary to increase your alertness and fight exhaustion.
Stick some fresh eucalyptus sprigs at your bathtub or your work desk to invigorate you.
If these fresh ingredients are not readily available, you can use good quality essential oils. They can also be used with a diffuser to get the maximum effects. Just make sure you use only one drop of it in the diffuser to keep it light. Make sure you regularly clean the diffuser to keep it working.
Gather the right odors and the relief will be only a scent away when in need. Keep some memorable scents of your own and sniff those feel-good chemicals when you need a boost, whether it is the smell of new books, incense sticks, simple fresh ingredients in your kitchen or essential oils. Get out and smell the grass, or the dirt, or the roses.
What is your favorite scent that grounds you and makes you happy? What smell brings you beautiful memories? Share your happiness with us.