Think back to the last time you experienced a pleasant smell. Remember how it made you feel? For me the smell of fresh-cut grass puts my mind at ease and instantly relaxes me.
I put lavender in my diffuser by my bed every night. It makes me less anxious and ready to fall asleep. I also love the smell of lemon — I use a lemon scented cleaning spray in my kitchen - it makes me think things are clean.
These are just a few examples of how scents can have a powerful effect on the mind, influence your mood and lower anxiety.
Aromatherapy usually involves the use of essential oils extracted from plants. However, other pleasant smells associated with fond memories can have a positive effect on mood and perspective.
Some studies on aromatherapy have shown these benefits:
You may want to explore using aromatherapy in your daily routine. It may be a helpful form of stress relief that's easy to incorporate.
Essential oils used in aromatherapy may be inhaled directly or indirectly, or applied to the skin through massage, lotions, oils or bath salts.
Aromatherapy works by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, sending messages via the nervous system to the limbic system — a part of the brain that controls emotions.
Some common aromatherapy scents used for relaxation include: lavender, jasmine, chamomile, bergamot, rose, clary sage, neroli, sandalwood, ylang ylang and vanilla.
Explore the scents to discover the ones that work for you. I'd love to hear any of your experiences with aromatherapy.