When we feel stressed, we tend to feel overwhelmed with everything on our plate. Stress can affect you mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. But there are many things you can do to relieve those negative feelings. A healthy diet and physical activity can help you combat anxiety and tension, but you can also feel better just by using your nose. Here’s how scents can improve your mood when you’re stressed.
Why Smell Is Important
Your sense of smell is critical. It alerts you of danger and affects your ability to process emotions and memories. When you smell something, your brain can almost instantly determine whether it’s a familiar smell or a new one. For example, if you smell rotten milk, it may put you in an equally sour mood because your brain instantly rejects the odor. But if you smell your favorite candle, you feel happy, calm, and even energized.
The olfactory nerve can directly link a smell to your memories. If you smell a perfume that a loved one wears, for example, your brain may bring up the memory of them, and you may feel nostalgic or happy.
When you’re in a better mood, your body naturally relaxes. Your shoulders drop, your jaw unclenches, and your heart rate slows down. Scents can deeply affect our emotional and physical health, and smelling specific scents therefore encourages us to have a better day.
Common Mood-Boosting Scents
Be sure to look for these scents when you want to improve emotional or physical symptoms such as headaches, stress, and mental fatigue:
Lavender possesses calming properties that reduce emotional stress. The power of lavender can soothe tense nerves and even treat migraines.
Unlike lavender, rosemary stimulates the brain and boosts your mood, perking you up on a particularly difficult day. Additionally, many people use rosemary to relieve sore muscles and pain.
Lemon is a great scent to fight off bacteria in your immune system when you’re feeling physically down. But it can also do wonders for your emotional health. If you’re feeling anxious or angry, try drinking lemon water or placing a lemon slice in your tea.
Natural scents are best because room sprays that contain chemicals may help you feel better in the moment but negatively affect your health over time. Try using a natural-scented soap when you’re looking for a subtle yet effective scent in your home.
Now that you understand how scents can improve your mood when you’re stressed, try using the power of smell to reduce stress and feel happier overall.