Aromatherapy: Can What We Smell Really Affect How We Feel?
Have you ever unexpectedly smelt a fragrance and a memory’s come to mind? Whether that be of a person, place or event? That might be because aroma affects us more than we think!
Memories are always entwined with our emotions too, so when we experience a scent our brain tends to correlate them with specific recollections - and the emotions involved with them tend to come along for the ride too! There are around 5 million receptor cells in our noses so what we smell plays a major part in our emotions, as well as our physical and mental wellbeing. The way our brain processes smells is complex so much of it still needs to be researched further, but there is absolutely no doubt that scent affects our moods.
Aromatherapy is an increasingly popular, holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it's called essential oil therapy. Plant oils have been used as therapy for thousands of years and the benefits are reported to be huge! Aromatherapy can be used to help a variety of symptoms and conditions including pain management, anxiety, promoting better and deeper sleep, joint pain, improving digestion, boosting immunity, fighting bacteria and soothing headaches/migraines.
So, if what we smell can really affect our health and wellbeing… what should we be smelling more of to promote the best version of ourselves? The team at Organica have been smelling out what scents make sense in three key areas, so don’t worry… We’ve got it all smelt out!
We’ve all been there. The afternoon slump at your desk, where you start gazing out of the window, wondering what to have for dinner. You start reaching for that tempting chocolate biscuit your colleague’s left out on the desk for that desperately needed sugar hit…
Next time, resist the temptation and brew yourself a peppermint or citrus herbal tea! Research has suggested that peppermint and citrus oils are great for an energy boost, despite being caffeine-free! Peppermint and citrus oil have been shown to relieve fatigue and daytime sleepiness in some studies, and we all know that sugar hits last momentarily, whereas natural ingredients have a more prolonged effect. So, why not give it a go next time the cravings creep up on you?
If hot drinks aren’t your thing, why not try our Pure Energy aromatherapy roll-on? Specially formulated to help boost energy levels and increase focus, it contains plant-based ingredients like orange and grapefruit peel oils proven to fight fatigue, kick afternoon sugar cravings, improve blood flow and fight hypertension. It also uses bergamot oil which notoriously enhances mood and boosts confidence. Now that’s a scent we can get our noses in! Simply apply directly to your skin, take a few deep breaths and feel refreshed for whatever the rest of the day throws at you! Our Pure Energy roll-on is also cruelty, paraben, and sulfate-free and hypoallergenic: that’s a temptation you can’t ignore!
Stress and anxiety can feel like an endless cycle in the non-stop world we live in now. It's vital we prioritize taking time out away from the stimuli that cause those stressful thoughts and worries. Scents such as lavender, vanilla, coffee, and roses can help here. Take a moment to breathe in your coffee in the morning and notice its fragrance and aromatic character - not only is this a small act of mindfulness, but the actual smell of coffee has been proven to lead to a calming effect on the body. Or, treat yourself and buy a bunch of roses on the way home from a busy day! A rose scent can reduce both your breathing rate and blood pressure which has a domino effect on our nervous system, naturally calming your stress levels down as well as looking pretty on the cabinet!
Our popular Pure Mind aromatherapy roll-on includes Lavender and Roman Chamomile and countless studies point to both of these essential oils' superb abilities to ease anxiety and melt away stress. It's also infused with Lemongrass and Marjoram, and both of these scents can relieve feelings of anxiety and ease muscle tension by improving blood circulation.
Essential oils work in two ways: inhalation and absorption - so to get the most out of your oil roller, we recommend applying the roller to the pulse points which are behind the ears, temples, neck, inside of the elbow and wrists. The greater the size of the areas covered, the more product gets absorbed. Then, take a few moments to deeply inhale the Pure Mind scent with a couple of deep breaths: through your nose and out through your mouth.
Other scents that can also be helpful in alleviating anxiety are cedarwood, cypress, frankincense, orange, peach, and violet leaf. It's all about finding an aroma that's properties work for you.
Results from research show that the emotional content of dreams can be linked to what we smell. In a test at the Sleep Disorders Centre at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, subjects who had a pleasant smell of flowers had significantly more pleasant dreams than those who had nothing to smell, and the subjects exposed to a sulfur-like smell had the most negative dreams of the study.
So, invest in a floral room spray, or put flowers near the bed to help keep nightmares and stressful dreams at bay. If you’ve ever woken from a nightmare in the morning, you’ll know that it can start the day with a sour taste which isn’t great for anyone’s mental state. Positive dreams mean you’ll wake up in a more relaxed state of mind ready for your day, so worth a try if bad dreams are affecting your sleeping routine.
There’s no doubt that smell can dictate our emotions, reactions, and memories. There are many ways we can introduce aromatherapy into our daily lives to help calm and affect our mental state positively.
As we’ve explored in this blog, you can introduce flowers or candles to the home, or apply essential oils directly to your skin as you go about your day. There are also things like reed diffusers, oil burners or even diffuser jewelry where you can get the benefit of your chosen scent everywhere you go. If aromatherapy sounds like an avenue that interests you, it’s worth researching and trialing the best ways to diffuse the scent into your world.
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