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Improve Your Mood with These 8 Smells
Health & Fitness
Close your eyes and picture a freshly mowed lawn. Can you almost smell it? Chances are, the image brings back some memories, too.
That’s because in your brain, the capacities for both smell and emotion are rooted in the same network of brain structures (to get technical, they’re in the limbic system).
What does this all mean for you? The mind-body smell connection gives you a lot of power! Scents have positive effects on mood, stress, sleep, self-confidence and focus, so by choosing certain odors, you can enhance your overall well-being.
Adjust your mood and focus your mind by leveraging these common smells:
In the Bathroom:
Wake Up with Peppermint. Peppermint is naturally invigorating, so it’ll help you wake up in the morning. It’s also a great way to give your body that boost it needs before a morning workout. According to research by Wheeling Jesuit University, exercisers run faster and can do more push-ups when exposed to the fresh smell.
Try a peppermint scented soap or place a few drops of essential oil on your wrist when you first wake up.
In the bedroom:
Fall Asleep Faster with Jasmine. Not only does research show that jasmine promotes restful sleep, it also leads to a greater level of alertness the next morning. This is because the smell actually increases the brain waves associated with a good night’s sleep.
Put a few drops of essential oil on your pillow before sleep and enjoy Lala Land.
Relax with Lavender. A few sniffs of lavender decrease your heart rate and promote an overall calmness. Bring lavender into your pre-bed routine with a few drops of essential oil or a hot bath with lavender bath salts or bubble bath. Lavender plants are also an attractive way to decorate, so place a fresh bundle in a vase by your bed or in the guest room.
Have “Fun” with Licorice. The scents of licorice has both been shown to turn women on. That’s right! It’s the smell version of an oyster or two. Bring a licorice scented candle into the bedroom and enjoy!
IN THE KITCHEN:
Manage Cravings with Green Apple. If you have the urge to snack throughout the day, sniff a green apple. The crisp smell of green apples has actually been shown to curb food cravings and promote weight loss.
Lose Weight with Vanilla. You know how you crave a sweet treat after every meal? Yea, you’re not alone. And that sweet tooth is a diet deal breaker. To stop from snacking on sweet, sniff vanilla. This scent works as a replacement for the pleasure you get from eating sweets without any of the calories! Note: This only works if you’ve already eaten. Unlike green apples, the scent of vanilla on an empty stomach may actually lead to over-indulging later.
In the home office:
Be Positive with Orange. The citrus scent of orange has been shown to reduce anxiety and increase positivity, both important traits when it comes to productivity. If you’re feeling down at work, snack on an orange or place a few drops of essential oil on your wrists.
Improve Memory with Rosemary. After a few sniffs of rosemary, college students outperformed their peers on memory tests, according to a recent study from Northumbria University. If you feel like your concentration and memory retention is off at work, place a fresh rosemary plant on your desk or use essential oil to reap the benefits.