How Fragrances Affect Your Mood

The scent of fresh Christmas trees, chestnuts roasting over a crackling fire and homemade pumpkin pie offer us not just enticing aromas, but links to our past experiences. Our smell, or olfactory response, is directly linked to the emotional center of our brain. Interestingly enough, scent is the only one of our senses that makes the direct link between the smells of today and experiences from the past.

Enjoy these popular fragrances and the benefits they offer to both your health and well-being:

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed from the stress of holiday overload, try lavender for its calming effect. The benefits include relieving tension, depression, headaches and migraines. The aesthetically beautiful herb is also known as an effective sleep aid and has been proven to increase drowsiness, beneficial for people suffering from insomnia.

Like lavender, jasmine helps relieve stress. More significantly, its oil is used as an anti-depressant. Jasmine promotes an elevated mood, including feelings of optimism and increased energy. For a quick pick-me-up, dab a small amount of jasmine oil on your wrists and rub together to activate the scent.

When you’re feeling fatigued, enjoy the fresh pine scent of rosemary. It not only fights the physical effects of exhaustion and headaches, but helps relieve aches and pains in your muscles. Speed up your recovery time by rubbing rosemary oil on your feet or problem areas.

The warm taste of cinnamon is a pleasure to your palate, while your olfactory system benefits from the stimulating properties it brings to fight fatigue and mental focus. Add a touch of cinnamon to your coffee or morning oatmeal to increase your brain function for the day.

The fresh scent of lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits have been shown to have stress relieving effects by providing a feeling of calm and focus. They also have antiviral benefits that boost the immune system to help fight off colds and sore throats. If you’re feeling under the weather, make yourself a cup of hot tea with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Peppermint is more than just a powerful breath freshener and delicious flavor addition to your favorite sweet treats. The minty scent improves energy and concentration levels, as well as stimulates brainstorming and clear thinking. To prevent that afternoon slump, try chewing a piece of peppermint gum. It’ll awaken your senses and help you refocus on the task at hand.