Peppermint, eucalyptus or lavender. The smell of fresh grass, the beach or the ocean. Scents are not only a lesser-known form of relaxation. They can also relieve illness and anxiety.
Our sense of smell plays a major role in our lives. It can influence how we taste food, how we perceive a certain area, how we judge a group of people or the level of stress we have.
I recently started to explore numerous ways to relieve my anxiety. In November, I have constantly been thinking of Thanksgiving or Christmas and the wonderful things that come with it—the smell of fresh turkey and mashed potatoes, the scent of peppermint in my house in December and the warm cookies coming out of the oven.
I realized that all these amazing aspects of the holidays have something in common: scents.
When I think of happiness, I subconsciously have a specific smell associated with every good memory. I have even started to recall memories just from the smells that are connected to them. The pungent smell of cigarettes at concerts, the pronounced smell of humidity and plants at Tropical Park, and the smell of coffee that gives me a boost in the morning were all different scents that I had unknowingly associated with various memories.
I was astounded with how such a miniscule factor like scents can impact my life, so I wanted to test it out a little bit more. I began my experiment on a Monday during my 9 a.m. class by taking a quick sniff of peppermint oil. Little did I know that it made a big impact.
After using peppermint every morning during my classes and right before work, I found myself having a better attitude and higher self-esteem. I continued my experiment by smelling peppermint oil during random situations: before a big test, while I was doing homework, while I was stuck in Miami traffic, or right before I went to sleep.
Instantly, I was more productive and felt more confident. I aced my exams because I found that the scent of peppermint helped me focus, and I started finishing all my errands earlier.
Then, I tried using peppermint oil when I had anxiety. The moment I felt a spur of anxiety, I took a deep breath of peppermint oil. Within moments, I felt complete relief.
Through all of these scenarios, I felt enlightened with how scents integrate into my life. Not only did it help solve my anxiety issues, but it generated positive energy around me that was essential to maintaining productivity.
The best part about paying attention to scents is that you don’t need to carry essential oils around to experience this. Smells are everywhere, and every single smell can impact you in a different way.
Overall, scents can really change perception and productivity in anybody’s life. Just sit back and pay attention to the air around you.