Our sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than any of our senses and the recognition of smell is almost immediate.
Our olfactory bulbs that process the scents we smell is directly connected to our limbic system – the most ancient and primitive part of the brain which processes emotions. Hence, the strong connection between smells, moods as well as memories.
Not only does fragrance trigger memories and affect moods, it can also enhance work performance and behavior. Pleasing smells also heighten our perception of people’s attractiveness, a product’s effectiveness and a space’s pleasantness.
Think about it in this way: when you walk in a hotel lobby that smells wonderful, it immediately puts you in a good mood. But when you walk into a stinky, musty restroom (think public restroom in the MRT station!), you are more likely to be in a bad mood.
Knowing this, how do we use this mood-altering knowledge to good use?
Some of the positive mood change benefits that you can expect to find from scents with aromatherapy qualities include:
Invigoration and Increased Energy
Peppermint reduced perceived workload, giving a sense of higher energy, and less fatigue. Studies also find that rosemary is a sure-fire way to increase alertness.
Anti-stress and Uplifting mood
When you think of stress, think citrus! Citruses help curb anxiety with its zesty and mood-brightening smells! These also suppress stress and tension.
Rest and Relaxation
Lavender is the most widely known oils to help increase drowsiness, bring on sleep and relaxation
Studies have shown the efficacy of aromatherapy in younger individuals in terms of boosting their memory for a certain time after treatment.
Sage is a recommended oil for memory enhancing effects.
Not getting enough sleep can make you unproductive and can be detrimental to your health. Some essential oils that have sedative properties and can help manage your sleeping habits include chamomile, lavender, sandalwood and ylang ylang.
Strengthens Immune System
Whatever essential oils you choose to use, always consult your doctor and do a patch test.
Also, be sure to only purchase essential oils from approved sources!