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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Aromas That Can Alter Your Mood

One of the most direct routes to your brain is through your NOSE. So what you smell can influence your mood. Think about it - one whiff of apple pie or chocolate chip cookies can make you long for mom’s kitchen and other scents can influence your mood just as easily. That’s because SMELLS feed directly into the emotional centers of the brain. In other words, you can often alter your state of mind simply by exposing yourself to a specific aroma. So right now, we’re going to touch on two specific mood shifts. Here’s what to sniff when you want to raise your energy level, and on the flip side, when you need to calm down.


1. Calming Your Nerves- It’s all about VANILLA. For starters, it’s the one scent shown to be universally liked in all cultures – and it’s especially calming. Why? Because it subconsciously reminds us of a mother’s breast milk. So if you’re anxious about a first date or a big presentation, keep some vanilla scented lotion handy, or a vanilla candle. Either of those will help stabilize your nerves.


2. Energy Boost- It’s 4PM and you’re in a brain fog. You’ve already had way too much caffeine, but you still have 2 more hours of the workday to get through. The solution? Grab a peppermint hard candy, some spearmint tea, or even a tiny tic tac - anything with MINT. Sniffing mint stimulates the nerve endings in your nose, which send impulses to the part of the brain that makes you feel wide awake and alert. In fact, in one study, athletes who inhaled peppermint were able to do more push-ups and run a 400-meter dash faster than those inhaling other odors. The minty aroma has also been shown to raise your tolerance to pain, another benefit if you’re trying to get energized for a workout.

Geraldine

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