A lot of self-care practices take a lot of time, smelling something nice can be a wonderful short-cut to wellbeing and mindfulness

A lot of self-care practices take a lot of time, smelling something nice can be a wonderful short-cut to wellbeing and mindfulness

Posted by Laura Colucci on

It sometimes seems like a catch 22. The more we need wellbeing, mindfulness and a self-care boost, the less time we have to spend on mindful moments. Life can be hectic and slowing down fully might be a good idea, but is not always realistic

That’s why some “quick wins” can work wonders and be really helpful for a stressed body and mind, at least short term. 

Smelling something nice is such a “quick win”.

The sense of smell is closely linked to our emotions and memories. When we smell something pleasant, it can trigger positive emotions and memories, leading to a feeling of happiness.

When we inhale a pleasant scent, it activates the olfactory receptors in our nose, which sends signals to the brain's limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for processing emotions, memories, and motivations. As a result, when we smell something pleasant, it can activate positive emotions and memories, which can contribute to feelings of happiness.

Additionally, certain scents are known to have a calming effect on the body, which can promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. This can also contribute to a feeling of happiness and well-being.

“Smelling something nice can be good for mindfulness because it can help bring us into the present moment and increase our awareness of our surroundings.

When we take a moment to intentionally focus on the scent of something pleasant, we are engaging our senses and becoming more aware of our present experience. This can help us to tune out distractions and bring our attention back to the present moment, which is a key aspect of mindfulness.

Additionally, focusing on a pleasant scent can have a calming effect on the mind and body, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety. When we are in a more relaxed state, it can be easier to cultivate a mindful mindset and stay focused on the present moment. 

Overall, the act of smelling something nice can be a simple and effective way to practice mindfulness, and can help us to feel more grounded, calm, and centred in our daily lives.” says Anna Tomkins, founder of the Handbook for Today wellbeing stationery brand.

“Taking mindful moments every day is a great way to help our mental health without the need of extra resources. We can use what we have a hand, maybe we have some fresh mint in the fridge we could smell, or some coffee. Or we make a small investment in a lavender bag or an essential oil. In our journals, we encourage the user to stand still and smell something nice because it is so simple yet effective. My go-to’s are smelling fresh mint and my lavender eye-mask at night. “ Anna adds.

 

What kind of smells are the most effective for relaxation?

“Lavender and chamomile are both known for their calming and relaxing properties, which can help to improve our mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

Lavender contains compounds such as linalool and linalyl acetate, which have been shown to have a sedative effect on the body and promote relaxation. When we inhale the scent of lavender, it can help to slow down our heart rate and reduce feelings of anxiety, which can in turn help to improve our mood.

Chamomile also contains compounds that have a calming effect on the body, such as apigenin, which can help to reduce inflammation and promote relaxation. When we drink chamomile tea or inhale the scent of chamomile, it can help to soothe our nervous system and promote a sense of calm and well-being.

Both lavender and chamomile have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and aromatherapy to promote relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep quality. The scent of these herbs can help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and relaxation, and can help to counteract the effects of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the "fight or flight" response.

Overall, the calming and relaxing properties of lavender and chamomile can help to improve our mood and promote a sense of well-being, making them popular choices for aromatherapy and self-care practices.” says Laura Colucci founder of the Spritz Wellness wellbeing brand and trained Yoga teacher.

Taking the small amount of time needed to smell something nice can be a simple and enjoyable way to practice self-care and reduce stress, a simple yet powerful way to improve our mood, promote relaxation, and cultivate a sense of well-being in our daily lives.

 

 

 

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