How Scents Can Enhance Your Mood

Smell has an effective power, whether pleasant or unpleasant. The use of the power of smell goes back to the ancient history when aromatherapy was created. Aromatherapy is the method of utilizing scents to release tension and stress from the body and enhance the mental moods.

peppermint

The way that odor influences our moods is through the stimulation of nerve cells which generate electrical impulses to the olfactory bulb where the impulses are transmitted to the limbic system of the brain. Since the limbic system is directly connected to the parts of the brain that control stress level, emotions, blood pressure, breathing and heart rate, it profoundly affects our mental and physical system.

Historically, herbs and flowers have been used to balance the emotions. They have had different effects including calming, soothing uplifting and cheering the mind. One of the people who started using herbs and flowers to improve the mental state was Dr. Edward Bach. He believed that the physical well-being is the result of balanced emotional state.

Two examples of the most powerful scents are cinnamon and peppermint. Studies show that peppermint and cinnamon odors boost the energy and improve alertness, performance and motivation.

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References:

Williams, Rose Marie. “Fragrance alters mood and brain chemistry.” Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients Apr. 2004: 36+. Academic OneFile. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

Schiavetta, Michael. “THE HEALING POWER OF AROMATHERAPY.” Health Products Business Jan. 2001: 103. Academic OneFile. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

Grayhem, Rebecca, et al. “Effects of peppermint and cinnamon odor administration on simulated driving alertness, mood and workload.” North American Journal of Psychology 11.2 (2009): 245. Academic OneFile. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.