Tips to a Happer You in 2012~When life gives you lemons, sniff them!


“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles 
and all the years you have lived.” – Helen Keller





God gave us five senseshearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell. All of these senses send direct messages to our brains. Consider the information given by the Social Issues Research Center on the subject of fragrance and emotion


The association of fragrance and emotion is not an invention of poets or perfume-makers. Our olfactory receptors are directly connected to the limbic system, the most ancient and primitive part of the brain, which is thought to be the seat of emotion. Smell sensations are relayed to the cortex, where ‘cognitive’ recognition occurs, only after the deepest parts of our brains have been stimulated. Thus, by the time we correctly name a particular scent as, for example, ‘vanilla’ , the scent has already activated the limbic system, triggering more deep-seated emotional responses.

There are many references to perfumes and essential oils in the Bible. Events of sacrifice and worship most always involved essential oils. Frankincense and myrrh were two of the three gifts brought to Baby Jesus when he was born. God uses our sense of smell to make connections in our brain. 

The nose knows. Scents take us back in time to our memories that were associated with that scent. We also associate scents with certain events. 

  • Coffee = Morning
  • Fir = Christmas
  • Coconut=The Beach
  • Lemon=Clean

Studies on the effect of scents on mood show the following examples:

  • Natural plant odors make people calmer, more alert, and in better moods than those in an odor-free environment. 
  • Orange, lavender, coffee, and licorice increase attention span.
  • The smell of cleaning supplies makes people more generous. 
Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural oils to enhance psychological and physical well-being. 

We have a very personal relationship with our sniffers. What smells good to me might smell terrible to someone else. Many people love the smell of vanilla. I hate it. I used to battle with migraine headaches pretty frequently and used a heating pad on the back of my neck sometimes for relief. This particular heating pad was one that you microwave and it was vanilla scented. The heating pad never did help with my headaches; now when I smell vanilla, it gives me a headache! 

Now I realize that sticking a great smelling candle in your kitchen won’t cure depression. But it’s a small step. We can use the senses that God gave us—our sense of smell in this case—to make our environment a happier one. The little things add up to big things

If you are a regular reader, you know I post regularly on Saturdays and Mondays little tips and ideas to make your life happier and maybe a little easier. No single tip or change you make will be a cure-all. It’s all about small steps. I can’t tell you how many times I have cleaned all of the junk food out of the pantry, determined that my family will eat healthy, only to end up replacing most of it within a few days because everyone is fussing. As humans, we resist change, but change is necessary to grow. We must take one step at a time and repeat, repeat, repeat. We are creatures of habit and must turn these small things into habits before we move on the next one. In a year’s time, these small changes will equal big results. 

So my little {tip to a happier you} today is to think about smells you associate with good things and try to incorporate them into your life. Then go back and check out the other {tips to a happier you} and {make-a-change} Mondays I have give you this year. Have you implemented any of these? Have they stuck? Have they made a difference? I hope so. 

Life certainly isn’t easy; you never know when your coming up to the next big hill. Any small thing we can incorporate into our lives can make a difference. 

So when life gives you lemons, sniff them! 




From my heart, 



Celeste

For more information on how scent affects your mood, check out my delicious stack of article here. 



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