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What Part Does Scent Play in Your Self-Care Tools?

Apr 13, 2021

“Stop and smell the roses.” A common reminder to slow down, enjoy the moment, be in the present. But when was the last time you stopped and actually smelled a rose? Hopefully recently, but if not, now is a great time to reacquaint yourself with the wonder of your olfactory system. Scents bypass your forebrain and connect directly with your limbic system - the realm of emotions and memories. This is why real estate agents bake cookies for an open house - you walk in and instantly think - "this feels like home!" 

So what part does scent play in your self-care tools? Scents can give you a quick energy boost, lift your mood, or calm your nervous system.

Next time you cut open a lemon, take a big whiff before you squeeze it over your veggies or fish: mental clarity and focus! While steeping your mint tea, lean over the mug and inhale the essence of mint: cooling and clearing. Run your hands over a neighbor's lavender plant, cup your hands over your nose and breathe deeply: calming and soothing. 

Chopping up rosemary for your roasted veggies? Rub some between your hands and inhale: stimulating and rejuvenating. Sprinkling cinnamon on your yogurt? Take a sniff from the spice bottle: warming and cheering! And, of course, the famous rose - plant your nose in an inviting blossom: compassion and connection. 

There are mini “pick-me-ups” awaiting you everywhere throughout your day - jasmine, honeysuckle, curry, lemongrass, bay leaves.  To relax and reset your nervous system, take a moment to really “stop and smell” . Free, quick, easy - and delightful! 

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