Relaxation has become a rare commodity these days. With the stresses of everyday life interrupting the many pleasures we seek to enjoy, there are ways in which we can take time out to “smell the roses”. Using the sense of smell to help you relax is one way to achieve a sense of balance and serenity.

The sense of smell can determine one’s mood. It can either irritate or invoke pleasant memories of a specific point in time. It can act as a deterrent, or induce a sense of calm. What we do to bring on a relaxed state differs with each person.

While some may find that a hot bath using essential oils offers total relaxation, others may prefer relaxation by taking a trip to the spa. Perhaps baking a loaf of bread, mowing the lawn, or gardening may be conducive to experiencing a more relaxed state.

What all of these activities have in common is that they target the one sense that produces immediate results. When we are in close proximity to a scented candle or apply a particular perfume to our skin, the aroma is transferred through the nose to the olfactory bulb and makes its way to the brain. This brings about a feeling of wellbeing and emotional calm.

In a research study it was found that the fragrance of lily of the valley not only increased relaxation, but made individuals happier. Further studies asserted that when individuals were asked to smell Douglas fir, their mood quickly changed from negative to positive. Additional studies also found that the use of pine needles at London airports have decreased stress in travelers.

It is the sense of smell that can make a psychological difference in those who are exposed to pleasant fragrances. One study conducted in a mall found that those who came into contact with a pleasant fragrance were more willing to help a total stranger than those who were not.

The old saying that “the nose knows” is true. We surround ourselves with aromas that effectively offer a sense of wellbeing, calm, and feelings of serenity. Whether we use aromatherapy candles, oils, or engage in everyday activities, the aromas permeate our homes and our lives.

It seems easy enough to find that one aroma that is not only pleasing to the nose, but also acts as a catalyst which allows our bodies to succumb to the feelings of inner peace and relaxation.

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