We all have those scent triggers that will always remind us of past memories. The smell of chocolate chip cookies baking, an old perfume/cologne of an ex, the smell of pumpkin spice during the holidays can bring back certain feelings from past experiences.
These nostalgic smells aren't just a coincidence. There's science behind why we love these aromas. Our olfactory response is directly linked to the emotional center of our brain, causing a deluge of warm and fuzzy feelings. Unlike taste and touch, scents are directly correlated with past experiences. So with a simple sniff, we can cause us to reminisce. But not only do scents remind us of past memories, it can help improve our mind and body well-being. From headache to stress relief, here is a list of scents provided by Ms. Holmes from the Huffington Post that help improve your health.
As a go-to scent for relaxation, lavender can help calm the mind and body almost instantly. Researchers have found that the fragrance effectively eased sleep problems and depression in the participants. Next time you’re having trouble getting to bed, try turning to this scent for a little help.
Researchers from Wheeling Jesuit University studied individuals and found that those who took a whiff of cinnamon improved in cognitive functions like visual-motor response, working memory and attention span.
There’s more than one reason why pine trees bring us cheer around the holidays. A pine scent could be decreasing our anxiety, according to research. Some have even discovered that anxious subjects had a greater feeling of relaxation after indulging in the scent.
Fresh Cut Grass
You may think mowing the lawn is an annoying, menial task, but the fresh scent the chore yields may be making you happier. Scent researchers found that a chemical released by a newly-mowed lawn can make people feel joyful and relaxed. The aroma may also prevent mental decline as you grow older. The smell apparently is so powerful that neuroscientists came up with a perfume and air fragrance that matches it so the lawnless can also reap the benefits of the feel-good scent.
If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, you may want to forget the cup of coffee and opt for citrus instead. Scents like lemon and orange are not only well-known for their Vitamin C properties, but simply sniffing the fruit can help boost energy and alertness.
A small study out of Wheeling Jesuit University found that smelling peppermint could be linked to greater cognitive stamina, motivation and overall performance. Known for invigorating the mind, it’s even been used as an aid for students when taking tests. There is also a small bit of research to suggest that the menthol scent in peppermint even tricks the brain into thinking that it alleviates stuffy nasal passages.
Research has suggested that the smell of the crisp fruit may actually help ease a migraine. One 2008 study showed that those who found the scent appealing had a noticeable reduction in headache symptoms as well as shortened migraine episodes.