As soon as we are born, we associate scents with our surroundings and the people we are closest to, usually mom, dad, and siblings.
While growing up, we also learn about the aroma of foods, minty toothpaste, fresh-cut flowers, and the heavenly aroma of grandma’s all-time favorite apple pie. Each of these scents is linked to our memory field and tightly stored in our subconscious mind. And it works the same way with Aromatherapy.
When Essential Oils are inhaled via Diffuser or inhalation, the scent travels directly into the bloodstream, through the Olfactory nerve receptors, and then journeys into different parts of our brain, impacting memories and triggering emotions (good and not so good). Our nose immediately recognizes certain odors and stimulates the thoughts of past events and vivid mental images. It’s quite impressive when a chain of comments gets set in motion by a simple “sniff” of an aromatic substance.
Interestingly enough, fragrances can remind us of the most pleasant memories and take us back to a time when we enjoyed a mouth-watering chocolate pudding, a relaxing walk through a colorful flower garden filled with delightful aromas, or the fresh, clean odor after a light rain shower on a hot summer day lingering in the air. Calming thoughts of the “Good old days” seem to spark endless pictures of our youth and leave us with a soft smile and a full heart.
At the same time, unpleasant memories can awaken our subconscious instantly and in the same way, literally in a matter of seconds. During these brief moments, our brain starts scanning which scent is associated with a past event, experience, or situation and immediately sets our emotions into gear. Dark, unpleasant, and painful thoughts are often still stuck in our minds and shift us into a state of sadness, depression, anxiousness, and sometimes hopelessness.
These are the days when we don’t want to get out of bed or may feel that no one understands us and that life is almost too much to bear. Suddenly we move into a downward spiral, and our memory recalls one tragic or stressful situation after another… the rollercoaster we’re on is now in motion. All we think about is how someone hurt us (emotionally, mentally, or perhaps physically), perhaps betrayed and lied to us, or even abandoned us. Our mind spins out of control until we are exhausted from an all too familiar adrenaline rush or a crying spell. During these episodes, we usually have a clouded mind and are unable to detach from long-standing grief or stored disappointment.
That is why Aromatherapy is such a fabulous commodity to have handy! It’s a simple and easy way to shift our mood from spiraling down to a positive place within minutes. The scents of Essential Oils are so powerful that they can re-route emotional sadness. Even if it’s difficult to remember the tools available during a crisis, just having one quick solution handy is super helpful, especially when it calms your overloaded mind, thoughts, and emotions.
The easiest and quickest way to feel encouraged is merely plugging in a Diffuser with a couple of delicious drops of aromatic scents. Citrus Oils especially! They have a way of turning a frown into a smile, often within minutes, and are among the favorites of most Essential Oil consumers. Their tangy and fresh scent is very uplifting, encouraging, and simply delightful. I encourage you to give it a whirl if you have never tried that. You might be pleasantly surprised! The Lemon oil may trigger a positive memory of mom’s delicious Lemon bars. Perhaps the Lime and Cilantro oil reminds you of a batch of freshly made guacamole. Isn’t it amazing how we associate smells with our emotions each and every day?
Although our nose remembers everything, we can shift our negative perception of an unpleasant memory into a more joyful thought by simply inhaling this celestial oil nectar.
Next time a certain scent triggers your emotions negatively, inhale or diffuse a couple of drops of delicious Lime, Lemon, or Grapefruit oil to activate the happy part of your brain.
If you’re already in a great place emotionally, using Aromatherapy naturally enhances and elevates your spirit and overall outlook in life. Happy sniffing!