You might not realize it but your sense of smell can influence behaviors, memories, moods, thoughts, and emotions. There’s a science to why this is so and how the effects of scents can linger for a long period of time. Learn how you can actually derive emotional support from scents of essential oils so you too can benefit from them.
Relying on Essential Oils for Emotional Support
Understanding the Science and Effects of Smell
Not all people have the same appreciation of particular scents. There are people who find the fishy smell of the beach repulsive and there are some who simply feel immense joy. The scientific explanation of how scents trigger emotional reactions lie in the olfactory system’s brain pathways.
Olfactory data, or the scents detected by your sense of smell, are stored in your brain along with the memories and associations that come with them. Experts interviewed by The Smell Report explained that your sense of smell has a direct connection to the limbic system of the brain. Your limbic system is the seat of your emotions. When you smell something, it sets off your cognitive recognition. By the time you correctly name a certain smell, the scent has already awakened the emotional response that corresponds to it.
Numerous studies have already established that the odor learning ability starts in the womb. While in the womb, the fetus can detect the odors and flavors present in the amniotic fluid. These come from the mother’s meals. In the studies, groups of mothers were closely monitored as they consumed foods that have distinctive smelling substances, such as garlic and alcohol. Their babies were more responsive to the scents they were introduced to while they were still in their mother’s womb.
Your Sense of Smell Affects Emotions More Than Your Other Senses
The inputs for your other senses (primarily sight and sound) do not affect your emotions as much as the inputs for your sense of smell. Information about what you see and hear are delivered to your thalamus. This part of your brain acts like a switchboard that receives and then transmits the information to the primary sensory cortices. With your sense of smell, the olfactory inputs do not go straight to your thalamus. They pass through other areas of your brain, including the regions that control your emotion and memory. The inputs are processed by these other regions even before you become conscious of their presence.
It is this characteristic of your sense of smell that makes it possible for you to get emotional support from essential oils. Essential oils contain highly concentrated and active volatile compounds that offer therapeutic benefits. You only need to use a small amount to get the full benefits of these oils. Understand that only therapeutic grade and pure essential oils from plants can provide such benefits. Unfortunately, some products that claim to be pure essential oils are actually adulterated with synthetic fragrance. In such case, the products will not be able to provide the emotional support that you need. On the contrary, it could even cause allergic reactions and other adverse health effects.
Finding Comfort in Essential Oils
People have been reaping immense benefits from essential oils for centuries. Ancient civilizations used essential oils to cure ailments and to calm their mind and body. In this modern age where more advanced therapies and psychosocial treatments abound, you can still rely on essential oils for emotional support. Use oils in various applications including aromatherapy and massage therapy. If you are looking for a very inexpensive essential oil diffuser, check out GOS Essential Oil Diffusers.
Here is a short list of essential oils and their benefits:
1. Lavender – helps alleviate panic attacks, stress, anxiety, pain, irritability, nausea, and depressed mood.
2. Bergamot – can help you deal with insecurity, fatigue, loneliness, fear, stress, and anxiety.
3. Orange – can help you ease your anxiety, fear, and depression.
4. Rose – can help ease your grief, anxiety, panic attack, depression, and stress.
5. Roman chamomile – can help take away your anxiety, anger, gloominess, fear, loneliness, and irritability.
6. Rosemary – can help you with your low energy, memory and concentration, exhaustion and burnout, and low self-esteem.
There are other essential oils that you can use for emotional support and for other benefits to your body and well-being. Instead of popping a pill whenever you don’t feel quite right, try making use of the power of the combination of your sense of smell and essential oils.