You can believe whatever you want to, but the truth is Aromatherapy is a pseudoscience and not based on any form of scientific studies. While I can’t see Aromatherapy curing half the things practitioners say it can I do still see the benefits of it. Not so much in the healing, spiritual side of things, but in the psychological and physical part of ourselves. This week we are continuing to stimulate our 5 main senses and today we will work on the power of smells of which some might call a form of DBT enhanced Aromatherapy…
While it is often overlooked our sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses in our bodies. Based on my own clients you will be surprised at the number of people who work out their triggers were based on smells rather than anything they can see or hear. The merest hint of a familiar smell can trigger the strongest of memories and flash-backs which happens because the brain and the nose are directly linked because the olfactory bulb (inside your nose) is part of the brain’s limbic system.
While I don’t think Aromatherapy can cure people as such I do think people see the benefits of being grounded by smells especially when they find one that is linked to a happy memory or safe space. You see, much of our emotional response to smell is governed by association, which means we link smells to memories so each smell is personal to us.
So when we talk about grounding ourselves in the moment, a smell might be the thing that works best for you. Here are some ideas in which that might work…
- Dabbing some scent onto your sleeve
- Having a cloth tissue covered in scent
- Rubbing some scent into the top of your mobile
- Having a scented candle in your pocket
- A ziplocked bag with some food in it
All those things above mean you can use the smell you find the safest and most appealing to ground yourself without anyone noticing that is what you are doing. Other things like taking some deep breaths or meditation work better, but you might feel a little strange in doing those things in public. A simple smell is something you can do discretely just about anywhere.
There have indeed been a number of studies and test cases in which bad smells are covered over with nicer smelling ones and the moment those smells hit peoples noses their opinions of that situation change from negative to positive. Even supermarkets use scent sprays to entice people through their doors! This is why when I learn the loss of smell is a sign of Covid I instantly become more mary of it and those around me. So…by now you probably already know what this weeks homework is going to be.
This Week’s Homework: If you haven’t already guessed by now what I would like you to do is to find a smell that makes you think of happy memories. I often find a seashell works well as it smells of the beach which for me means happiness and relaxation. But everyone is different, so you will need to discover what smell is right for you. Goto a supermarket and smell the fruits, flowers or anything else you might feel helps you think of something good. Once you have found that smell try to find a way of keeping it on yourself so whenever you are in a stressful situation or you feel yourself getting worked up just stick that smell under your beak and inhale.