The olfactory sense, sense of smell, is amazing, and its link to emotions is profound. Your olfactory cortex is the segment of the brain that processes the sense of smell. It is a part of the limbic system which is responsible for the processing of emotions (amygdala & hypothalamus), and the formation of memories (hippocampus). The limbic system is one of the triggers for parasympathetic, “rest and digest”, and sympathetic, “fight or flight”, responses from the endocrine and autonomic nervous systems.
The understanding of this process gives us the ability, and a tool to use, to guide the brain and body toward a state of calm. So when a stressor of daily life triggers our stress response we can process the stressor, restore balance, allow our bodies to “rest and digest”, and move forward.
Aromatherapy is the use of aromatics to create a positive physiological response. It is one of the tools I have found extremely effective in calming the stress response. I use essential oils and custom blends as a way to enhance well-being by providing therapeutic and emotional support both in and out of session.
What are your favorite scents? How can you draw on them to calm yourself during a time of stress?
Your partner in wellness,