Scents For Helping With Relaxation & Depression

Many different fragrances are commonly associated with memories. The smell of freshly baked goods might remind one of their childhood. The scent of flowers carried in the wind might take someone back to the day they received a romantic bouquet or enjoyed a wonderful vacation in the country. Our sense of smell is closely linked to the emotional region of the brain, and scents are often connected with events in our past. Scents additionally have the power to affect our body and mind in other ways that include helping to alleviate depression and inducing relaxation.

Types of Aromatherapy

There are many different ways to enjoy aromatherapy fragrances. Scented candles have been popular for decades. The soft light emitted also creates a relaxing environment. Scented bath salts or essential oils mixed in warm bath water serve to encourage muscle and mental relaxation. Essential oils can also be used for an invigorating massage or found in beauty products. Incense burners, candle lit or electric diffusers are available in a variety of styles, are portable and easily ignited, last for hours and just as easily extinguished. Anyone needing a pick-me-up need merely choose their favorite scent and the means to allow the aroma to waft through the air.

Lavender

A research project involved more than 40 college women who participated in a study that evaluated the effects of lavender on the body and mind. The fragrance of the common flowers effectively alleviated sleep disturbances and depression symptoms in the group who indulged in lavender aromatherapy sessions. In fact, the potency and power of the flower's aroma provides instantaneous relief for many.

Pine

The smell of pine brings thoughts of winter holiday memories to the forefront of many. The evergreen tree species might also conjour up memories of camping and hiking in the woods. Japanese researchers performed a study on the effects of pine scents involving a group of people diagnosed with depression. Some participants were required to take a casual stroll through a pine forest. The scientists found that the subjects reported a decrease in depression symptoms and reduced anxiety levels following their walk.

Freshly-Cut Grass

Though many groan at the thought of having to mow the lawn on the weekend, the scent that cut grass emits has been scientifically proven to elevate mood and promote relaxation. Some theorize that the scent may also inhibit mental decline as people grow older. The effects of the common summertime smell are so dramatic that one group of researchers developed an air freshener and a body scent especially for people living in urban areas without the benefit of being around lawns.

Jasmine

The fragrance produced by the tiny flowers demonstrates effective elevations in mood according to a study performed in 2010. Research participants exposed to the pleasant scent additionally reported that they felt more alert after smelling Jasmine. The stimulating effects help defeat negative thoughts, which also tend to be prevalent in people feeling blue.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "Scents For Helping With Relaxation & Depression," in PsychologyDictionary.org, March 6, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/scents-for-helping-with-relaxation-depression/ (accessed May 19, 2019).
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