How fragrance can lift your mood
Today is so-called Blue Monday: supposedly the most depressing day of the year. The third Monday in January has been dubbed Blue Monday for several years as this is the day when the credit card bills start to arrive, it’s still a long time until pay day, the Christmas festivities are over, and many of us are left feeling broke and flabby. January weather doesn’t help either.
If this day has been deemed to be the most depressing in a regular year, how will we all feel in a global pandemic; a period that has had a huge negative impact on mental health already.
In actual fact, it seems there is very little scientific basis for Blue Monday and people feeling especially low on this particular day. However, many people are really struggling at the moment with anxiety and depression at a high and feeling very cut off from our friends and family who we can’t physically see at the moment.
Everyone has different ways of coping with low mood, and it’s always useful to have a range of remedies in our mental health toolkits. Something that has been shown to have a positive affect on mood is scent. This is because our olfactory response is linked to the emotional centre of our brains, meaning that smells have the power to trigger a physiological response. In short, the right fragrance can lift our mood and make us feel better.
Fragrances linked to improving mood
There are a number of fragrances that studies have shown are particularly effective for lifting your spirits. They include the following:
I know we often think of vanilla as being a little bland and uninteresting but vanilla base notes are very common in many fragrance blends due to its uplifting nature. It is believed to elevate feelings of joy and relaxation and can act as an anti-depressant.
Delicate jasmine is said to create a sense of alertness, help deal with depressive thoughts, and lift mood. Research has shown that it can have a direct impact on the central nervous system and can even help alleviate panic attacks.
The subtle, floral fragrance often associated with Earl Grey tea has long been used to stabilise and elevate mood as well as alleviate symptoms of low energy.
Fresh, zingy lemon is commonly used in aromatherapy to reduce anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure, and even calm allergies.
Most of us recognise lavender’s ability to aid sleep but it can also be used to treat anxiety and promote calm.
Can scents really boost mood?
The evidence really does seem to suggest that they can and, at the end of the day, what do you have to lose? Fragrance is something that everyone has access to, is completely safe, and at the very least, will make your home smell lovely. For the possibility that it could do a whole lot more, it really is worth trying.