Did you know that smells are often
associated with memory?
My former colleague, Heather, was recently walking through the grocery store and was absolutely certain that she smelled her Grandmother (who passed away in 2009).
Even though she KNEW it was not her Grandmother in the store, Heather still did a few peeks down the aisles just to be certain. And after a few “walk throughs” around the store, she finally determined that someone in one of the aisles must have been wearing the same perfume her grandmother had worn every day of her life.
So what does this mean?
Think back to a time that you remembered something based on smell alone. Whenever I smell vanilla, I am brought back to the times I spent baking with my grandmother growing up. When I smell a barbecue, I think of roasting (or burning) marshmallows at camp. And when I smell cinnamon, I don’t necessarily associate a memory, but feelings of calm and peace.
Just as smells can be associated with positive memories, they can also be associated with negative memories. Situations that evoke feelings of pain or fear can be stored in our bodies. We may not have the words to describe what we felt or experienced, but a smell, taste, sound, or touch can bring up very strong reactions.
In my mission to help others incorporate the 5 senses into self-care, I was able to connect with Heather and learn 4 ways that she incorporates the sense of smell into her self-care!
1. Enjoy nature
Heather explained, “I like to hike or do nature walks. There is a certain smell to the outdoors- pine, sunshine, rain, leaves, cut grass, lakes/ponds…they all have their own distinct smell. I love taking the dog and kids for nature walks or “bug hunts” during the fall! I love being outdoors…the smells remind me of some of my favorite places…Colorado, Yellowstone, West Virginia. I love it!”
2. Get a Massage
One of my favorite self-care techniques is getting a massage. I love being in heat, so I always add hot stones to the menu. Heather loves massages with essential oils, which can be very beneficial due to Vita Flex Points all over the body (specifically on the hands and feet).
3. Savor smells
Bake, cook, or BBQ. Burn candles. Buy (or make your own) face or body wash with your favorite scent. Color with scented markers. The list is endless!
(There are some affiliate links included. Should you use them to make a purchase, they won’t change your price, but will share some commission with me).
4. Use essential oils
Essential Oils (EO) are the most condensed version of a plant (usually made through distillation) that still contain the core properties of the plant. EOs contain the same vibration as the living plant; therefore, they can be used for a variety of purposes from cleaning your home to supporting your digestive system to helping you establish healthy sleeping habits. Learn more here!
Essential Oils are used in three different ways:
[Warning: read the labels before using any oils and seek medical advice when necessary].
- Aromatically: You can aromatically use essential oils by diffusing, inhaling directly from the bottle, indirect inhalation (adding a drop or two to a piece of fabric or a diffuser bracelet or necklace), in a vapor/steam tent (a few drops on a washcloth while you take a shower), or as a natural room deodorizer spray.
- Topically: EOs are categorized as NEAT, SENSITIVE, and HOT.
- NEAT means that an oil is safe to apply directly to the skin without a carrier oil (or any plant-based, v6 oil).
- SENSITIVE means that while SOME people can use an oil topically, some others may experience sensitivity. If this happens, immediately dilute the area with carrier oil.
- HOT oils should always be diluted. These oils will cause irritation to the skin if applied directly to the skin. They almost always should be diluted at a 1:3 ratio, possibly higher depending on a person’s age or sensitivity.
- Internal use: Young Living Essential Oils can be ingested with food/water or in a capsule with a carrier oil. The guidelines are much more strict than aromatic or topical use. Contact Heather to learn more!
Comment below with other ways that YOU incorporate the sense of smell into your daily self-care!