The Mood-Altering Power of Aromatherapy

If you’ve ever been told “Stop being stressed”, or “Just relax”, you realize that this is as futile as commanding someone to have fun. Relaxation isn’t something you can force like a smile or a polite chuckle at an unfunny joke. People leading stressful lives, whether its stress from your job, family, or relationships, may find it hard to push out stressful thoughts for long enough to truly enjoy a sense of relaxation.

This mental block can not only lead to more stress but also severe health problems over time. A leading cause of signs of aging, and common skin problems in general, is a consistently stressful lifestyle.

If you are always stressed your skin’s reparatory and defensive mechanisms slow down leaving you vulnerable to the thousands of harmful external factors you encounter on a daily basis. Eventually, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in that you develop skin problems due to your stressful lifestyle and then begin to stress about those skin problems only leading to more skin problems and so on into oblivion.

What you need in this situation is a way to trigger relaxation so you can break the vicious cycle that stress causes. One such way that science has proven to assist in altering our mood and therefore more easily entering a state of relaxation is through the use of certain smells. This practice of using scents to alter mood and promote health and well being is often called aromatherapy.

Portrait of beautiful young long-haired woman

The thing that makes the phenomenon of altering mood through the use of scents truly fascinating is that everyone’s preferences are unique. There’s not one sure-fire scent that will change everyone’s mood the same way.

Now you might be aware that your sense of smell has the most direct and powerful link to your memory but did you know that it also holds a powerful bond to your emotions as well? Your sense of smell is directly linked to your limbic system which controls the parts of your brain that handle associative learning through the hippocampus as well as emotion via the amygdala. This means that in order for certain smells to have an effect on your mood you would first have to have an experience to which to associate them.

So, in a dumb example, someone who has fond memories of growing up next to a lavender field would have a more positive reaction to the odor of lavender than someone who was once attacked by a swarm of bees in a lavender field.

However, since most people have never been attacked by a swarm of bees in traditionally pleasant environments, there are certain scents that elicit a similar reaction in a majority of people. For instance, certain studies have shown that citrus smells tend to ease anxiety and reduce stress in most people. In other studies peppermint has been linked with increased energy and reduction of perceived workload.

Those are simply generalities and may not necessarily evoke the same emotions in you which is why it is important to find your personal favorite scent. Do some experimenting on your own and try to find which scent will take you to a happier time or place.

Once you find your favorite scent you will know it because the bond between smell, memory, and emotion is noticeably strong. This may seem trivial and even a little “new-agey” but reducing your stress level, however, you can is critical to your overall health and quality of life.

It’s simple logic that people in good moods get more done and are more proactive than people in bad moods so if you were to find a scent that puts you in a better mood you’ll get more done and be less stressed. Less stress means better skin and better skin means even less stress. See? The previously mentioned vicious cycle can work both ways!

Whether you’re overburdened by stress or not, you need something more powerful than sense-memory to keep you skin looking vibrant and healthy. Lira Clinical has everything you need to bolster your skin’s natural defenses while actively reversing damage and signs of aging. Check out all of the diverse and revolutionary lines of skin care that Lira has to offer at today!

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