• Beth

Helping with the balancing act.

Essential Oils are like stablisers when you’re starting to ride a bike, you’re doing the hard work of keeping your legs and arms going in the right direction and the stabilisers are working away in the background making sure you don’t fall down. This is how I view my usage of essential oils. I’m doing the grafting but they’re working away in the background making sure everything is ticking over.

Aroma research is fascinating, our sense of smell is an incredible tool and we can use it to our advantage! You know how your mouth waters when you smell chocolate? We can program ourselves to have a similar (although less drool-filled) response when we smell a certain oil.

One of the most well-studied areas of aroma research is the effect of smell on emotions and mood. For example, there is convincing evidence demonstrating that simply inhaling the aroma of an essential oil is effective for calming nervous or anxious feelings in a variety of settings. The smell receptors located on the upper surface of the nasal cavity make direct links with the limbic system of the brain, an area that governs the body’s emotional responses. This close connection between aroma and emotion becomes obvious in our everyday life as certain odors trigger memories or specific feelings. Some aromas directly impact mood (for example calming, balancing, or invigorating), while others trigger memories of a specific experience, often one tied to a strong emotion.

Intriguing new research has also helped us recognize that the benefits of aroma extend far beyond just emotional regulation. In addition to influencing the limbic region of the brain, olfactory centers are also intricately linked with the hypothalamus, an area of the brain more familiarly nicknamed the “visceral control center” because it controls physiologic functions throughout the body. The hypothalamus exerts its powerful influence by interacting directly with the pituitary gland, or “master gland,” a small gland located in the brain. The pituitary gland secretes hormones involved in the regulation of blood pressure, hunger and thirst signals, thyroid function, sleep cycles, production of sexual hormones, and memory, among other things. Because of the direct link of the olfactory system to this area of the brain, aroma is capable of interacting directly with the hypothalamus, influencing neurochemistry throughout the body, and, in turn, potentiating powerful health outcomes.

Full article can be found https://www.doterra.com/US/en/brochures-magazines-doterra-living-spring-2015-the-power-of-aromaed triggers to help them stick. Think about if you have the habit of having a bar (or two) of chocolate if you’re upset. The trigger is that you’re feeling upset and the reward is the chocolate. The brilliant thing is that it’s possible to change your trigger into something lovely like a smell and then the reward is the habit that you’re trying to create.

So how does this link to building habits? For me lemongrass anchors me into the feeling of getting stuff done and being productive. Now I love feeling like this so that smell makes me want to get on with whatever task I need to do.

When you’re developing linking the habit to a smell it does take a bit of effort. You need to smell the scent you’re wanting to anchor with and then Visualise yourself doing the thing. For example; I smelt the lemongrass and then visualised getting my admin done and how great it made me feel. It can take a couple of goes to get the scent and feeling anchored but it’s so worth it! Give it a go and let me know how you get on!

If you’d like to link your habits to a scent head over to the Services page and book a consultation about getting started with essential oils.

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