Can’t You Just Smell It? It smells like rain, like home, like success...
Your sense of smell is powerful, and it is anatomically linked to your limbic brain (your emotional brain) and hippocampus, responsible for long-term memory. As a result, the scent of something from long ago:
a loved one’s sweater
fresh baking bread
can take you right back to those people and situations.
With all of that, the sense of smell, is one of the underappreciated senses.
I, CrisMarie, have a pretty sensitive nose. Some of the things I notice are: the smell of when it’s about to rain, the unique scent in a Las Vegas Cir-du-Soleil show, and when bacon has been cooked in the house. I love the taste of bacon, and hate the smell after it’s been cooked. (BTW, if you’re like me and hate that cooked bacon smell, place a bowl of vinegar out. It will neutralize the smell in an about an hour or so).
Here are some other interesting facts you may not know about your sense of smell.
Smell is the oldest sense. The ability to detect chemicals related to smell or taste — is the most ancient sense. Even a single cell animal has ways to detect the chemical composition of the environment.
Everyone has a unique "smellprint": No two people smell things the same way because each of us has scent blind spots, meaning specific odors we can't pick up on. This happens with Susan and me when we’re walking in the woods. She’ll pick up on a rancid scent, which she’s interpreted is a dead animal, that I don’t detect at all.
Smell links to other functions. The large amount of connections in the central nervous system links our sense of smell to other functions such as what we eat, regulation of temperature, our sleep cycle, memory, hearing, vision and taste.
Stress Makes Your Environment Stink. When you are stressed or anxious, your sense of smell becomes more acute. However, even neutral smells you perceive as less pleasant. So the more anxious you are, the smellier the world becomes.
Good smells make you happier: When you smell a scent that you like it improves your mood. So if you love lavender, jasmine, or patchouli, keep it around you as a candle, essential oil on you, or in a diffuser. Apparently, lavender makes a lot of us happier. So you may want to try it.
Your sense of smell is important to your survival. You can attest to this if you’ve ever awoken to the smell of smoke in the middle of the night and gotten out of the house to safety in a fire.
How cool is that?
My sense of smell has been heighted to notice the smell of skunk. This is because living in Montana, our dogs have been skunked more than once. During the summer when we have the windows open, I often wake up if the faintest whiff of skunk wafts in. This enables me to get up to close all the windows before we’re inundated.
Once when Susan was in a really grumpy mood I asked if she’d be willing to try something. All she’d have to do is sit there with her eyes closed and say if she liked or disliked a scent. I grabbed my basket full of essential oils. One by one I placed them under her nose. As she started she didn’t most of them. Then I started to go through the same ones again.
Lo and behold, scents Susan disliked a few minutes before, she now thought were pleasant. The very process of smelling these essential oils opened her to a more positive mood, and as a result, more positive scent experiences. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself.
Now to you. Your challenge this week.
Notice the scents around you, at home, at work, out in nature. What scents do you like? What don’t you like?
What happens if you burn a candle at your desk or diffuse some essential oils? Notice how that changes your productivity, your mood, your sense of optimism.
Take your time as you eat. Smell your food before you put it in your mouth. Notice what you like and what you don’t.
Find Your Mojo in Montana Leadership Development Retreat
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CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke
Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict
CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.
They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.
Check out their website: www.thriveinc.com. Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.