The moments that make us happy can take us by surprise. Instead of seizing them, they grab hold of us. Many times our happy moments come in the form of aromas or particular smells that rush up our noses and cause happy bubbles somewhere inside of us.
Surprisingly, science agrees with me. Scientists have identified smells that bring happiness to most people.
The smell of pine trees makes people happy
Thoughts of the aroma of pine trees bring pleasant thoughts and anticipation of winter holidays. However, once we are there, breathing in the smell of pine brings happiness. The Kyoto University in Japan studied the effect of shinrin-yoku on people who were anxious and depressed. A direct translation is “forest bathing,” a customary stroll in Japan’s pine forests. The scientists learned that the pine forest’s aroma significantly reduced the anxiety and depression in participants on days when they went for walks through the woods.
Happy associations with the smell of sunscreen
It is almost impossible not to think happy thoughts when we smell sunscreen. The smell is deeply rooted in our minds, bringing memories of stress-free vacations. Even older people like me can relive childhood pleasures with only a fleeting whiff of sunscreen.
What do studies say about citrus smells?
The power of 50 years of marketing cleaning materials with added lemon scents is amazing. Research has determined that citrus smells bring alertness and energy, all linked to the vision of clean and fresh surroundings. Moreover, those associations have proved to be stress-relieving and positive in the interaction with others. Citrus aromas have been proved to act as instant pick-me-uppers.
Happy smells Down Under
Australian researchers believe so strongly in the power of the smell of fresh-cut grass that they even bottled a spray-on grass scent. They determined that freshly-cut grass releases a chemical that causes people who smell it to feel joy and relax. This is no joke. They believe that the potent smell prevents age-related mental decline!
Mint is a mood elevator
The oil pressed from this herb is said to elevate mood and stimulate both body and mind. Along with providing happiness, smelling peppermint has been shown to improve athletes’ breathing and performance.
Rosemary makes more than happy meals
Personally, rosemary takes me back to when I was about five or six years old. My mother used to send me to pick a rosemary sprig in the garden whenever she cooked pasta dishes. That is why the smell makes me happy, but studies have shown the aroma to be powerful. Studies have shown rosemary as an amplifier of brainpower. Furthermore, it enhanced the ability to remember tasks and elaborate events in participants. Scientists say research is underway that could lead to the treatment of people with memory loss.
Stop to smell the roses, or jasmine or lavender
Flowers like lavender does not only make people happy. It also eases insomnia, depression and anxiety. Similarly, the aroma of jasmine has been found to bring calmness and boost moods.
How about baby powder?
Experts say the response of happy feelings brought on by the distinctive baby powder smell is nostalgic. The aroma invokes memories in both parents and their children, regardless of age. Parents relive the happiness brought by their young children years ago. Similarly, baby powder smells remind children of the safety, security and love they experienced as young children.
Do you also have smells that make you happy and take you back in time?