As the winds blow the leaves off trees and scatter them around, I recall fond childhood memories of collecting the red and yellow maple leaves from our front yard to adorn the tops of our furniture. The bright colors livened up our living space. The elements of nature brought inside felt and smelled earthy and grounding.
In the Fall, my mother loved to cook chili and homemade pasta sauce. My memory can still smell the pots’ rich aroma wafting through the house.
I didn’t place much value on these experiences at the time, but as an adult, red and yellow leaves plus these scents bring a sense of calm and nurturing. Our senses can do that. Positive psychology supports the theory that memories connected to sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures can shift our moods.
Scents specifically process through the olfactory nerve and run directly to our brain's limbic system, which is a complex system of networks in the brain that control our basic emotions and drives.
We can use this to our advantage. When we’re stressed or anxious, we can shift to more peace through sensory experiences tied to fond memories. I keep Young Living essential oils on hand for just that.
The emotions of peace (at 600 Hz) and joy (at 540 Hz) are two of the highest vibration states we have. Think back to the times you’ve been most peaceful or joyful…or both! What fragrances do you associate with them?
Or, what places in nature do you find the most calming or joyful? What scents do you associate with those locations? Maybe it's pine or spruce, or jasmine and lavender...maybe it's fruits like mango or coconut?
We can also use this as a personal rewards system. Especially for those who typically turn to retail therapy as a reward for hard work or navigating something stressful, we can choose to instead become present with the aromas that bring peace and joy.
After all, isn’t that what we’re really aspiring for anyway? Feeling at peace and in a state of joy!
May you fully experience the gift of your favorite aromas.
May your sensory experiences bring peace and joy this autumn.
May you feel nurtured and supported on your journey.