How to Reduce Your Stress with a Sniff

When you are doing too much, your stress can cause your body to change in harmful ways. My post Recognize Your Stress Levels lists several ways your body changes. But did you know that stress affects your sense of smell? And did you know that certain scents can allow you to reduce your stress with a sniff? Your Sense of Smell In evolutionary terms, your sense of smell is the oldest of your senses. How does it work? Air comes through your nose and passes over a patch of specialized sensory cells found high inside the nose. These cells send messages to the brain when they detect molecules of a scent. Your brain identifies the odor. But your nose is only part of your sense of smell. There is a tiny channel that connects the roof of your mouth to your nose. Chewing food releases scents that travel through this channel. If congestion blocks this channel (like when you have a cold) food doesn’t taste the same. Another aid to your sense of smell is something called the common chemical sense. It’s made of thousands of nerve endings in the moist areas of your nose, mouth, and eyes. They detect irritating substances such as […]