Welcome to the heartbeat of Integrative Counsel, our blog where tranquility meets transformation. This is your sanctuary for insights and wisdom on nurturing a harmonious connection between mind, body, and spirit.
It’s a simple question, but when you’re really going through it emotionally, it’s not one that we always have the capacity to answer. That’s why we’ve got you covered with examples, exercises, and the science that backs it all up. Your sense of smell can be a powerful tool for triggering emotions, memories, and keeping your body regulated. Self-soothing is a necessary skill that we all deserve to use freely, and by understanding the power of your sense of smell, you can bring your self-soothing skills to the next level.
– Helen Keller
“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.”
Psychological self-soothing is an articulate way of describing the things we do to make ourselves happier. By self-soothing, we can calm ourselves down when we feel triggered or upset without relying on the kindness of others. One of the most reliable ways to self-soothe is to involve your body’s senses. When you involve your physical body in the process of self soothing, it can jumpstart the process of calming down by directly accessing your brain through your body.
Believe it or not, there are specific smells that humans have used to calm down and recuperate for thousands of years. All over the world we can find records and traditions of human beings using smell to comfort their mind, body, and spirit. Whether it’s the incense burning in ancient Judaism, the tea ceremonies of Zen Buddhism, or even all the way back to the prehistoric campfires our distant ancestors gathered around, human beings love to sniff good smells. Results may vary, as the web of associations that our brain makes with different smells can be very different from person to person, but for the most part there are several smells that are generally agreed to help with anxiety and general emotional activation.
Your sense of smell is a powerful gateway to your memories. By drawing upon smells that you have positive associations with, and creating new positive associations with smells that are readily accessible to you, you can use the instantaneous connection between smell and the brain to improve your quality of living.
“Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.”– Vladimir Nabokov
Sunny Ebsary is an educator, multi-modal artist, and writer specializing in the intersection of myth and mental health. Sunny’s writing walks the line between poetic and logical, giving readers a chance to interface with the mind and imagination. Sunny’s been putting pen to paper since he was a child, writing everything from albums, novels, and plays, to essays, interactive games, and of course, many articles! While studying both psychology and writing, he realized his real passion in life was helping others unlock their creative spark. Whether he’s leading a D&D game, directing a production, or diving deep into the brain, you can be sure Sunny will be ushering you toward finding meaning in your life.
February 8, 2024
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