Do you have a favorite aroma? Is there one that you find especially motivating and energizing? Many people find a citrus aroma motivating and empowering, providing them with energy. Some people find things like peppermint uplifting and energizing.
Recently, I was reading about forest bathing in a book I picked up at a botanical garden. In the book, a Japanese scientist examined forest bathing, popular in Japan, from a scientific point of view. In many Japanese cities, they have places where there are trees so that they can practice forest bathing. The book is filled with beautiful photographs of green, lush forests.
Next time you’re in nature or even looking at a photo or video online, notice how trees sway in the wind. Run your hands over its bark. Take a nice deep breath to breathe in its citrusy or pine scent.
As a society, we experience what scientists call nature deficit. Studies have shown that spending mindful, intentional time around trees--what the Japanese call shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing--can promote health and happiness.
Forrst bathing is about slowing down and becoming immersed in nature using all our senses. Connecting. Meandering. Mindfully noticing details. And, from what I learned in the book, it’s especially especially trees.
About halfway through the book, he started talking about aromatherapy and the connection between forest bathing and aromatherapy, specifically the aroma of trees. Scientists are discovering that when in nature, it's not simply the relaxing atmosphere or natural aroma that rejuvenates us. It is the aroma, specifically of trees which I find fascinating.
When I'm hiking, I love to grab some pine needles and rub them between my hands. Pine is one of my favorite, most energizing scents. It's a very energetic aroma.
Aroma Reset uses our sense of smell and you can also use just your breath which calms your nervous system. An herbal tea bag, green leaves of a tree, flowers – anything fresh and natural. Nothing synthetic like hand lotion or candles. Use things found in nature.
The four Aroma Reset steps directly connect with our mind, body, and emotion and is based on neuroscience. Neuroscience is the science of our nervous system, brain and all the nerves that wind throughout our body, communicating between our body and brain.
Significantly, 80% of this system's communication is back to our brain. So our body sends information about our state of being to the brain.
One of the primary purposes of our nervous system is to inform our brain how safe we feel. You may have heard about fight and flight. There's a purpose to that. When we detect something that feels unsafe to us, our body lets letting our brain know we need to do something. We need to take action. We need to either fight or get out of the situation.
They're both correct responses to a situation that feels unsafe. Neither is better than the other.
Sometimes you can stand up for yourself. Sometimes, you can leave. Other times you can choose a blend of both where you say something like, “Well, if you continue to yell at me, I'm going to end the conversation,” which is a blend of both fight and flight.
The key is to respond to that information in our body, telling our brain we feel unsafe before it escalates. When feeling unsafe becomes chronic and ongoing, it can cause many physical, mental and emotional issues.
Today, it's sometimes difficult to respond to the signal of fight and flight. We may be so accustomed to just stuffing it down and moving along. That creates nervous system dysregulation.
So this is one technique that helps with all of that, balancing our emotions, being able to calm ourselves down quickly and easily and using our breath and mind to help center focus and be able to take some action to self-protect, even in a stressful work environment. I had a very stressful work environment, and I didn't know of this technique at the time, but I can see how some of what I had done and learned about helped me at that time to sort of do the same thing, just not in an outlined practice sort of way.
You can listen to the recording or grab the audio version of the reset below. Experiment with one situation that right now feels overwhelming, frustrating or confusing.
Tuning into our body is one way to strengthen and heal our nervous system. This is called interoception, which means noticing what's happening inside our body.
Aroma connects to our brains in a unique way. We have five senses sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Our sense of sight, sound, touch and taste stop at a particular part of our brain for processing. That part of our brain decides what's important and what's unimportant. This is why, for example, you can walk across the street and stumble, hurt your ankle, and even fall to the ground. You can get up on that hurt ankle and get across the street because your brain decides the pain in your ankle is not as important as getting up, mobilizing your muscles to get across the street.
Our sense of smell connects directly to the part of our brain responsible for instinct, emotions, memories and stories that run on autopilot. Our core beliefs about ourselves and the world around us are deep in this part of the brain and our sense of smell can help unlock us when we’re stuck.
For more info and a guided reset, click the recording below. It was a live social media group and I shared from the heart some things I'm learning to heal my emotions and nervous system.
(In the recording, my parrots were a bit active and then I was outside on the deck enjoying the outdoors and wild birds. Enjoy the recording. At the end, I share more that isn’t included in this post.)
Enjoy and you can also download this to your device.
You can also download the written guide, graphic and dedicated reset recording here:
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Click here to get your Aroma Reset guide - This simple technique clears your limiting beliefs and negative thoughts. Your powerful sense of smell unlocks the part of your subconscious brain responsible for making decisions on autopilot. That instinct or survival brain isn't open to reason and logic. Empower yourself at that level to accomplish every goal you set!
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