Don’t Scratch Your Head to Stop Your Foot from Itching
I have mentioned “coming to your senses” to stop your anxiety before, but why is it easier to smell something to calm down, than to try to “think your way” out of anxiety? It’s actually quite simple. Our anxiety is experienced in our limbic system, our emotion center, which is a primitive part of our brain. Our ability to “think” about something intellectually is in our frontal cortex, a much newer part of the brain. Our five (or six) senses are also experienced in our limbic system. In fact, our sense of smell is one of our most primitive and oldest functions. It’s much easier to make a change within your emotion center than to try and switch to a different part of your brain and get it to control the part of the brain you are already experiencing. So it may sound silly, but it is like scratching your head to stop your foot from itching.
Senses are related
Our senses have a special relationship with each other. You wouldn’t believe it unless you consider what our spoken language depicts about senses of smell and taste. Why would anyone say that a person is rotten if there was no relationship between the senses? Sometimes you hear someone relate ideas to how they think they are stinking or how they love coffee simply because of its aroma. Someone may get anxious because they smelled or tasted something awful. This means that it is possible to change our emotions by using our senses to our advantage. Vision can also be associated with development or relief from anxious moments. It is easy to visualize and desire to go to a swimming pool by simply smelling chlorine. It can go as far as remembering childhood events without any other added stimulus.
Change of Perception
We can change the way we feel or think by using our senses of smell. Most people have something that when they smell, taste, touch, or perceive in any other form offers them a sense of security. It may be that when you take warm soup, you feel comforted and a feeling of warmth and love follows. This happens a lot in us though we may be too busy to consider or even appreciate it. The cognitive function helps us to relate good things with the senses that we have once associated them or thought about at some point in time. Anything that brings a happy sensation or evokes a positive visualization can be used to manage anxiety. Some weird stuff works for different people and it is all about perception. It is not uncommon to find someone being obsessed with a scent from the opposite sex. The thing is that they associate it with passion and their stress or depression goes away. Most people know that there is something that they can do to assuage the symptoms of anxiety. The only problem sometimes is that they may be too occupied in finding help from other sources since they seem to think that their remedy is inferior. The truth of the matter is, you could need something as cheap as a scent to make your holiday worth remembering.
Anxiety is Complex
It is important to note that anxiety is a complex process that has more components than just fear of something. The mood, senses, and the entire body systems are involved more often than not. The same sense of smell which can be used to keep anxiety in check is able to cause anxiety. The secret here is to use the sense of smell to your advantage. You want your body to feel secure. This comes through creating a positive environment. You can do this by modifying any of the senses accordingly. If you can get your brain to believe that you are in the right place, you have dealt with anxiety effectively. When you are calm, your mind filters scents that are not registered as important. This explains why all of a sudden you feel that many things around you are smelly whenever you are anxious. Classical conditioning is a technique that can be practiced and ingrained in your brain. Some people can naturally calm their anxiety by use of good scents. Here, the sense of smell is utilized to get you calm. For other people who may not have such associations, they can learn to picture a relaxing scenario when they smell something. It is very easy to achieve this state of calmness. You begin to enjoy the scent and relax. It takes only a few repeated conditioned actions and there you go feeling calm whenever the scent comes your way.
You can use a number of scents to achieve different purposes. All are aimed at improving the mental and physical health. Jasmine can be your sleep aid while peppermint is known to help the individual feel active. Lavender is great for relaxation. Keep scented oil or a perfume with you if you know that you may be a victim of anxiety.