Scent and Memories

The sense of smell is our oldest and arguably the most powerful of all the senses. Our sense of smell can ignite memories and influence our mood and behaviour. Scent and memories are inextricably linked, and your sense of smell is a powerful trigger of memories.

Understanding our sense of smell can help us realise the importance of scent and aroma in our lives and in our mindfulness meditations.

The olfactory system is responsible for our sense of smell and involves the detection and 

identification of molecules in the air. The scientific word for smelling is Olfaction, from Latin  of olfacere “to smell”.

The smelling system, unlike the other senses, is connected directly to the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system is the emotional centre of the brain. This simply means the connection between our sense of smell and emotions is more powerful than the other senses. 

The limbic system is also connected to our memory centre (Hippocampus) and our stress/fear centre (Amygdala) 

This is why odours can irrationally evoke positive or negative memories, emotions, and moods.

Scent and Meditation

The sense of taste consists of five main areas sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savoury. However, it is our nose that contains hundreds of receptors that give food its flavour. When we comfort eat we are evoking memories and moods because of the driven by emotions evoked by the power of our sense of smell.

Modern science tells us that different foods and chemicals can have the same smell because smelling is not actually based on the type of molecules but also on their vibration or frequency. So, smelling is about vibration. 

We see different colours because of the frequency/vibration of light. We hear because of the vibrations of sound. When we meditate, our breathing helps our bodies reach a calm vibrational state.

                        “Everything in Life is Vibration” – Albert Einstein

Many places of quiet contemplation, religious or spiritual centers also have incense or scented candles as the knowledge of the power of odours has been long held by many ancient cultures. 

Combining odours with your meditations can help take you to a place of peace – remember the connection between scent and memories?

Try this…

Burn your favourite smelling candle, melt or incense stick and try one of the  Mindfulness Meditation techniques in the previous blogs  The 105 Breaths or Focus and the power of thought .

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog.

Good luck.

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