Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

5 Smells That Make You Kinder, Happier, Nicer

Cinnabon knows what it’s doing. The smell of baking bread can make us kinder,  says a study from Journal of Social Psychology by scientists from the  University of Southern Brittany in France.

Wanting to test the notion that smells can influence behavior, the scientists  had eight young men and women stand outside either a bakery or a clothing store,  says the Independent. The participants were instructed to pretend to  be searching for something in their bags and then drop an object (a glove, a  handkerchief) while walking in front of a stranger.

People stopped to pick up the object about 77 percent of the time in front of  the bakery, versus 52 percent of the time outside the clothing store, according  to the researchers who observed the proceedings from some 60 feet away.

Eight participants is a small number but the scientists did repeat the  experiment some 400 times, notes the Daily Mail. From their observations, they state that

“Our results show that, in general, spontaneous  help is offered more in areas where pleasant ambient smells are spread.”

“This experiment confirms the role of ambient  food odours on altruism.”

One wonders at possible practical applications of this study. Could the  answer to us all getting along, dealing with anger management, turning the other  cheek for each other and so forth — to nothing other than world peace! — be to  waft the scent of bread baking around?

While contemplating such, here are four more smells that have been found to  lift up our spirits.

Peppermint

Pepper-mint

Researchers from Wheeling Jesuit University found that the smell of peppermint boosted both mood and motivation in  competitive athletes by making them run faster, do more push-ups and squeeze  a hand grip harder.

Spice Apple

Best Apples for Baking

The smell of American spice apple has been found to help reduce blood pressure. Perhaps that’s why a cup of  warm apple cider seems so inviting, not to mention the smell of an apple pie  baking?

Lavender

Lavender hill mob

No wonder some refer to this smell as nature’s own “chill-out oil.” Lavender scent has been found to help reduce stress and relieve pain (possibly).

Coffee

Coffee Beans

Or more precisely, roasted coffee beans: a South Korean study found that this aroma reduces stress in  rats. Scientists found that lab rats (who certainly have reason to be stressed)  had lower stress levels after smelling roasted coffee beans.

As a serious coffee drinker, I would agree with this. But one has to wonder  if not all smells are created equal for all people. My husband does not drink  any coffee and is no big fan of the smell — but then, in some twenty years of  daily contact with coffee’s aroma, he has never once complained.

by

Photos: bread: Thinkstock; peppermint: Sir_Iwan; apples: Veganbaking.net; lavender: Billy Reed: coffee beans: Peg Waggener.

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