The right aromas can make you stronger, healthier, and happier, new research shows. Learn how to sniff out your full wellness potential, from more energy to a flatter belly.
Smell is the most influential sense you have. Unlike sight, hearing, taste, or touch, your sense of smell has a direct effect on your brain and the programming of your emotions, memory, energy level, and even endurance, says Bryan Raudenbush, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Wheeling Jesuit University who has studied scent extensively.
The biggest surprise, though, as scientists are now discovering, is that smell doesn’t just involve your nose. In fact, “more than half of your olfactory receptors are distributed throughout the body, including in the skin, muscles, gut, and lungs,” says Hanns Hatt, Ph.D., a researcher from Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. When exposed to the right aromas, these scent receptors can do amazing things, such as speed your recovery from injury or illness, improve your digestion, and even help you breathe more deeply. These are gains you definitely want to get in on—and these tips will show you how.