Have you ever felt like you were in a completely different place? When I was a tenager I started going to watch live football matches with a couple of friends. But every time we went I would remember my Grandad. Yes he was a York City fan, but that is not why. He smoked a pipe.
York were (and still are) a small team and because of that there was always plenty of room and we pretty much always sat in the same place. There was a gentleman who would be there every week and smoke his pipe all the way through the game.
I am sure I must have known other people who smoked a pipe, but I was just six when my grandad died and so have very few real memories. But even all these years later when I smell pipe tobacco now it reminds me of Grandad.
We all have these smells, the ones that don’t just make us think of a person, but take us back there, for some it might be the smell of their mums cooking, or the smell of a log fire but for me it is that pipe.
Our olfactory bulb (a part of the system dedicated to our sense of smell) is the only one of the senes that feeds directly into the brain, unlike the other senses which are all relayed through the thalamus (the gray matter in your brain).
It is sometimes called the “Proust Phenomenon”, but did you know that it has been shown to be even more pronounced for memories from when we are under 10! That is one of the reasons that the smell of pipe still has such strong reactions.
Ok, so how does this help us to take our positive reprogramming to the next level.
Positive self talk and affirmations are both great at supporting mental health, giving us more confidence and helping us to deal with difficult situations. They rely on you regementing these things so they are there for you to call on when you need them.
Saying ‘I am confident’ into a mirror every day for a month will improve your confidence. But imagine if you had a smell to go with that affirmation, imagine that everytime you smelt Wild Orange (The oil of confident public speaking!) you felt more confident.
Couple that incredibly evocative sense of smell with the affirmation and bam, you have an instant boost. So next time you are doing your affirmation reach for an essential oil and use that too. Use the same oil EVERY day and you will start to associate that oil with the thing you want to be.
Here are a few affirmations and oils that work really well together:
I am confident – Wild Orange
I am enough – bergamot
I can do this – peppermint
I am calm – Adaptive
Be gentle with yourself, reprogramming your brain takes time and patience. But with consistency and positivity you can overcome those fears and be a stronger more confident person.