An odor is the perception of an odorant (or chemical). This perceived odor is either pleasant or unpleasant to us. Most times, an odor is given a bad name and only used when something is unpleasant. The affect that odors can have on your mood and mental health can make or break your day.
Pleasant odors can:
· Boost your mood
· Make is easier to learn/work
· Make it easier to sleep
· Give you a higher pain resistance
· Decrease the occurrence of headaches and stomachaches.
Unpleasant odors can cause:
· Increased anxiety
· Elevated blood pressure
· Decrease in physical energy
· Compromised immune system
· Asthma attacks in asthma sufferers
· Physical discomfort (aches & pains)
· Increase in anger and stress levels
· Muscular control problems, fatigue (tiredness), confusion
What can you do to make your environment smell more pleasant?
· Open windows and let in fresh air ( if you’re not near a highway or other pollutant source))
· Air purifiers (ensure they are properly sized for the area you put them. One small purifier will not do much to improve the air in a decent sized room)
· Flowers and other odiferous plants
· Lightly scented candles and incense
· Change you’re A/C filter more frequently
Why don’t I recommend Air fresheners and plug ins?
Air fresheners and plug ins are great when you want to cover something up. But that’s all your doing. Sweeping it under the rug and throwing a blanket over it. You’re not getting rid of the unpleasant odor, your only making it.
Think about it this way. You’ve got a glass of water and you add food dye to it. Have you really changed the water, or just made it look different? It’s now just blue water. Unpleasant odors are just temporarily strong pleasant scents.
Too much scent, whether perfume, air freshener, deodorant or flowers can have negative impacts on your respiratory health. It can cause allergies and asthma attacks if the person is sensitive to that. It can also increase the frequency of headaches and make you feel quite crappy.
Finding the right amount of scent for YOU that you enjoy and is not detrimental to you is imperative.
“Health Effects of Odors.” Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health Chemical Hazards Program July, 2004.
“Odors and Your Health.” Ohio Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health and Radiation Division July 2015.