A ‘Smell Walk’ Has Surprising Mood-Boosting Powers
You may observe the sights, sounds, and weather while taking a leisurely walk in the neighborhood. But some people suggest that you should also take the time to appreciate and experience the various scents around you. Best Life, a lifestyle site says that engaging in a “smell walk” can actually enhance your mood and significantly reduce your stress levels.
But what exactly is a smell walk?
A “smell walk” is basically just taking a walk and really getting into all the different smells around you. “When we give our attention to specific sensory input such as the smells in our environment, we are naturally focused on the present rather than the past or future,” clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, PhD, tells Best Life. “The experience of a smell walk allows us to detach from the racing, busy mind and focus on the various scents in our environment.”
According to the site, if you find traditional meditation challenging, a smell walk can be a more active alternative. It still allows you to attain a similar state of mindfulness. They say it’s a great way to engage in the practice and experience its benefits.
According to Olivia Dreizen Howell, one of the site’s experts, our sense of smell is directly connected to the brain’s limbic system. It plays a role in our emotions and memories. This connection means that the scents we encounter during a smell walk can actually influence our subconscious mind.
If you’re wanting to try a smell walk, they suggest simply getting outside. There’s no need to seek out the perfect spot. Whether you’re in the city, by the beach, or surrounded by nature in the woods, any location will do. The best part is your walk can be as short or as long as you like—totally up to you.
Once you’re outside, just immerse yourself in the experience. Tune into your surroundings and let the aromas guide you.
Take a look at the full breakdown and science behind a smell walk here.