Hey! You (should) smell!
Or you should, especially if you get caught up in stress, boredom, anxiety, too much thinking, or compulsive responses.
Smelling enlivens you back to your senses. In the spring we get to put our noses in tulips, lilacs, apple blossoms, peonies, jasmine… whatever is in bloom in your neighborhood (that you’re not allergic to!).
Your olfactory sense returns you to the now, being alive on the earth. It returns you to your body.
And the process of smelling also expands how you breathe.
Try it out: Take a regular inhale and notice your body’s response. (Always a helpful thing.)
Now imagine you’re smelling something fragrant…
…your nose is right up into a magnolia blossom. Notice your body responding to that.
Smelling brings attention to the nostrils to start. Smell receptors at the top of the nasal passage send impulses to the olfactory bulb at the base of the brain.
There’s also a different rhythm to your breath when you smell… longer, slower, expanding the lungs. And that permeates into the whole body.
If you’re unhappily awake at night, imagining you’re smelling something delightful. That reduces stress, and of course it works during the day as well.
Right now, it’s spring! Let’s get out of the imagination into reality.
Take your nose outdoors. Let your body guide you to remembering you are part of nature.
And by the way, you smell good!
Breathing in the gift of life,