Using Your Senses and Enjoying
the Fragrances in the
Smelling and touching the plants that grow around
you affects your mood and well-being. When the volatile oils from a scented plant are inhaled (smelled),
neurochemicals are released in the brain and physiological changes in the body are experienced. For example,
when lavender is inhaled, serotonin is released, producing a calming influence in the
Think of what the smell of buttery popcorn smells
like. Imagine you are smelling buttery popcorn right now. Go ahead...allow yourself to imagine the
What images, memories or experiences came
Some people might associate the smell of popcorn
with being in a movie theatre. Just imagining the smell of popcorn can cause people to feel the same emotions
they would have had if they were experiencing a relaxing, fun night out at the movies with friends or family
on the weekend.
This phenomenon happens because your sense of smell
is also intimately connected with your emotions and memories.
The next time you are in your garden, take the time
to delight your senses to improve your emotions and sense of well-being. Try the exercise below if you need
some ideas on how to get your senses engaged:
Choose a scented plant in the garden that you find
attractive. Take a few moments to smell the plant, closing your eyes while you do so if you like. Notice how
the scent affects you. Does it change your mood, thoughts, or emotions?
Now take a few moments to touch the same plant with
your skin, closing your eyes while you do so if you like. Notice how the physical sensation of feeling the
plant affects you. Does it change your mood, thoughts, or emotions?
Go through the same exercise using all of your
senses: simply looking at the plant, and then closing your eyes to hear the sounds of the
When you are finished, notice which one of your
senses was the most influential on your mood. Also take note on what kind of fragrances, textures and colours
drew you. These are important clues to know what kind of plants you might want to think about adding to your
garden to increase the amount of pleasure you get from it.
Written By: Lea Tran