Fact: scent can trigger the brain to influence how we feel and behave.
In fact, many men believe that you can use scent psychology to boost performance and productivity. You just need to understand the concept of scent anchoring and how to use it to train your brain to perform at a higher level.
It's easier than you think. In today's article, I'm breaking out the science of scent to help you guys discover your full potential.
We'll be covering:
- How Is Scent Linked To The Brain?
- How Can You Use Scent Psychology To Boost Your Performance?
- Can Scent Anchoring Be A Bad Thing?
- What Scents Are Best Scents For Increasing Mental Performance?
- How Can You Learn More About Scent Psychology?
#1 How Is Scent Linked To The Brain?
You might not know it, but your sense of smell is very closely linked to the emotions you feel.
The Olfactory system is what you use to pick up on the scents around you – without it, you wouldn't be able to smell. But did you know that your limbic and olfactory systems work together to create memories?
Don't know what the limbic system is? Then listen up.
In short, the limbic system is responsible for processing emotions and forming memories. Because of its close proximity to the olfactory system, the scent has a direct impact on how we feel and what we remember.
In fact, studies have shown that when people are asked to recall emotional memories, they're more likely to do so when exposed to a scent that was present during that memory.
Whether that smell is pleasant doesn't really make a difference – it's all about memory, not the quality of a fragrance. It sounds gross, but the smell of manure instantly takes me back to my childhood when my family and I spent time together in the countryside.
Is manure a pleasant smell? Heck no – but does it evoke happiness within me due to the memories it triggers? Absolutely.
That's what we call scent anchoring – a phrase used to define how scent becomes anchored to a specific emotion or memory.
It's something that you've probably experienced yourself without even realizing it. For example, the smell of your favorite cologne might make you happy because it reminds you of a special moment in your life.
Or maybe the scent of roses transports you back to your wedding day.
These are both examples of scent anchoring, which you can use to your advantage.
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#2 How Can You Use Scent Psychology To Boost Your Performance?
It's all about anchoring.
When you train your mind to feel motivated upon smelling a particular scent (anchoring), there's no reason that you can't harness it to achieve a ‘productivity on demand' effect and boost your brain into a state of laser focus.
Suppose you anchor a productivity-boosting scent (like Rosemary) to a feeling of enthusiasm and motivation. In that case, you can use this to help enhance your performance whenever you need that extra kick to get working.
Think of it like an energy drink for your nose.
Find a way to spray that scent and have it ready whenever you need it, and you're guaranteeing yourself a direct line to enhanced performance and increased focus.
#3 Can Scent Anchoring Be A Bad Thing?
Scent anchoring can remind you of the good, but it can just as easily be a trigger for negative feelings.
Let me give you an example.
For 20 years of your life, the smell of fresh roses may have reminded you of your wedding day. Your partner chose roses as her flower of choice, and you wore one on your lapel.
However, when a dear family member passed away, they asked for roses to be the featured flower at their funeral.
After that tragic event, do you think roses would evoke the same positive emotions as they did beforehand? Probably not – your brain's association with the smell of roses has changed to something negative.
This can happen with any scent and any situation. Maybe you wore your favorite cologne the same day that you lost your job. Perhaps the smell of fresh grass reminds you of the time you saw your football team lose that make-or-break game.
It doesn't matter – my point is this. Familiar scents might remind you of positive times, but they can also remind you of negative times through the same limbic system interaction.
#4 What Scents Are Best Scents For Increasing Mental Performance?
Scent anchoring can help to integrate the experience of smell and emotion. However, certain scents also help to boost the brain as a result of our body's reaction to them.
It's no secret that different aromas have different effects on us – lavender is a very well-known example. When used in the right context, it can help relax and relieve anxiety's effects on the body. In fact, companies often formulate sleep-related products using lavender as a key ingredient.
Lavender is a well-known olfactory relaxant. However, it turns out there is a whole host scents that can have different positive effects on the body:
- Rosemary – helps heighten memory and alertness
- Vetiver – boosts oxygenation within our cells, helping increase concentration
- Coffee – a great anchor scent to wake us up
- Lemon – boosts focus and helps us avoid making errors in our work
- Jasmine – promotes a positive outlook and helps to give us energy
- Ginger – fights fatigue and can even help to lessen pain
- Lemongrass – reduces stress and can lessen the effects of anxiety
- Peppermint – helps us to become laser-focused on the task at hand
It's worth looking at what you believe your needs are when it comes to focus and productivity. Perform a self-assessment of your shortcomings and find a scent that works to fight that.
You may even be able to find a cologne that contains that scent, so you can begin to anchor it to a state of flow and heightened productivity through prolonged exposure.
#5 How Can You Learn More About Scent Psychology?
As with any subject – it's all about the research and time you put into it.
If you want to learn more about this topic, there are plenty of options when it comes to reading material and online information. For example, scent expert Dr. Alan Hirsch has written a few books on the topic, which you can find easily with a quick online search.
In addition, if you want to explore scent psychology for yourself, there are plenty of scent-based products available that you can use in your own life to start creating positive associations between certain smells and heightened performance.
For instance, the Mission Fragrances Performance Enhancing Cologne set is specifically designed to help men boost their productivity and performance in all areas of their lives.
If you want to explore scent psychology further and start making real changes in your life, I'd encourage you to do more reading on the subject and find a scent that works for you.
Looking to learn more about the psychology of scent? Check out my article on how performance enhancing colognes can skyrocket your performance and productivity.