Time for New Year Resolutions

Lemon

Lemon (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

The new year provides a chance for us to evaluate ourselves, to consider what we do well and what we need to work on.  I love this tradition. I like the opportunity to make small changes (or big changes) every year.  Sometimes the resolutions stick and sometimes they only last for a few weeks but every January we have the chance to look squarely at ourselves and try to be better people.

This year I wondered, could scent help people stick to their new year resolution?  If so, how?  Here are some common new years resolutions and how scent can help.

Resolution: Go to bed earlier

Scent: Lavender

How it helps:  Various studies have shown that lavender promotes better sleep.  A study at Wesleyan University monitored 31 adults to smell lavender essential oil for four two-minute periods before going to sleep.  On the next night they followed the same procedure with water.  The researchers documented participants sleep cycle via brain scans and found that the adults slept more soundly the night that they smelled lavender.  Researchers also state that lavender increases slow-wave sleep, where the heartbeat slows and muscles relax.

Resolution: Be more alert

Scent: Lemon

How it helps:  Lemon smell uplifting, it is light, cheery and bright.  Studies have also shown that it improves productivity and concentration.  In a study in Japan, University researchers diffused lemon oil in an office environment.  During the test, office workers decreased their error rate by 54%.   Lemon scent can help you increase your productivity and get more out of the afternoon slump.

Resolution:  Get more out of a workout

Scent: Peppermint

How it helps:  Some researches suggest that smelling peppermint during workout session will give you the extra boost to push yourself to the next level.  Linda Andres was quoted in Psychology Today, “exercisers run farther and do more push-ups when exposed to (peppermint).”  Give it a try!  It may help you break your mile time or push a little harder in the last five minutes of your spin class.

What about you?  Did you make a new years resolution?

Could you use scent to make your new years resolution stick?

By Heather Stone

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