Life Hacks – How To Hack Your Emotions With Smells


Hack your Emotions with Smells

They are good, bad, and ugly.

How many smells affect our daily lives?
Have you ever smelled lemon and not had your mouth water?
Have you managed to walk past that Cinnabon and not wanted to gorge yourself on their tasty goodness?

Smells bring up crazy emotions, but can also affect other areas of our lives?

Ever since the brain aneurysm, I have struggled with focus.

I get distracted when I’m reading, so I tried putting jelly beans and gummy bears on the text to keep me focused on the pages or setting timers to train my brain to focus for short periods of time.
If I was lost in thoughts, I would snap an elastic band on my wrist to literally snap me out of it.

Focus is a frustrating issue for me.

It makes my life harder than it needs to be, so in my quest to hack my life, I started trying all kinds of hacks I’ve found that make my job and life easier.
I have hacks for:

  • simplifying your wardrobe,
  • limiting the time spent making small decisions,
  • practicing gratitude, (and more!)

and as I take this journey to hack my life, I realized that a certain smell could help me focus!

I have INTENSE emotional reactions to smell.

Can you relate?

Feeling gutted when you smell the perfume of someone hurtful from your past. Smells of foods you’re trying to avoid being amplified, making you want them more…
My nose is so sensitive, I can even smell a cavity in someone’s mouth when they talk to me! It is odd I know, but my sense of smell is insane.

So, maybe I could use smells to trigger my brain in other ways?

I went to Bath and Body Works with a plan to figure out how different smells affect me.
I proceeded to buy A LOT of small candles. I picked out a big variety of ones I loved, ones I didn’t, and ones that I was NOT OK with.

After all, it wasn’t about how it smelled, it was about seeing how the smell made me feel.
I started burning a different candle each day when I was working!
I paid attention to how sharp my mind felt, how fast I could type, how happy I was!


Some days it didn’t work AT ALL. I didn’t feel like they had any affect on my state of mind.

Others made me sad, others made me calm and peaceful.
I found that Mahogany Teakwood kept me focused on work, and Winter Cedar made me feel calm.

But then I found THE HAPPY ONE.

The scent that would make my life more enjoyable! And by that I mean, intense!  Who knew that I could change so much with a stupid candle that smells like “Autumn or Leaves”?!?!?!

Personal Challenge

How do smells make you feel? Can you use them to your advantage like I do?
If you haven’t already, go to the candle store, close your eyes, breathe in, and pay attention to how the smells make you feel. You don’t have to buy them all like I did, maybe a couple at a time until you find some that make you feel great!