Study Finds Smells Experienced in Nature Boost Mental Health

Have you ever felt rejuvenated, more alert and in a better mood after stepping out for some fresh air? Breathing in pure clean air, especially when surrounded by nature, can have significant mental and physical benefits. Fresh air cleanses the lungs, strengthens the immune system, increases energy levels, sharpens the mind and individuals happier.

New research from the University of Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) has confirmed that smells experienced in nature, such as smelling the rain on earth, can have a positive impact on mental health.

Scents like the smell of wet grass on a damp day or smoke coming from a campfire can improve mental health and increase feelings of relaxation and joy, researchers say. Our sense of smell is intrinsically tied to our mental well-being as personal memories are often associated with certain smells.

In fact, scientists believe that memories that are tied to a specific smell tend to be more vivid when they are recollected because they are usually older and thought of less often. Furthermore, experts say memory and sense of smell are so tightly linked because the brain’s anatomy allows for extremely quick movement of olfactory signals to the limbic system.

Smells in nature may be able to improve people’s mental health by helping them recall happier times. For instance, you may associate the smell of rotting leaves in winter with your childhood memories of playing in the snow with your siblings or friends.

Plenty of the study participants associated meaningful personal memories when they smelled a particular natural scent, resulting in improved mental well-being due to positive emotional reactions to the associated memory.

We already know just how important experiencing nature is for your mental and overall health. This study, which has been published in “A Journal of Environment and Society,” sought to see which natural attributes (smells, colors and sounds) could affect human well-being. Researchers ran the study across four seasons in woodland locations, ultimately finding that smell could impact different aspects of human well-being.

For starters, getting rid of unwanted smells, especially those associated with urbanized areas can make people feel more relaxed and settled. Being relaxed for longer reduces the amount of stress hormone cortisol your body produces, reducing your chances of contracting a variety of stress-related diseases.

Study coauthor and DICE postdoctoral research associate Dr. Jessica Fisher called nature a “multisensory experience,” adding that their research could help public health specialists, health practitioners, landscape planners and policy makers to use nature to improve well-being outcomes.

For patients whose mental health illnesses have progressed significantly, treatments such as those being developed by Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) would be a viable option towards halting the progression of the condition.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/SILO

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