The limbic system governs the primal urges of sex, hunger, anger, pleasure and
fear; and olfactory impulses have direct pathways to this same center of the brain.
Consequently, odors and primitive emotions have a closer association because of this
link-up in the limbic system. In one experiment, human subjects were asked to
complete a frustrating task as they were exposed to an unfamiliar odor. Later the
same negative emotions associated with frustration occurred when exposed to that
same odor. Scent manufacturers make millions of dollars each year by capitalizing on
this connection in their attempt to emotionally get you to buy a particular product with
a favorable odor -- from soaps to perfumes.
For this exercise, purchase a bottle of already blended natural essence from your
local natural food store that has an unusual or unfamiliar odor -- perhaps ambergris,
civet, oak moss or myrrh. Now take it to a party or friend's house where you're
likely to experience joy, laughter or some other pleasurable experience. At the
optimal height of one of these good feelings, put a few drops of the essence on your
arm and smell it frequently. In the future, to get out of a 'down' or negative mood,
whip out your essence and begin smelling it again! You should become elated very
quickly. Laugh and smile to yourself when this happens, for it enhances the effect.