I love the holidays and all the wonderful warmth, cheer and homey scents that go along with it. But did you know those wonderful smells can help enhance our mood and potentially our health?
So if you are hosting party guests this holiday season set the mood with holiday aromas to kick things off.
According to WellnessWatchersMD.com, “Our sense of smell (called olfaction) is intimately connected to the part of the brain that triggers emotional memory. Before you even have a chance to figure out what the smell is, you have an immediate emotional response.”
The site says that if you want to get happy and into the holiday spirit, start with the Christmas tree.
“In studies by Dr. Alan Hirsch, a psychiatrist and neurological director at The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, the smell of fresh pine 'evoked feelings of nostalgia,' he says, 'and 84 per cent of the time, these feelings were associated with a positive mood.'"
Researchers also suggest that the scent of cinnamon has a positive effect on your blood flow, saying the aroma can “actually bring blood from the centre of the body toward the skin. This action disperses blood throughout the body more evenly, which may decrease blood pressure.”
Let's move on from scents to taste.
We should make sure we sample a few treats and not overindulge. When you’re hosting, it is easy to pick while preparing, especially if we are stressed out about getting everything done.
CDC.com offers these tips to help manage stress:
“Don't overcommit yourself and prevent holiday anxiety and pressure. Get enough sleep.”
You also want to delegate and if someone offers to help or bring something, take them up on it.
I like to be the host, so I can get others what they need and stay busy and socialize, rather than spend my time hovering around the buffet.
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has these holiday suggestions:
“Eat healthy, and get moving. Eat fruits and vegetables. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt and sugar. Be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.”