We are all being led by our noses – literally! We have 7 senses, not just five. They are the “visible” senses that we all know; see, hear, touch, smell and taste. And then we have two “hidden” senses that account for movement of the body, the vestibular and proprioceptive sense. The latter two senses are in charge of our bodies and movement and help us to stay upright, sit and move in balanced and coordinated ways. But amongst them all, the nose is the most powerful……All of our senses receive information from receptors outside of the brain (they are all tucked away somewhere in the body) which then must send the information to the brain for analysis for our reaction or response. All the senses get filtered in the brain, but not smell. It has a direct, “hot-line” that bypasses the filters and leads the information directly to the emotional part of the brain. At the receiving point, the brain processes a lot of emotion and memory. With this hot-line it means that smell reaches the brain faster and has a strong and powerful influence. It is direct and “in your face”! Needless to say we all know the realities of body odours, how different places stink (read my previous blog on the smell of the gym) and the smell of food. Put this equation in an open plan office environment, worse a call centre, and performance and focus will go down the drain. Nice, happy smells are different but the bad ones really get to us, fast, quick and powerful!

Because we love the senses and how they influence the brain, we partnered with some clever, “smelly” providers, www.aromatic.co.za.
We co-branded their “focus sniff” and “stress sniff” inhalers to give you a quick, easy and effective way to lower your stress levels while boosting performance.

The Focus Sniff consists of geranium, lemon, peppermint and rosemary to work its way through your nose in order for you to stay awake and be more alert. If you feel tired, fatigued and drowsy one quick sniff will raise your concentration levels. No more sleeping on your chair!

The Stress Sniff consists of lavender, camomile and neroli to help you feel calmer and more relaxed. If you have one of those awful calls and you are ready to rip something apart – you won’t even need to count to ten – just grab your sniff and inhale! Please breathe out to further assist the calming process. You should feel the tension and anger dissipate fairly quickly.

• Just some caution; you can’t stick both in your nose at the same time as your brain will get confused!

Calm or Alert? Remember, they are quick and easy fixes – just make sure you also sleep well, eat healthy and do regular exercise.
Happy smelling for staying more focused and being less stressed!
Oh, not recommended for dogs, cats or small children!