- First, beat back stress with the smell of coconut. Try coconut lotion, or coconut shampoo. The smell triggers the part of your brain that keeps you alert, and relaxes you because it reminds you of coconut sunscreen at the beach.
- Then, if you're depressed, perk up with a whiff of chili peppers. Capsacin (cap-SAY-sin) - the chemical that gives peppers their bite - also slightly irritates your nasal passages. That will help your body produce the pain-relieving chemicals that can instantly eliminate a bad mood.
- Also, if you're tired, give your energy a boost by making some popcorn. The smell alone will help your body release adrenaline and other feel-good hormones. And the smell of popcorn is so distracting, it'll make you forget just how tired you are.
By using your nose! That's according to Dr. Alan Hirsch, director of Chicago's Smell & Taste Research Center. Here's how the right smell can help you tackle life's little obstacles: