1. Sniff some vanilla or lavender
Certain aromas can lift your mood by influencing the production of endorphins—the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals. For example, the scent of vanilla helps reduce anxiety, which is often associated with depression. According to a study at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, patients undergoing MRIs who breathed vanilla-scented air reported 63 per cent less anxiety than those who breathed unscented air.
To get the endorphin-boosting benefits of vanilla, add a drop or two of vanilla extract to the pot before the coffee brews, light some vanilla-scented candles, or add vanilla essential oil to your bathwater.
In another study, conducted on college students, inhaling the aroma of lavender essential oil improved symptoms of depression and insomnia. You can dab lavender oil on your wrists and temples or diffuse it in the air with an inexpensive device you can pick up at the health food store.