5 smells that improve our mood and focus

Did you know that our ability to smell is directly connected to the emotional centre of our brain?

Each time we smell something, the smell enters through the nose to the olfactory bulb, then travels via the cranial nerve to the brain. The brain processes the smell and produces an appropriate response. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the limbic system—the area of the brain responsible for emotions—it’s easy for us to respond to each smell emotionally.

For example, if we encounter a foul smell, our brain may make us respond in disgust. If we encounter a pleasant smell, our brain may initiate a satisfying feeling.

It’s also why some smells bring back vivid memories from our childhood; potpourri for summers at grandma’s house, certain perfumes for high school, fire pit smoke for summer camps. These are emotional memories, and memories are connected with the hippocampus, also a part of the limbic system.

With such a strong connection between smells and the brain, it’s no surprise that certain smells can affect our mood. Here are 5 examples of smells and the effect they have on how we feel.



Where are drugs stored in the body?

Mary* was feeling great! She was no longer taking medications which made her feel emotionally numb and clouded. She felt clear-headed and stable, something she had not felt for a long time.

The Truehope program was really working!

She felt energized and motivated, so she began to go jogging. She wanted to improve her health and lose some of the weight she had gained over the last year. All at once her symptoms began to backslide.

When Mary called Truehope,



What’s the difference between social anxiety and panic disorder

People often confuse two of the most prevalent anxiety disorders: social anxiety and panic disorder.

While it’s not uncommon to have both at the same time, they are separate disorders, and often, one presents more prominently than the other. Even more confusing is that people with either are commonly misdiagnosed with depression, likely because they feel depressed. However, such depression is usually caused by the anxiety and thus would more accurately be called dysthymia; when the anxiety is gone, so is the depression.



Why free support makes a difference with EMPowerplus

Having supported people in the Truehope program for nearly 20 years has offered us a lot of insight. Switching to micronutrients from medication (or taking them in conjunction with each other) can be intimidating.

You don’t have to try it alone. Over 85% of clients who have used our one-on-one phone support reduced or avoided withdrawal symptoms, side effects, and uncomfortable adverse drug reactions when beginning the EMPowerplus Advanced program.



How journalling helps you cope with trauma

American researchers published an article a few years ago in Annals of Behavioral Medicine, showing that journalling can be an effective tool in managing mental health.

The researchers randomly assigned the 122 participants into one of 3 groups: emotional expression, cognitions and emotions, and control. Over a period of a month, all 3 groups were to write at least twice a week in a journal about the following assignments:

Emotional expression

Write about their deepest feelings about a past traumatic event that still causes stress for them.


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How making art can get you out of a funk

In 2008, American researchers at Boston College published a study in Motivation and Emotion, exploring whether creating visual art can help repair mood in the short term.

The researchers randomly assigned 75 participants into one of 3 groups: venting, positive emotion, and control. All participants watched a 3.5-minute clip of a concentration camp scene in the World War II film Band of Brothers.

Following the film, the venting group were told to draw an image expressing how they felt related to the film.



12 reasons pets are good for your mental health

Feeling down or lonely? Lacking confidence? Shy?

Have you considered getting a pet?

In 2011, American researchers published an article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology exploring the connection between pet ownership and well-being. They studied over 370 people spread among 3 studies, and what they found was that pet owners tend to fare better than those without pets.

Here are 12 mental health benefits to owning a pet, according to the study:



Letters from Generation Rx

If you have doubts about the safety of psychotropic drugs in the treatment of mental health disorder, you must watch this award-winning film by Kevin P. Miller. Letters from Generation Rx powerfully tells the real stories of people whose lives have changed through medication, for the worse. It also highlights Truehope’s mission to change the status quo and empower people with holistic knowledge and solutions.

Watch the film and see for yourself. Then share it with someone else.


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How sunlight can help you fight depression

Did you know that light and darkness affect our hormonal levels?

Sunlight, for example, can help us produce serotonin, a hormone that boosts our mood, calms our mind, and helps us to focus. Darkness, on the other hand, helps us produce melatonin, which is the hormone that makes us sleepy and is critical to our getting a good night’s sleep.

Not only does sunlight help you increase serotonin, but the reverse is also true. The Mayo Clinic, an American nonprofit medical practice and medical research group,



10 tips for dealing with stress

Stress is our body’s way of dealing with thing it sees as threats. It’s how we prepare to run away from or confront danger. Unfortunately, many things that trigger stress in our lives today aren’t things that we can fight or flee.

If stress continues, it can become chronic and can lead to other problems, including anxiety, depression, and even physical ailments.

You can take some practical steps to prevent, combat, and cope with stress, as well as maintain physical and mental health.