Touch and smell are two of the five senses. They are a great way to ground your mind and body so that you are "in the moment." Being "in the moment" requires your mind and body to slow down thus reducing your anxiety response. In this episode, Vincent and Laura discuss ways that you can use touch and smell to restore your mental health.

062 Personal Growth: Coping Skills Part 9 – Touch and Smell


When was the last was the last time you stopped and smelled the roses?  Literally?  I’m not joking!  The phrase is tossed about often, but it is at the risk of diminishing the importance of appreciating the small things. Sometimes we get so caught up in the challenges of life that we forget the joy of the simpler things.

If you are new to our podcast, HI! Vincent and I (Laura) are the Relationship Helpers.  Our podcast is created for anyone seeking advice on growing their relationships, this includes our relationships with ourselves. 

About the Series

Today’s episode is the next to the last episode in a ten-part series on “101 Activities You Can Do to Improve Your Mood.  Our focus has been to encourage those suffering from the overwhelm of depression and anxiety to see that although depression can lower your motivation, it’s hard to say that you cannot do at least one out of over one hundred activities. 

If we have peaked your interest, our other episodes are about God, exercise, slowing down, fun, animals and nature, socializing, aesthetics and next week will be helping. Visit to listen to these episodes.

Each week we have a bit of a memory verse…actually we’re encouraging you to remember Philippians 4: 8 each week.  It’s the “whatever” verse.  I like to call it that.  “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” 

I think you’ll find that several of these activities fall into these whatevers. God has gifted us with so many things to be grateful for, and these activities should stoke that gratitude. 

10 Touch and Smell Activities

7.  Take a bubble bath. A warm, bubble bath is a good way to unwind and relax. Coach Amber McAuley shares how the warmth, the aromas, and the encompassing water soothes her like a big hug.

20. Visit a flower garden and smell the roses. The aromas of a therapy garden provide a powerful stimulus that connects you with nature and calms your body. The beautiful colors illicit admiration of its beauty – your mind is taken away from everyday stresses.

31. Hold your baby.   Researchers have found that when mothers hold their babies there is a marked decrease in stress levels. More skin-to-skin time improves mothers’ wellbeing.

38. Bake some cookies. A 2017 study has shown that baking can help with the grieving process. Another study revealed that adolescents with cooking skills had a greater mental health well-being.

58. Go get a massage. A massage can lower cortisol, the hormone produced by stress, and increase serotonin, a hormone that reduces pain and anxiety in the body.

More Activities

80. Smell the rain. If it is not raining, then smell freshly cut grass or some vanilla.  Aromatherapy makes a great compliment to traditional treatments and other therapies for depression.  It is relaxing and can bring a person into the present moment, which with depression and anxiety, the sufferer is not typically “in the moment.” 

86. Eat some candy.  Chewing gum can lower nervous tension and increase serotonin levels. Peppermint improves concentration. Chocolate has a few compounds that are mood-boosting!

95. Ride a rollercoaster.  Finishing a roller coaster ride helps individuals to step outside of their comfort zones and develop a greater sense of self-confidence.  Riding a roller coaster is a type of “controlled danger”. A sense of peace washes over the rider after the ride is over due to the noradrenaline that is released to return the body to its pre-ride state.

99. Find a unique dive to eat at. Trying new things knocks you out of hum-drum routine.  It helps you learn more about yourself. Experiencing a new eatery is a good “baby step” into getting outside of your comfort zone, as it may not be considered as threatening as trying other new things.

51. Plant some flowers or vegetables. Gardening can be very relaxing and therapeutic. It is so effective that there are professional specialists called horticultural therapists. Gardening provides purposeful and meaningful activity while offering restoration and respite from mental stress.


God has given us such a wonderful variety of interests and things to find genuine pleasure in.  We hope that you enjoyed today’s suggestions. 

Maybe you have decided to do something that you haven’t done in a really long time, or you’ve decided to try something you’ve never done. Thank you for spending time with us today!

Published by

Vincent & Laura Ketchie

Vincent Ketchie, LPC and Laura Ketchie, LPC are the hosts of Relationship Helpers, a podcast where they discuss family issues and interview relationship experts. Vincent and Laura are licensed marriage counselors.

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