Take a Break

Visit a Flower Shop -- and Inhale

Last updated: Jun 01, 2011

Provence Dried Lavender

Make time this week to visit a fancy florist or the flower section at your neighborhood supermarket. Sure, buying some blooms will brighten your spirits. But don't just look -- sniff. Studies show that some fragrances can actually alter gene activity to create a sense of reduced stress. Smells not only have the power to calm (lavender, eucalyptus) but can transport you to memories of happy times.

Hyacinths, for example, telegraph spring. Roses can carry connotations of romantic events in the past. Lilacs or carnations may remind you of your mother. Pick an old favorite, and breathe deeply.

-- Paula Spencer Scott