Wake up and Smell the Coffee
Have you ever had the experience of walking into somewhere and being hit by a wonderful aroma? You may have walked into a bakery and smelt freshly baked bread, enjoyed inhaling the scent of coffee in your favourite coffee shop or been absorbed by the fragrance in a florist.
How did it feel? For most of us getting a whiff of our favourite smell releases feel good endorphins and we get a kind of natural high. You may wonder how people who work in these places cope with the constant endorphin release produced by their sense of smell; surely they should be the happiest people on the planet?
The peculiar thing is, however, that when you present someone with a constant sound, image or smell they slowly get more and more used to it until it disappears from their conscious awareness. Have you ever wondered how people can live directly under an airport flight path or near a sewerage treatment plant? Their brains have got so used to it that most of the time they are not aware of the sound or smell.
So, does that mean people who work in coffee shops lose the ability to smell coffee? Not at all, all they have to do to re-awaken their senses is to leave the shop for a few minutes and then walk back in again. Their senses then literally “wake up and smell the coffee”.
It happens in other areas of our lives too, including happiness. Everyone has something to be happy about. A loving partner, health, a job, roof over our heads or even just enough food to eat. However, we get so used to the things that we have, just like the smell of coffee these things vanish from our minds. Just as the old saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.
We tend to pay more attention to the new things that happen that don’t go so well, just because they’re unusual. We then focus on those and get down in the dumps.
This week do the equivalent of leaving the coffee shop and coming back in again. Write down a list of 5 things that you’re grateful for in your life. Take 5 minutes to read it and enjoy the feeling. Do this once a week and your happiness and satisfaction levels will increase amazingly!
Have fun experimenting.