Anxiety can easily affect your senses, including your sense of smell.
Anxiety causes a multitude of physical and mental effects, and it can even impact your sense of smell. In some cases, anxiety can heighten a person’s sensitivity to certain smells. A person with anxiety might be more likely to notice bad smells and might fixate on those odors. Anxiety can even make neutral odors seem unpleasant, leading to further emotional distress.
Anxiety is connected to the body’s fight-or-flight response. When this response is triggered, all of our senses are heightened to help us evaluate potential dangers in our environment; we are on high alert, so we’re more likely to notice subtle things, including odors.
Fortunately, anxiety can sometimes be alleviated through smell, as well. Some people find that aromatherapy eases their anxiety symptoms.