Q: Is there an easy way to naturally elevate my mood? — Tania Cooper, Dallas
A: Just inhale. And don't stop reading—because I'm not talking about deep breathing, although that can work, too. I'm talking about tapping into the power of scent. The nose is a gateway to the mind, and researchers have discovered that scents can influence your mood in powerful ways. For example, one recent study from the Medical University of Vienna found that the smell of both oranges and lavender lifted the moods of patients about to undergo dental procedures. If that's enough to make people facing a root canal happy, imagine what it could do for you. Try placing some lavender oil on your desk at work and taking a whiff when you're feeling down.