Anxiety Affects Your Sense of Smell
In a 2013 research study, the researchers found that when you are anxious, you are more likely to consider neutral smells as bad smells. Why? Usually, you simply use your olfactory (smelling) system to assess the odor. That is your body’s involvement BUT, when you are also anxious, your emotional system gets involved and affects your response.
In an earlier study, the same folks found that you become better at distinguishing among bad smells as your anxiety increases. Interesting tidbit but I’m not sure of the usefulness other than it would be good to clean the fridge when you are anxious – accurate smell and it will keep you busy.
Source: Krusemark and Li, 2013.