As modern day people, we’ve come to get acquainted with stress on a daily basis. We’re stressed both at home and at work, and the reasons vary from something someone said and something we saw on TV or over the internet that irritated us, to a worry that arises for the future. While stress per se is part of our survival, essential for when we find ourselves in dangerous situations, the problem arises when it turns chronic. When it accumulates in our day to day lives, it turns into a ticking bomb that’s at the detriment of our health and well-being.
Besides posing a threat to our cardiovascular system and increasing the risks of strokes, heart attacks, cancer, depression and mental illnesses among others, it also changes our eating and sleeping habits. In addition, it shortens our lifespan and interferes with the quality of life, specifically affecting the mood and relationships. This being said, unless you want to let it destroy your life slowly but surely, it’s high time you tamed it! If you’ve already tried other methods before, like a hobby, meditation and sport, and you feel like you’re still not getting the needed relaxation then why not resort to aromatherapy!
The Benefits – Treating the senses with the therapeutic essential oil scents is nothing new. In fact people have been resorting to this kind of solution for centuries all over the world. However, what’s different nowadays is the proof we have of the benefits of aromatherapy thanks to scientific research for some of the oils. Moreover, the array of stress relieving essential oils is vast, so if you aren’t fond of one or another, there’s an alternative to suit your taste and needs. Don’t like a certain type of oil because of how strong its scent is? You could try an essential oil blend and still reap the benefits of more than one different oils.
Aside from the different options you can pick from, the high quality pure oils that are 100% organic have become more affordable than ever before, so implementing aromatherapy in your day to day life wouldn’t significantly affect your budget. On the plus side too, it’s a non-invasive treatment as you won’t experience any pain throughout the use.
The Oils (the following are some of the most popular when it comes to stress relief):
Lavender – As one of the most researched stress essential oil, the way lavender helps with anxiety is by changing the brain waves, specifically affecting the neurotransmitter GABA which results in quieting down the activity of the nervous system. This in turn brings about a reduction of restlessness and agitation.
Ylang Ylang – This is a sweet floral aromatic oil famous for its calming effects on the heart, followed by positive changes in the blood pressure, body temperature as well as the stress hormone levels. This is all helpful with preparing your body for a restful sleep, so it’s a nice suggestion for use before bedtime.
Frankincense – While it lacks the amount of research when compared with the other two that I’ve already mentioned, when used in a combination with other stress relieving essential oils like lavender, for example, the sweet aroma has calming effects.
Sweet Orange – If you prefer something fruity, this one’s for you! The smell is essential for boosting the production of the happy hormone, serotonin, and reducing the anxiety levels. Though more research is needed to prove the exact effects, there’s already been a study that proves the acute anxiolytic activity of sweet orange.
Other known essential oils for anxiety you can turn to when you’re in need of some relaxation are chamomile, jasmine, neroli, rose known for stimulating the release of dopamine, wild ginger famous for being an anti-depressant, bergamot great for a boost in energy, sandalwood, yuzu and grapefruit. It’s good to know there are so many solutions you can reach out for and give your olfactory sense a treat!
The Uses – Once you’ve made your choice out of the vast variety, it’s important to remember not to apply the stress relieving essential oils directly on your skin. It’s essential you dilute them first with the help of carrier oils. In case you aren’t that big of a fan of massages, you can make bathtime more special by adding your favourite oil in the bath, or a drop or two in the body wash when showering.
Moreover, what’s great about them is they happen to be ideal air fresheners too when you diffuse them in the diffuser. This way you’d also reap the antibacterial properties of certain types, as in the example with lavender. When you’re in a hurry, but still want to get your share of aromatherapy for the day to curb the stress, simply grab the bottle and take a whiff. This is easy to do anywhere, anytime, and the bottle is small enough to fit in your bag when you’re out and about.