Aromatherapy & Essential Oils for Stress
Scent is strongly connected with our memories and associations; it can trigger responses that are so specific, they completely vary from person to person. Because scents are so powerful, using aromatherapy is a great, relaxing way to help you deal with stress.
Instead of replacing standard medical practice, aromatherapy enhances your quality of life by adding to it – not acting as a substitute for something that it is not. However, the reactions that scents trigger can be extremely powerful and quick, thanks to the direct path they get from the nose to the brain.
Aromatherapy Practices for Stress Relief
For stress relief, there are several different options to start using your essential oils. Diluting an essential oil in water and using it as a room mist helps fill an entire room with the scent. Wearing a diffuser pendant gives you a more direct, intimate route to the aroma. And you can even enjoy an aromatherapy massage with an essential oil (or blend) diluted in a carrier oil, then applied to the skin – relax the body and mind all at once! If you do not have a partner to provide an aromatherapy massage at the time you need it, you can also topically apply it yourself. Massage a blend of essential and carrier oil into your temples or the back of your neck, or even give yourself a relaxing foot massage.
Essential Oils that Relieve Stress
While no essential oil will produce the same effect for every person, there are some that come more recommended for helping with stress relief. Since stress levels are so connected with our sleep patterns, those that help with stress relief also greatly assist with better sleep.
It’s important to note that there is no current system in place for regulating aromatherapy products. Exercise caution when you are purchasing a new product, especially from a source with unknown credibility. It’s a good idea to consult an aromatherapy practitioner to help in your purchase decisions, and to discuss which essential oils may be right for you. Here are the top essential oils to turn to when dealing with stress.
Offering a fresh, revitalizing scent that can eradicate feelings of depression or sadness, lemon essential oil is a favorite for aromatherapy and household use. Lemon essential oil lifts feelings of sluggishness and apathy. It brightens your outlook, leaving the mind alert and clear. While lemon is known to be stimulating, it can provide soothing stress relief and help calm anxiety for some people. Try a few drops of lemon in a diffuser pendant to see how it best works for you.
Perhaps best known for its ability to promote feelings of relaxation, lavender essential oil is also antibacterial, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, stimulating to the immune system and somewhat analgesic. Lavender essential oil is one of the tried-and-true aromatherapy oils for better sleep. If you have mild insomnia, using lavender before bed is a good way to try and get some rest while steering clear of sleep medications. Lavender has sedative qualities and has also been known to lower heart rate and blood pressure, making the user feel calmer overall. Lavender is generally mild and safe to use, but talk with your doctor before adopting it regularly into your routine. If you have an allergy to lavender, of course, choose one of the other essential oil options. Use a few drops of lavender in your diffuser jewelry to reduce stress, lift depression, ease headaches, and strengthen the immune system and mitigate common cold symptons.
Clary sage essential oil is closely related to the sage herb we put in our food. It is known to help people relax when undergoing a dental procedure, but don’t let that limit you when you use it. It also contains some antidepressant properties, making it a very useful essential oil for many purposes.
Another citrus essential oil, bergamot is an interesting bitter hybrid fruit. Found often in folk medicine in Italian cultures, Bergamot essential oil has recently had a sort of resurgence, as more people find that it helps relieve anxiety and bodily tension, as well as provide some relief for chronic pain. It is also popular in food recipes and other fragrances. Bergamot is believed to help reduce stress, blood pressure, and heart rate – all of which are interconnected.
This beautiful, uplifting and transforming oil will help send a bad mood packing. The sweet floral scent of jasmine is best known for its ability to stimulate our responses and to create and promote sexual desire. The sweet aroma of jasmine is immediately soothing, and it is known to be quite calming. It is one of the most important oils for helping to ease depression.
Finally, this is yet another essential oil that has shown to be able to calm the nervous system. Ylang ylang comes from a tropical Southeast Asian tree, and the essential oil produced from it gives off a soothing, sweet floral scent. Ylang ylang essential oil create a calming environment in which to tackle unpleasant jobs or issues. It is known to be relaxing in times of stress. It is also said to help sexual anxiety and promote sexual desire because of its powerful relaxing properties.