Are you feeling overly stressed? Are you looking for ways to help minimize the amount of stress in your life so you can live a healthy and worry-free life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to consider incorporating aromatherapy essential oils into your daily routine. Aromatherapy is a complementary and alternative medicine practice that can be used to tap into the healing power of scents from essential oils to help balance the mind and body. Scents can be extremely powerful, and a simple smell can immediately trigger a powerful feeling, emotion, memory, and more. Several studies have shown that certain essential oils can be used to relieve symptoms of stress, relax the body, and promote a better night’s sleep. In this blog, we’ll look at the top six essential oils for stress relief and the benefits of incorporating these healing oils into your life.
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How Aromatherapy Works
In the human body, the olfactory nerve is what gives us our sense of smell. Starting from the nose and entering the skull, smells can travel directly to the different parts of the brain, including the limbic system and amygdala (which are in charge of emotions, mood, and memory). These systems are also in charge of regulating our autonomic nervous system, which can trigger a fight-or-flight response, quickening our heart rate and breathe. This helps to explain why certain scents can so quickly trigger physical reactions in our bodies.
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from natural plants for the sole purpose of healing. While the word “aroma” insinuate the inhalation of oils, they can also be massaged into the skin or sometimes taken by mouth. But what are essential oils? Essential oils are concentrated extracts that are taken from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of real plants. While some oils are used to promote physical healing, others can be used to enhance relaxation.
Using Essential Oils To Relieve Stress
Once you purchase your essential oils, you may be wondering what the best method of application is. While there are several ways to get the full benefit of essential oils, let’s take a look at some popular methods below.
- Place a few drops of your chosen essential oil onto a cotton pad and tuck it safely into one of your pockets. The oil’s scent will help support you throughout the day, bringing you a sense of calm to whatever challenges life decides to throw at you.
- Another effective method of using essential oils is through an oil diffuser or oil diffuser necklace. These devices will allow you to inhale those wonderful aromas throughout the day without having to worry about carrying anything around in your pocket.
- Add a few drops of essential oil into your bath or on the shower floor. As you bathe and cleanse yourself, you’ll be immersed in an aromatic steam which will help to calm and relax your mind and body.
- Essential oils can be massaged into the skin for a more personal experience. Simply add a few drops of your essential oil to a carrier oil (such as sweet almond or melted coconut oil) and gently massage it into your skin.
Now that you know how to use essential oils, let’s take a look at six essential oils that can be used to relieve stress and promote sleep below!
Essential Oil #1: Lavender
Lavender essential oils are among the most well-studied oils when it comes to promoting feelings of relaxation. Recent studies have determined that lavender oils can be used to calm the nervous system which can help to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature. Lavender oil has also been found to transform our brain waves into a more relaxed and laid back state. In addition to these beneficial properties, it has also been found to help with people who suffer from mild insomnia, providing them with a better quality of sleep.
The scent of lavender can be used to stimulate brain pathways, including our limbic system, which is connected to our emotional response and memories. In fact, studies using electroencephalography (EFG), which measure brain waves, show significant changes during lavender aromatherapy sessions due to its relaxing effects.
Essential Oil #2: Lemon or Yuzu
Did you know that lemon or yuzu essential oils can be used to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety? A recent study from Japanese researchers found that a yuzu citrus scent can sooth symptoms of stress and lower your heart rate in as little as 10 minutes. A type of East Asian yellow citrus fruit, yuzu-yu has been used in baths since the 18th century to promote feelings of relaxation.
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Essential Oil #3: Bergamot
Citrus bergamot is a hybrid fruit that sits between a bitter orange and a lemon or lime. It was traditionally used by Italians to help relieve tension and anxiety in the body. Today, it is often used in fragrances, food flavoring, and several types of essential oils. From 2009 to 2013, five out of six clinical studies found that bergamot essential oil aromatherapy can help reduce blood pressure, stress, and heart rate.
Essential Oil #4: Frankincense
Frankincense is an earthy essential oil that is used to aromatherapy for many different reasons. It has been found to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and fight chronic stress and anxiety. A 2008 study found that one of the compounds of frankincense, known as incensole acetate, has properties that can reduce depressed behavior and anxiety. This is likely the reason why this oil has been used since ancient times as a part of meditation practice. When you inhale the scent of frankincense through an oil diffuser, it will help you to relieve feelings of anxiety, anger, and stress.
Essential Oil #5: Valerian
If you’ve heard of valerian before, you probably already know that it can be used to help induce sleep. While it’s aroma isn’t the sweetest scent you’ll ever smell, it has outstanding effects when it comes to relieving symptoms of anxiety and stress. Studies have shown that valerian can increase a compound known as GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) in the brain, which is used to regulate nerve cells and calm anxiety.
Essential Oil #6: Jasmine
Jasmine is another excellent essential oil to consider if you’re looking for a way to reduce stress. Its stimulating aroma has been found to help produce feeling of optimism which can alleviate symptoms of depressions. Research suggests that jasmine oil is so effective because of its positive influence on the nervous system. Whether you choose to rub jasmine oil on your skin or you decide to put a few drops into an oil diffuser, its scent offers a plethora or relaxing benefits.
If you’re looking to purchase natural body oils, deodorant, or lip balms, be sure to browse Green Tidings’ online store today!