Stress is the worst, but it is necessary at times. It’s a motivator when it comes at us in the right amount, but when we stress excessively, it can become a serious problem. Your mental and physical health can suffer if you don’t keep the stress down to a minimum.
It’s difficult to get rid of stress sometimes, but there are several natural ways we can do to ease the tensions of the day. Meditation, yoga, and exercises are just a few of the ways we can get rid of stress. Another is aromatherapy, which is a natural way to help lift the weight stress can bring.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Well, when you break the word down you have two roots: aroma and therapy. Aroma is straightforward in its meaning, but for those who are unaware, it means a distinct smell one finds pleasant. Therapy means to heal or relieve an issue or disorder.
Combine the two and you can heal or relieve health issues simply by smelling certain scents derived from nature. These “scents” are called essential oils, and they are volatile compounds collected through an extraction process.
Ways to Use Aromatherapy for Stress
There are three ways to use essential oils in aromatherapy. This is inhalation, topical application, and ingestion. Let’s look at all of them briefly.
The first way to use essential oils is to smell them. But I don’t mean to just sniff the scent out of the bottle. For aromatherapy to work, you need to inhale the aroma deeply, which is typically done via a diffuser. If you are unfamiliar with diffusers, read more here.
This is when you apply your favorite essential oils to your body via a massage. With this method, it is always recommended to dilute your essential oils with a good carrier substance like coconut or jojoba oil.
Some people put essential oils into their drinks or food recipes. Though, there is plenty of essential oils that are not recommended for consumption so do your research before consuming anything unfamiliar. When in doubt, ask a healthcare professional.
What Are Essential Oils?
Extracts from certain plants, flowers, berries, fruits, barks, resins, and gums grown all over the world are considered essential oils. For example, many people have heard of lavender oil. It is one of the most popular scents in the essential oil world.
Lavender oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant which originated in Europe and is widely grown in France. There are hundreds of essential oils available, some you have heard of like lemon and peppermint and others that are foreign sounding like neroli and helichrysum
How Are Essential Oils Extracted?
There are several ways in which essential oils can be extracted, but there are only two used in the industry. Steam distillation is when steam is propelled through the host plant, like the lavender flowers, and is cooled and collected on the other side. The oils left is the pure extract, which is why this is the most widely used method of extraction.
Expression, or cold pressing, is the other way some essential oils are extracted. This method is typically for citrus fruit oils like lime, lemon, and orange. The pores on the rind are pricked and prodded until they release their oils, which are then collected in a container.
What Are the Best Essential Oils for Stress Relief?
We put together a list of the best scents that can help you relieve stress via inhalation or topical application. You can choose one or a few and blend them for extra power.
There is a reason why this oil is so popular. Lavender can help with burns, pain, and hair growth, but most importantly, it relieves anxiety and stress. It has a pleasant floral smell that appeals to most people.
Next, we have another floral scent that is a bit lighter in its aroma but not in power when it comes to relieving stress. This is probably due to its ability to work as an antidepressant and as a sedative.
This one is a relative to the orange, but it has a more spicy, floral note when smelled. Besides reducing stress, bergamot also helps ease pain and improve digestion.
Another light floral scent, this flower isn’t only for tea. It has a natural relaxing quality and can ease arthritis pain as well.
This oil has a dark, earthy scent of green, which is fresh and uplifting. On top of relieving stress, it can help with insomnia and ease inflammation.
You shouldn’t have to reach too far into the memory banks to know what this oil smells like. If you are a fan of roses, then it’s easy to see why the oil would be a stress reliever via aromatherapy.
Last, but not least, we have a musky, earthy scent that is quite popular in some religions. It also helps with focus and concentration.
Aromatherapy is a strong tool for healing and relieving yourself of unwanted stressors. So, the next time you are stressing over your new website or client meeting, just add a few drops of lavender or ylang-ylang into your diffuser. You will start feeling more relaxed than you’ll ever expect.