Ulitmate Guide to Using Aromatherapy for Stress and Anxiety
Life can be stressful. Work, school, family, and finances occupy a large portion of our daily existence and cause us frustration and even anxiety. While stress is inevitable, we can use various coping methods to manage it.
Essential oils can transform your body from chaos to haven by promoting a balanced emotional state. Engage your senses with these essential oils below. Whether diffused or applied topically, you reduce your stress and anxiety.
Basil oil comes from an aromatic herb that has been used by many generations. It is known as an adaptogen, which improves how our body responds to stress and anxiety. It has a naturally occurring component called linalool which gives it its warm and spicy fragrance.
When you inhale basil oil, you experience a calming effect especially when you apply it at the back of the neck or to the temples. Basil may also help reduce discomfort during menstruation.
Powerful oil from a delicate citrus plant! The distinct blend of citrus and floral scents makes bergamot oil calming yet uplifting. Your body naturally produces cortisones which are associated with intense stress. By applying bergamot oil, you can improve your mental and emotional wellbeing by balancing your cortisol levels. Bergamot is popular in Earl Grey tea and has been used by Italians for many years as an antidepressant. Massage therapists also use it on their clients.
Take your stress level down with cedar oil. Cedar oil, extracted from the cedar tree, contains hydrocarbons known as sesquiterpenes. They stimulate the limbic system in your brain which helps you relieve stress and boost your mood. When you inhale the woody aroma of cedar oil, its therapeutic properties penetrate your body and help improve hormone balance and promote vitality. Cedar oil is also used by massage therapists to soothe the mind and body.
Commonly used to stabilize hormonal imbalance in women, clary sage is a must-have in every woman’s handbag. This biennial or perennial herb has a woody, herbal fragrance that is known to be very calming. It contains a chemical called linalyl acetate, which is an analgesic that is used to reduce menstrual pain. It also has sedating properties that will help you relax.
Known as the “king of oils”, frankincense is the most precious essential oil. It contains a component called boswellic acid which helps to reduce brain inflammation associated with depression. Frankincense supports healthy immune and nervous systems and promotes wellness, peace, and relaxation. Its warm, spicy aroma stimulates the senses. It can be taken internally or used in perfumes and ointments to soothe the body.
Eucalyptus oil consists mainly of eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol. These chemicals support the respiratory system by opening airways to improve breathing. The powerful camphor-like aroma of eucalyptus is rejuvenating and uplifting. It helps ease tense muscles, increase energy levels and reduces stress. It is ideal for massages or for long soaks in the bathtub.
Geranium flowers are known for their beauty and sweet, floral aroma. However, geranium has much more to offer. In ancient times, Egyptians used it to restore decreasing estrogen levels and promote hormonal balance during perimenopause. It also supports the nervous system, reduces stress and relieves anxiety. The pleasant aroma of geranium is uplifting and reduces fatigue, thereby promoting overall emotional wellbeing.
Enjoy the enticing and exotic aroma of jasmine, an essential oil known for its numerous benefits. Jasmine has been used for many centuries as a natural remedy for stress, anxiety and depression. When inhaled, jasmine stimulates the brain and has the ability to uplift your mood and boost energy levels. It is also used in teas as a natural sedative to help you sleep better.
Lavender oil is extracted from a purple flowering plant in the mint family. It is probably the most commonly used oil because of its mild aroma and countless benefits. Lavender oil contains linalyl acetate, which eases anxiety, enhances moods, and helps balance your emotions. It can also help you to get a good night’s rest. In ancient Egypt and Rome lavender was used in baths, cooking, and perfumes.
Vetiver oil is used in perfumes and is known to calm your emotions. Its soothing effect makes it an excellent choice for massage therapists. Vetiver, which belongs to the grass family, has a distinct exotic aroma. Like cedar essential oil, Vetiver contains sesquiterpenes, which enhance your mood. It can be rubbed on your feet for a restful sleep or taken internally to promote a healthy immune system.
Extracted from the flowers of the ylang ylang tree, this oil has a rich, sweet aroma. It can be found as an essential fragrance in perfumes. Ylang ylang helps reduce stress and relax muscle tension. It has the ability to lift your mood and release negative energies.
Recipes for 3 Blends to Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Use the above oils by themselves or try these blends for more amazing results
Peppermint Lavender Blend
3 drops peppermint essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
Ylang Ylang Blend
1 drop ylang ylang essential oil
1 drop clary sage essential oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
4 tsp carrier oil*
* Olive, coconut or grapeseed oil
Vetiver Lavender Blend
3 drops vetiver essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
Mix all ingredients.
1. Diffuser: Place 3-4 drops of the blend in your diffuser and inhale deeply. If you don’t have a diffuser, add the drops to a bowl of warm water, cover your head with a towel and inhale.
2. Topical use: Apply 1-2 drops of the blend to stressed areas or use for a full body massage.
3. Bath time: Add a few drops to a warm bath to relax tense muscles and reduce stress.
4. Sleep time: Apply a few drops on the soles of your feet before you go to bed.
NB Before you use any of these oils, consult your physician. These oils can be harmful is used incorrectly. Also keep your oils ins a secure area out of reach of children.