When modern life becomes too stressful, nature can come to the rescue. Essential oils have been used for relaxation and stress relief for thousands of years, helping to ease away the worries of the day and encourage peaceful sleep. When we inhale through the nose, airborne molecules interact with the olfactory organs and, almost immediately, the limbic system of the brain which is commonly referred to as the "emotional brain". These stimulants regulate stress and our calming responses, such blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and hormone production.
There are hundreds of essential oils available, but which ones are best for reducing stress?
Lavender oil has long been noted for its ability to calm and soothe. Research suggests that it increases the proportion of sleep spent in the delta state, the dreamless rest that most rejuvenates and refreshes. Added to that, lavender is also widely used for treating headaches, muscle pains, and inflammation, all of which help bring peacefulness and equilibrium to your life.
Part of the citrus family, bergamot is known to have mild antidepressant and mood-enhancing properties. Clinical studies have also found it to be effective in reducing blood pressure and lowering heart rate.
Cedarwood is a natural sedative, helping you toward healing sleep at the end of the day. Research shows that cedarwood does this by regulating your body's production of melatonin, the essential hormone of rest.
Rosewood is a member of the laurel family and is related to many better-known medicinal spices, including cinnamon and camphor. Although rosewood's main use is in the perfume industry thanks to its captivating scent, it is also used by aromatherapists to treat depression by reducing mental clutter and confusion.
Chamomile tea is famed as a stress-busting beverage with many other health benefits, and the essential oil is just as valuable. Gently massage it into your neck and temples when you feel stress turning into tension or agitation, and its active agent terpene bisabolol will immediately begin to calm your nerves.
Frankincense has been used in religious and mystical ceremonies for millennia, and it's not hard to see why. Its calming effects include encouraging deeper, slower breathing, which works toward lowering anxiety and promoting peace.
Cinnamon leaf oil is excellent for soothing aching muscles, reducing inflammation, and inducing a mild drowsiness, making it perfect as an addition to your luxurious evening bath. Its spicy scent also helps to focus your mind with positive energy.
Using Essential Oils for Stress Relief
Whichever essential oil you find works best at soothing your stress away, there are several ways you may use oils as part of your daily routine.
- Carry a small bottle around, so you can take a quick sniff when you need a lift.
- Enhance your morning shower by sprinkling a few drops in the corner of the floor of the shower before you turn the water on. The infused steam will envelop your body, bringing a calming start to the day.
- Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to your bath, especially late in the evening to ease worries and promote sleep.
- Apply the oils topically to your skin, diluted with a neutral base such as olive oil. However, always test a small amount on a hidden part of your skin first in case of allergic reactions.
- An oil diffuser is an excellent way to diffuse the essential oil throughout a room, making your home a haven of peace and relaxation.
Stress is a fact of modern life, but there's no need to be overwhelmed. Essential oils offer a natural and safe way of bringing peace and relaxation, helping you to stay healthy and happy in the face of your daily challenges.
This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical issue or disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this article and will not be held responsible for the content of this article. The information in this article is not intended to replace a personal relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal health care provider for specific medical advice.