How To Use Aromatherapy For Stress & Anxiety Relief
Aromatherapy Stress Relief: How To Use Aromatherapy for Anxiety
Are you feeling stressed and anxious? Do you prefer a more natural way to relieve these problems? Aromatherapy stress relief may be your answer. Here’s how.
Stress has become as American as apple pie. We expect ourselves to be in a near constant state of anxiety, rushing from one task to another yet never able to fit everything into 24 hours.
The problem is that our bodies aren’t designed for that. Our stress responses are meant to give us the short-term energy to get out of life or death situations. When we have stress hormones surging too long or too often, it impacts our health.
The challenge, of course, is finding a way to relieve our stress. Everybody and their brother has a go-to technique, but few are rooted in real science. Aromatherapy is. Here’s your guide to aromatherapy stress relief.
How to Use Aromatherapy for Stress Relief
Aromatherapy is the technique of smelling specific scents that affect your brain in certain ways. When your brain registers specific smells, it can trigger memories or impact your hormones and neurotransmitters.
There are plenty of ways to use aromatherapy. If you need stress relief on the go, you could keep a vial of a specific essential oil in your daily bag or purse. Aromatherapy is most effective, though, when you dedicate real time to it.
When it comes to stress relief, try using aromatherapy in conjunction with other relaxation techniques. Use a diffuser to release a relaxing scent while you meditate or do deep breathing exercises.
It’s also great to use the diffuser while you’re doing a relaxing task. For instance, aromatherapy can add to the stress relief of enjoying your favorite hobby, taking a bath, or reading a great book.
Best Scents for Aromatherapy Stress Relief
As we mentioned, the purpose of aromatherapy is to reap the benefits specific scents offer for our brains. Some smells relieve stress while others give you energy or help you get motivated.
If stress relief is your primary goal, here are the scents you should try first.
Lavender is the most popular go-to for stress relief. When your brain registers the scent, it calms your nervous system. That means your heart rate and your blood pressure come down.
Lavender works by stimulating specific types of brain waves. In fact, many doctors recommend it for women with post-partum depression and anxiety. It also works well to help you get to sleep.
Ylang-ylang is another popular choice for stress relief. Like lavender, ylang-ylang slows your central nervous system, bringing the heart rate and blood pressure to a more relaxed level.
Many of the most damaging impacts of stress are caused by the way it accelerates your heart rate and blood pressure. By keeping those effects under control, you can reduce your emotional stress and protect your body from the dangers of stress.
Jasmine has a sweet smell that most people find pleasant. It also has a calming effect on your brain, helping to relax you during times of stress.
Lemongrass has an impressive resume when it comes to aromatherapy. On top of anxiety and stress, it can relieve irritability as well as mild insomnia. It also helps you sleep better and enjoy longer sleep.
You’ve probably heard of the scents above, but neroli is a lesser-known option. It’s an essential oil that comes from the flowers of the bitter orange tree.
Neroli is a great aromatherapy scent if you’re struggling with excessive worrying. It helps you become calm and reduces your blood pressure.
Certain Citrus Scents
If you’re a fan of citrus, you’re in luck because many of these scents can help you manage stress.
There are a few different types of orange essential oils. Sweet orange and bitter orange are both great options to reduce your stress and keep your anxiety at bay.
In addition to a calming effect, orange scents also boost your mood and balance your body’s stress hormones.
Yuzu is a Japanese fruit that most Americans have never heard of. However, its stress relieving powers are well-documented. In a particularly strong study, it took just ten minutes for yuzu aromatherapy to lower participants’ heart rates.
Like most of the other scents on this list, yuzu slows your nervous system to lower your heart rate and help you relax. It’s also known for its ability to ease anger and anxiety.
Bergamot is a rockstar in the aromatherapy world. It contains a compound called limonene that gives you a sense of calm.
When your brain smells bergamot, your blood pressure and heart rate slow down and your stress dissipates. For many people, bergamot also gives them a more positive, joyous mood.
Lemon is the classic citrus scent, and it can do great things for your stress level thanks to a compound called linalool.
Be aware that lemon will take a bit of experimenting on your part. While it helps some people sleep better, it appears to give other people an energetic stimulation. Before you try to use it to ease insomnia, find out the effect it has on you.
In fact, that’s something you should keep in mind with aromatherapy in general. Specific scents tend to cause certain effects, but they could impact different people in different ways. It’s all about finding the scents that achieve the goals you want.
The Benefits of Using a Diffuser for Aromatherapy
Now that you know which scents to use for your aromatherapy, how do you use them?
The options are endless, from candles to skin application. However, diffusers have become a favorite for most people who use aromatherapy for several reasons.
Unlike candles, there’s no fire risk with aromatherapy diffusers. You don’t need to worry about closing your eyes to meditate while they’re unattended or falling asleep with them on.
Diffusers also get rid of the risk of an allergic reaction that’s inherent in skin application. If you’re new to essential oils and aromatherapy, it’s hard to know how much to dilute them so they don’t inflame your skin.
Finally, diffusers are low-maintenance. Some can stay on for four or more hours, letting you enjoy the benefits with little effort.
Using Aromatherapy for Stress Relief
Finding a stress relief technique that works for you is a survival skill in today’s world. You need a way to protect your body from the impacts of long-term stress. For people all around the world, the key is aromatherapy stress relief.
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