Smell is intensely linked to both memory and emotion, perhaps more than any other sense. The perfume industry has long been aware of this fact, but lately, people have opted to take their scents into their own hands with essential oils. These intense aromatic compounds are derived from plants and have the power to change influence mood, memory, and emotion. In fact, essential oils can be very effective in reducing stress.
How do Essential Oils Reduce Stress?
Stress is one of the hazards of modern life. Unfortunately, stress has been linked to many health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. An easy solution for easing chronic stress is aromatherapy using essential oils. They are effective for reducing stress and promoting sleep or relaxation because of the close connection between emotion and the sense of smell.
5 Essential Oils for Stress Relief
There are many ways to use essential oils. Some like to use a diffuser which disperses the scent while purifying the air. Others benefit from rubbing them into their skin, especially at acupressure points, or wearing a necklace diffuser. Practicing mindfulness and focusing on the scent and your other senses while using essential oils can help you reap the most benefits. Here are some of the best oils for stress relief.
1. Lavender: This scent is the most widely researched and commonly used for relaxation, promoting sleep, and reducing stress. It has also been used to treat depression and anxiety. Some medical professionals even use lavender to reduce stress in doctor’s offices and before surgery.
2. Rose: A sweet, floral, emotional scent, rose has been popular throughout history. Recent studies have found that rose essential oil can serve as a relaxation and anti-anxiety aid.
3. Ylang-ylang: This unique plant has a delicate scent and is found in tropical Asia, where it is used medicinally. Ylang-ylang has been found to reduce stress, heart rate, and blood pressure and promote relaxation.
4. Bergamot: Perhaps best known for its contribution to Earl Grey tea, bergamot is a citrus fruit hybrid used in Italian folk medicine. Its unique scent has been shown to reduce anxiety, promote sleep, and relieve symptoms of chronic stress.
5. Peppermint: Stress can leave you feeling tired both mentally and physically. Peppermint oil can serve as a perfect pick-me-up and energy boost. The scent promotes alertness and improved cognitive function. Additionally, it has been found to relieve IBS symptoms and may be used in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
Whether you opt to use essential oils in the air or on your skin, they can be the perfect relief after a long, stressful day. These volatile aromatic compounds have been scientifically shown to be calming.