You’re probably aware of your favorite smells. After all, the smell is one of your most powerful and evocative senses; scents go into the deepest part of our brain so we can use this to elevate our mood, such as when we feel stressed or sad.
Scents can bring back memories of good times, such as s trip to the beach or remembering Mom’s apple pie. But smells can, also, be therapeutic.
Aromatherapy, the therapeutic use of scents, has been used for thousands of years. Physicians in Persia, China, India, and Egypt, extracted and blended aromatic plant extracts in balms, perfumes, and oils for medical and religious purposes.
Today, around the world, people use aromatherapy as a gentle but effective way of reducing stress and anxiety, treating headaches, improving sleep and soothing aches and pains.
Aromatherapy uses the distilled essence of plants, like essential oils. You’ve probably seen them in your supermarket or health food store, or online. The most popular methods of using essential oils are in:
- bath oils or salts
- creams or lotions
Essential oils can be used by themselves or in combination to quickly lift your mood or change the atmosphere in your home. Here are some of the most popular:
Lavender is calming, balancing; sedative promotes a sense of relaxation and well-being. It is suitable for stress relief and to combat the symptoms of colds, flu, and migraine.
Chamomile is soothing and calming and will lift your mood. A great addition to a warm bath to help you relax and promote sleep.
- Orange, Bergamot, Grapefruit, and Lemon
All the citrus oils are perfect for lifting your mood. Especially recommended is Bergamot for general malaise and low mood. Orange oil promotes positivity and lemon boots energy. Grapefruit oil makes you more alert and stimulates the brain.
Rosemary oil is excellent for clearing a foggy mind and also acts as an anti-depressant.
Rose oil is especially recommended to help with depression, anxiety, and stress.
Marjoram oil aids in anxiety, stress relief, and combats fatigue and depression and calms hyperactivity.
Here are some suggested blends to try in the diffuser to instantly up your mood.
- Three drops Lavender
- Three drops Bergamot
- Four drops Lavender
- Two drops Lemon
- Two drops Ylang Ylang
- Four drops Lavender
- Three drops Chamomile
- Three drops Grapefruit
- Two drops Peppermint
- One drop Spearmint
My personal preference is actually Vick’s VapoRub, as it has chamomile and eucalyptus in it, which are relaxers, but it also can help with pain such as a tension headache or neck pain.
If you don’t have any essential oils – which are most effective – you can burn candles with the same scents. If at work, you can keep a candle (unlit) on your desk or a bottle of an essential oil. There are roll-ons in scents to dab on your wrist.
There are more holistic ways to get calmer by utilizing your senses to do so – the suggestions above are just one way, but effective and powerful.
Learning to manage your stress will lead to a calmer and more relaxed state of being. We have tools and techniques on our blog – check it out.