If you’re looking for an easy way to relax when under stress, aromatherapy can be an answer. Our senses are very powerful and are useful when trying to get calm, to relax, and to energize.
The sense of smell goes into the deepest part of the brain through the olfactory area of the central nervous system, which stimulates the hormones of serotonin and dopamine (our happy chemical) and helps with mood-regulation.
Aromatherapy has its roots in holistic and alternative medicine; these practices are being embraced and used by the medical community and other businesses. We now see products being sold in grocery stores and pharmacies.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using oils from plant extracts for medicinal, relaxation and aromatic purposes. Making your own ‘concoction’ gives the best results, as the pure extracts are being used; essential oils are most notably sold but these are laced with other ingredients. Candles offer another way to reap these calming benefits, as well as diffusers, incense, and lotions. My personal favorite is Vick’s VapoRub, as it has both calming ingredients plus pain relief.
Using any of these can bring calm from depression or anxiety; pain relief from tension, such as in your head, neck or back; and energize with certain scents.
So, what scents are the best? Here are some suggestions:
- Lavender – calming, pain, enhance memory, sleep aid
- Eucalyptus and peppermint – brain fog, mental focus
- Rosemary and lemon – memory, focus, mental fatigue, stimulation
- Patchouli and Ylang Ylang – reduce stress and anxiety, enhance mood
- Orange – mood enhancer
Of course, there are many others, which can be used in combination with other to create appealing scents. Some scents might be overbearing so other ways include: candles, incense, and lotions or bath salts/bombs (“Calgon take me away…”).
You may have to test and try out which method and scent to see what works best; you may take a relaxing bath with lavender to decompress, or add lemon to a diffuser while you’re doing the dishes.
Aromatherapy is truly a great way to feel good. These alternative herbs and oils can bring a natural way of enhancing your mental health and well-being.
If you’d like help with anxiety and stress, and learn healthier coping patterns, reach out to schedule a call to learn how we can help.