Aromatherapy works by inhaling essential oils - the aroma of the essential oil triggers a reaction in the brain and naturally occurring chemicals can add therapeutic benefits.
So - what are essential oils? Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts. For normal use, only a few drops of essential oil is required at a time because of how potent and concentrated it is. It’s important to be mindful of only using small amounts at a time.
Essential oils can be used for stress relief in a few different ways. The main way is through the use of an essential oil diffuser. Another way is by applying the oils to your skin directly. For this method, it’s recommended that you patch test it before applying it on a larger area on a regular basis. When applying an essential oil topically, it’s always a good idea to apply a carrier oil first. There are also aromatherapy and essential oil candles and body products that can also help to mediate stress. Essential oil baths are also a popular way to combine aromatherapy with self-care.
The essential oils most commonly used for stress relief are lavender, rose, sandalwood, and chamomile. Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils used and has been thought to calm anxiety by impacting the limbic system, which is the part of the brain that controls emotions. Not only does lavender calm stress, but it also can help you relax for sleep when used at nighttime. Many essential oil diffusers have timers and automatic shut off and could be used to help you fall asleep.
Each essential oil has different properties and benefits, so it could be helpful to do more research on which essential oil is best for you before purchasing and trying it. The benefits don't stop at stress relief and certain essential oils can also make you feel energized, alert, and focused. Refer to the chart at the end of this article to see which essential oils are good for what. Essential oils can also be combined and mixed to maximize benefits.
It’s important to note: If you’re experiencing chronic anxiety, it is best to consult your doctor on developing a management plan and treatment. Aromatherapy can relieve stress and anxiety from time-to-time, but is no means a long-term treatment for chronic anxiety.