Imagine that you just had the most hectic day. You barely made it to work on time, your coffee spilled on your jeans, and several presentations at work didn’t go as planned. The last thing you want to do is bring that negative energy from the outside world back home with you. If you can’t leave that negative energy at the door, you can help calm the mind and relax by adding stress-relieving essential oil blends to a diffuser.
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
Aromatherapy uses different scents to help improve your mood or overall health. The powerful aromas from essential oils not only help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, but they also work to reduce cravings, boost libido, or accelerate the metabolism. This works in the following way:
- You inhale the aroma from the oil.
- The scent acts on the hypothalamus, which is a part of the brain that influences the hormonal system.
- Different scents influence different hormonal responses.
- Sometimes, an essential oil mixed with a carrier oil is massaged onto the skin and the body absorbs the aromas that way.
Can Aromatherapy Reduce Stress?
The first thing to note about aromatherapy and stress is that the scents of essential oils offer relaxing or stress-relieving effects. They don’t have magical powers, so they don’t immediately zap your stress away. As you continue to inhale the aromas, you’ll start to calm down and feel more relaxed. People with high anxiety often benefit from aromatherapy because anxiety is rooted in the limbic system. This part of the brain controls emotions, and the olfactory sense (sense of smell) is the only sense that is linked to the limbic system. The scents reach the olfactory nerves, which transmit messages to the brain to release endorphins and serotonin, both of which help to establish emotional stability.
How To Do Aromatherapy At Home
Anybody can do aromatherapy and it’s very affordable. All you need is a diffuser, water, and various essential oils. Fill a diffuser with water. The amount of water you use will depend on the size of the diffuser. Mix 10-12 drops of essential oils into the diffuser.
Great Diffuser Blends To Relieve Stress
Bergamot, Geranium, And Lavender
Lavender helps put the body in a more relaxed state, while geranium helps you deal with stressful or anxious feelings. Bergamot not only works to lift your spirits, but it also helps relieve nervous tension. Add four drops of geranium essential oil, four drops of bergamot essential oil, and two drops of lavender essential oil in a diffuser. You can adjust the amount according to your diffuser’s instructions.
Lavender, Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, And Marjoram
The scent of clary sage works to alleviate stress and induce feelings of relaxation. One study even found that inhaling the scent of clary sage essential oil helped reduce blood pressure. Some people refer to marjoram essential oil as the herb of happiness, offering emotional benefits. Both ylang ylang and lavender essential oils work to reduce stress and anxiety. Combine three drops of lavender essential oil, two drops of clary sage essential oil, and one drop each of ylang ylang and marjoram essential oil in a diffuser. You can adjust the amount according to your diffuser’s instructions.
Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, And Rosemary
There’s something about citrus that seems to lift your spirits, helping the mind release negativity and stress. According to several research studies, levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, drop when you inhale rosemary essential oil’s aroma. The refreshing, clean aroma of juniper berry rounds out this powerful trio. Traditionally, many cultures used juniper berry to promote feelings of relaxation. Add five drops of grapefruit essential oil, three drops of juniper berry essential oil, and two drops of rosemary essential oil to your diffuser. You can adjust the amount according to your diffuser’s instructions.
Cedarwood, Frankincense, And Lavender
If stress is getting in the way of a healthy sleep cycle, let this blend of essential oils come to your rescue. Frankincense helps counteract the effects of stress hormones, and the powerful antioxidants help fight oxidative stress. Cedarwood oil is beneficial for those who have nervous energy. Studies show that cedrol, the compound in cedarwood oil, works to mildly sedate the body, and the woodsy scent has a calming effect on the nervous system. Add four drops of frankincense essential oil, four drops of lavender essential oil, and two drops of cedarwood essential oil to your diffuser. You can adjust the amount according to your diffuser’s instructions.