That time of year is once again upon us – Halloween is over, and up next comes Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the beginning of the busy hustle and bustle of the holidays. Whether you are running your essential oil diffuser in your home or wearing your essential oil jewelry, the oils that you choose to diffuse/wear may certainly have an effect on your levels of calm this season!
Essential oils are the concentrated, aromatic liquids extracted from plants, each oil having its own complex chemistry and providing fragrances that have strong effects on the brain (no two oils are exactly alike!). Many essential oils have been shown to create a balanced emotional state, which in turn has a therapeutic effect on our entire being. As we breathe in essential oils, their molecules travel through our olfactory system to stimulate the limbic system in our brain which is connected to parts of the brain that control emotional behavior, heart rate & blood pressure, stress levels, hormone balance and memory. The aromatic properties of essential oils make them truly unique therapeutic substances that have been used for thousands of years!
Can aromatherapy help reduce stress?
Use of essential oils to help aid in stress relief is becoming more popular today as a natural alternative. Stress is caused by some sort of negative situation, and although essential oils can not magically make a situation disappear, one may benefit from relaxation effects that aromatherapy offers. Anxiety (and, on the other side, joy!) originates from the limbic system, and the sense of smell is the only one of the senses that is linked to this part of the brain. Before we might even become aware of the effects an oil or fragrance may have on us, the molecules from the essential oils we smell are already at work on our limbic lobe.
What should I diffuse?
Some of the most popular essential oils used to combat stress are lavender, geranium, jasmine (a favorite of mine!), rose, frankincense and citrus oils. We have put together 5 “stress-away recipes” below for you to try in your home diffuser or essential oil jewelry, and you’ll notice that each blend contains some of these.
Blend #1: Lavender, Frankincense, & Orange
Lavender has a very calming & relaxing scent which may be helpful in both physical and emotional balancing. Studies have shown that smelling lavender increases beta waves in the brain which suggests greater relaxation & less mental stress.
Frankincense is a great oil that may help lift the spirits and improve attitude. This oil has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes and in religious ceremonies.
Orange is very uplifting like many of the citrus oils. One university study found that orange and other citrus scents helped promote relaxation – something much needed this time of year!
Blend #2: Lavender, Roman Chamomile, & Ylang Ylang
Roman Chamomile has a calming scent that may help ease anxiety and restlessness. For many years, mothers have had success using chamomile for calming little ones.
The influence of Ylang Ylang (“flower of flowers”) may help derail tendencies toward anger & help set aside negative energy. This oil has been used medicinally to help regulate heartbeat & to possibly ease anxiety and depression.
Blend #3: Bergamot, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang
Bergamot is another personal favorite of mine! I love the calming scent, which helps lift my mood almost immediately. This is another citrus oil that has been used for hundreds of years for it’s medicinal benefits.
Patchouli has a relaxing effect (love using this one near the end of the day) that may help with thought clarity.
Blend #4: Lavender, Lime, Mandarin
Lime has been historically used to support and strengthen the respiratory system; Mandarin has a scent that promotes happiness and smells wonderful combined with Lavender and Lime.
Blend #5: Bergamot, Geranium, Lavender
Geranium is wonderful blended with Bergamot & Lavender, and together the three may help ease nervous tension, lift spirits and bring an overall sense of balance an calm emotionally.
Which of these blends are YOU going to be trying this season?