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How to Use Aromatherapy for Stress Release

topical aromatherapy essential oil on wrist

Chronic stress and anxiety in Western societies are so recurrent that they are considered almost normal. We all experience it at various degrees. However, anxiety and chronic stress can create big problems in our day-to-day lives. Aromatherapy could be a great natural tool to help us manage our stress and anxiety better.

Why do we need to deal with anxiety and chronic stress?

Firstly, living with excessive nervousness is not pleasurable. So many of us live in tension and fear without any real danger. It can eventually lead to depression and various degrees of mental disease. On top of that, we might experience several physical symptoms daily. Naturally, in the long run, we will likely get ourselves ill. 

aromatherapy station with essential oils and scented candles

How can aromatherapy help combat stress and anxiety?

Aromatherapy can help improve our emotional responses to acute stress, fear and uneasiness. Aromatherapy does not replace any other treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider but, in most cases, can be included alongside it. Various clinical studies give some encouraging results. 

Essential oils tend to stimulate our olfactory system positively, which, in turn, releases serotonin and dopamine, or our happy hormones. Consequently, that promotes relaxation and stress release. 

When we target anxiety and stress with aromatherapy, we should prioritise essential oils rich in terpenes, such as linalool, geraniol and citronellol. Let’s see which oils contain these substances. 

What are the best essential oils for stress and anxiety?

There are so many essential oils available. However, few are particularly beneficial for anxiety and stress reduction. The best option is lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), bergamot (Citrus bergamia), blue camomile (Chamomilla Matricaria), jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum), vanilla (Vanilla planifolia), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), petit grain (Citrus Aurantium), damask rose (Rosa damascena), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), orange (Citrus sinensis), mandarin (Citrus reticolata), incense (Boswellia carterii).

How to choose for yourself?

It is easier than you think! Get one or two that you like. If a scent is pleasing, it is likely to be effective. What we enjoy can provide emotional uplift and aid in difficult situations.

How to use aromatherapy for stress release?

Essential oils can be inhaled or used topically. 

  • Inhalation 

The simplest way is to inhale directly from an essential oil bottle for quick stress release. You can also add a few drops to your diffuser. If you hang the water container on the radiator, pop a few drops of your favourite essential oil. For on-the-go relief, apply a few drops of the oil on a cotton pad and inhale whenever you feel anxious or uneasy.

diffuser with assoted esential oils
  • Topical application

Create a quick potion by adding a few drops of stress-releasing essential oils to a carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, almond, etc.), which you can then lightly massage into pulse areas to promote relaxation. It works well on wrists and temples.

Another great way is to add a few drops of essential oils to your bath. That is a fantastic double-stress-crusher technique. The same goes for massage. Why not include anxiety-fighting oils in your regular massage oil and enjoy added benefits? Self-massage is also a perfect tool for some self-love and stress reduction.

woman performing a self massage

Mind that essential oils could cause allergic reactions. I recommend performing a patch test before applying it all over your body. 

Some examples

Against agitation and tension, try mixing three drops of lavender and two drops of incense essential oils. Another great mix is a drop of chamomile, two drops of bergamot and two drops of orange essential oils. 

Against fear and palpitations, mix petit grain and bergamot essential oils in equal parts. 

As mentioned before, you should choose essential oils that you like the smell of. And you can also mix them and create a personalised anxiety and stress crusher. Do not be afraid to experiment and play with it.

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