Stress impacts your life in a wide range of ways and can either be episodic stress, acute stress or chronic stress.
The most common type of stress is acute stress, which is temporary and usually short-term. Chronic stress is what people experience more over a long-term basis, where is keeps returning whether from the same situation or just because you don’t have a good handle on your stress. Chronic stress is often related to a past trauma that keeps coming back into your life. Then there is episodic stress, which is specifically related to demands you place on yourself, where it comes back in cycles.
Regardless of the type of stress you have, you might be looking for a way to relieve it, but in a more natural way. Essential oils can provide that for you, by using oils extracted from herbs to help with your stress and find relief.
What Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Can Do
So you know, essential oils are oils that are extracted from different parts of plants, herbs, and flowers. They can come from the leaves, flower petals, herbs, stems, and so much more. There are different processes used for different types of oils, such as lavender oil is extracted in a different process than say lemon essential oil.
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of aromatic plant extracts or essential oils. These oils and extracts have a wide variety of uses, such as in bath salts, massage oils and even fragrances, which can be therapeutic to the mind, body and soul.
The pure essence of a plant, otherwise known as essential oils, provides physical and psychological benefits when used correctly and safely. These benefits can come from both inhalation and physical application. However, due to its high concentration, always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, first (more on this below).
There are a wide variety of aromatherapy products to choose from and each serves a different purpose. For example, lavender has a calming effect, while oils from the family of mint - such as peppermint and spearmint - offer a stimulating effect.
These oils can be found in numerous vehicles, such as soaps, air fresheners, candles, and massage oils.
Benefits of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
The benefits of the essential oil aromas can be noticed almost immediately. Inhaling the fragrance of essential oils stimulates the brain to trigger a chemical reaction, like releasing serotonin, due to the neurotransmitters firing at a certain level.
The lungs also get a much needed boost from the naturally occurring chemicals in the fragrances, offering a therapeutic benefit. For instance, the diffusion of eucalyptus oil can help break up congestion.
Essential oils that are applied topically can be absorbed into the blood stream and aid in health, beauty and certain hygiene conditions.
What You Should Know About Essential Oils
If you are new to using essential oils, here are a few tips, tricks and facts you need to become familiar with before you start using them for stress relief.
There are different ways to use essential oils. There is no single best use of an essential oil. The way you use them comes down to preference and what you are trying to benefit from. For example, using lavender oil is great for sunburns and skin irritations, so naturally you would use it directly on the skin. However, other uses for oils include in a diffuser, in the bath, and even by using them in body and skincare products. The options really are endless.
Essential oils can also be used in a diffuser into to get the essential oil into the air. Cold air diffusers use the motion in the room to help diffuse the essential oil. Hot air diffusion is usually done by steam or a gentle warming of the oils.
Misting bottles are also a great way to spread the essential oil without having to use a diffuser. Misting bottles fit conveniently into your purse or pocket and can provide a quick spritz of essential oils, as needed.
Aromatherapy is a great alternative to some traditional medicines and treatments. By going the natural route, you avoid some of the negative side effects of pharmaceuticals, while at the same time providing additional benefits.
Of course, there are many other items you can use for aromatherapy, but these three ways (topically, air diffusion and misting bottle) would be a great place to start if you're looking for some natural help to common issues or if you just like the way they smell.
Skin contact requires diluting the essential oils first. It is really important that you dilute an essential oil before putting it on your skin. Pure essential oils are extremely concentrated and usually just a few drops will go a long way. When applying to the body or skin always dilute with a carrier oil, such as cold pressed organic coconut oil.
You need to be careful when purchasing essential oils. What you are looking for is “pure” essential oil, not fragrance oil. Make sure you pay close attention to the label and description of the oil, when purchasing online or in person. If it says “fragrance” anywhere, put it back and find something that mentions it is 100% pure essential oil.
The Best Essential Oils for Stress Relief
If you are interested in using essential oils to help reduce your stress, here are some of the best options:
Lavender: Lavender is definitely one of the most popular essential oils in general, but can also be amazing for stress, improving your sleep, and reducing anxiety. Lavender very calming and soothing, helping to relax you, whenever you are dealing with a lot of stress in your life or just want to wind down after a long day.
Frankincense: Frankincense, like all essential oils, has many health benefits. It can be good for reducing inflammation in the body, relieving chronic pain, and -yes- helping with stress. It has been used in many essential oil blends aiming to help with stress and anxiety.
Ylang Ylang: When you look at different essential oils and blends that are recommended for stress and anxiety, you will probably see ylang ylang, each and every time. This essential oil really helps to calm and relax your nervous system and improve mood, which can help with the heightened levels of stress you are experiencing.
Lemon: Lemon is great because it not only helps with stress and anxiety. This is thanks to the light sedative qualities it has, but it can be great for waking you up and helping with fatigue, as well. For this reason, it is a great essential oil to use in the morning if you wake up with anxiety, but you also want to be more alert to take on the day.
Chamomile: This one is likely not surprising, since chamomile tea is often recommended for relaxation and to promote better sleep. Try a little chamomile essential oil to reduce your stress levels or stick with the traditional route and drink the tea.
It's easy, therapeutic, and fun to use essential oils. Give it a try!