If you are an anxious person like me, essential oils can ease your life. Since I was a kid, I have been struggling to control my stress. Most of the time I cannot sleep because ideas are spinning in my head. It also makes me panic, be really negative and I feel powerless regarding my situation.
If you are familiar with those effects (you might have others such as headaches, light eating disorders, looking old…), there are natural solutions that can help you. Essential oils and other natural and healthy practices support me during those rough times and I believe they can comfort you too.
How can essential oils fight stress?
Essential oils are composed of tiny molecules that go through your skin or lungs, into your blood and reach your brain. There, they act on the area that is causes stress, anxiety, panic, and even depression. This is how they can relieve you.
Besides, they are “adaptogen” so they can adapt to your issue naturally. Therefore, if you are restless, they calm you down and if you are depressed, they lift your mood up. Magic, isn’t it?
If you think that it is too good to be true, the Telegraph highlighted a study driven in Germany that proves it right. Indeed, those scientists explained that aromatherapy does work. They explain that “Brain scans showed the effect on a chemical called GABA on nerve cells was enhanced by the fragrances and helped soothe, relieve anxiety and promote rest.” Good news, essential oils have a strong positive impact on GABA. So are you know willing to try?
What oils should you use?
We count many essential oils that are supposed to reduce stress. However, we notice a lack of research concerning that topic. Thus, I decided to share here the oils that were scientifically tested.
According to the study I shared above, Jasmine essential oil would have the same effects than valium. Professor Hatt from the Ruhr University in Germany showed that jasmine fragrance increased the GABA effect by 5 times and acts as a strong sedative.
It is perfect if you enjoy the floral smell.
Lavender is one my favorite because I can use it for almost everything. It soothes my skin, strengthens my hair and reduces my stress level. The relaxing effect is proven. Indeed, according to the US National Library of Medecine, lavender does calm the body and the mind.
I also love lemon essential oil because it is fresh and I cannot get bored of it. A study published in the Behavioural Brain Research “suggest(s) that lemon oil possesses anxiolytic, antidepressant-like effects”. This essential oil is then a great help to reduce stress, to fight depression and to improve mood and sleep.
I started using that oil in my diffuser by chance since I received it as a gift. Now I love it! I use it in my diffuser to relax and spread a delicious smell in my flat. There is no doubt that essential oils are safer than any air freshener.
Ylang Ylang has been used in aromatherapy for ages. A study published the US National Library of Medecine proved that it reduces stress because “The ylang ylang oil caused a significant decrease of blood pressure”
How to use relaxing essential oils?
There are many ways to use essential oils to relax.
- You may inhale it by placing 1 or 2 drops in your palms.
- You can apply the drops directly on your skin: temples, wrists, neck…
- You could also put a few drops on a scarf and inhale it when you need to relax. This is convenient if you face a stressful day and that you need a relaxing effect to last.
- Adding a few drops to your bath or shower is nice too. It creates an essential oil steam that is perfect to inhale.
- Finally, you can use a diffuser for a long lasting benefit.
I prefer using my diffuser so I can enjoy a nice smell in my whole apartment. It is perfect to relax after a long working day. Besides, it “turns off” my brain before I go to sleep. Adding a few drops of lemon oil would also calm you down while cleaning the air.
I also have a lavender bottle in my bag so I can use it on the go. In that case, I put 1 drop in my palms and inhale it.
Other ways to fight stress naturally
I usually do yoga just after work, before I go home. It is the perfect transition for me because it helps to balance my working and personal lives. It is hard for me to set boundaries but I found that yoga is ideal.
I prefer going to hot yoga classes and finish them with a savannah. That combination exhausts me and totally empties my brain. Once I am back home, I am ready to enjoy my night with a good cup of tea (never forget to hydrate after hot yoga), a warm shower and a movie.
If you do not have time to go to a yoga studio, you can practice at home. Some yoga apps guide you very well; you should give it a go!
If I really struggle to fall asleep because of stress, I also do some meditation exercises.
I noticed that I have anxiety when I receive stressful news at an inconvenient time. For instance, reading a work email after 8 pm makes me nervous. This is surely related to my difficulties to separate work and free time. Therefore, I decided to ignore work at those key moments. I try to disconnect and not think about work, which means no emails, texts or social media checking. To make it short, NO PHONE! Disconnect and your mental health will thank you.
I highly recommend to not checking your phone for 30 minutes after you wake up and one hour before you go to sleep. It has amazing effects on me. My day starts slowly and ends without overthinking.
Have you ever tried? I would love to read your thoughts about it.
This Guest Post was written by Marine from attitudeorganic.com.