Everyone gets the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope sometimes. Whether your stress manifests itself emotionally, mentally or even physically, finding effective ways to combat it can always be helpful.
In this blog post, we explore further into aromatherapy as a natural and fast acting way to handle any forms of stress and anxiety.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy has been around for a long time, dating back to over 3500 years BC. At the time, it was used for many things, including religion, perfume and for medicinal purposes.
The origin of the term ‘aromatherapy’ was founded in France, when a chemist treated a burn he had with lavender essential oil.
Now, aromatherapy is used in a variety of essential oils and other aroma compounds. Many people claim this not only helps their physical well-being but also their psychological as well.
Oils such as peppermint are promoted when people have problems like headaches, muscles aches, joint pains, coughs and colds.
Other oils such as Chamomile aids in wound healing and easing varying skin conditions like eczema and rashes.
How does aromatherapy work?
Essential or aromatic oils work in two main ways: either being absorbed through the skin or inhaled via the nose.
Through these two methods, they are able to affect the body quicker than taking a pill, as they have access to several systems and pathways.
As the skin is the largest organ humans process, it’s important to understand that anything we absorb goes straight into our bloodstreams, and essential oils are no different.
Once the oils are applied, they move down the bloodstream and benefit the body in that way.
Absorption of the oils can be increased by massaging, as this allows for the circulation to be increased and pushes it to move around the body faster.
On the other hand, when being inhaled via the nasal passage, the molecules then become airborne. The oil interacts with the olfactory receptors and then also, can speak to your brain almost instantly.
Aromatherapy is great if you need a quick response, fully natural alternative.
How can you incorporate aromatic oils into your everyday life?
Fortunately, aromatic oils come in many different forms now.
No matter what is causing you stress or anxiety, or at what time of day you feel it the most, a product like a Ritual balms could be a great option.
Having a balm that you can chuck in your back, can help relieve any overwhelming feelings of stress you may be feeling whilst on the go. With no mess and no worries about it leaking, this could be a perfect, soothing companion.
As mentioned before, the skin is one of the main receptors that can take in essential oils and that is only elevated by massaging into the skin.
You can simply incorporate using a relaxing alternative to your regular shower gel by swapping it out for one infused with positive and uplifting oils.
A messed up or irregular sleeping schedule is another problem that can unfortunately come with feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
Adding an aromatherapy candle to the side of your bed can help you drift off into a calm and dreamy sleep.
Not only will a good night sleep allow you to feel rested in the morning, but it will also break the stress-filled, tired cycle you may have got yourself into.
What are the stress and anxiety reducing benefits of aromatherapy?
Now we know how it works, let’s talk about the direct benefits it has when it comes to using it to combat any stress and anxiety.
Smell is a powerful tool that can trigger many emotional and mental responses from your brain.
We can use this in pretty much every area of life, including sleep, to wake up, to go to relax and even, to focus.
Not only that, using aromatherapy can help improve digestion, clear your skin and aid you in healing.
It is thought that the use of aromatic oils can help reduce the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) you may have and overall, reduce the perception of stress.
Oils such as Lavender in particular, are good for this.
Lavender is known for having a sedative effect which can help you if you have any sleeping troubles, which includes feelings of stress or anxiety that could be keeping you up throughout the night.
Whilst other oils like Jasmine, allow you to feel calmed down without causing sleepiness. It has even been reported that it has a stimulant effect and makes you feel awake if needed.
Whether your stress is streaming from work, an overwhelming life event or maybe from a general anxiety disorder, introducing aromatherapy into your daily life will help relieve you of this.