26 Apr How Aromatherapy Can Help You Cope with Stress?
You must have heard the suggestion of dancing your woes away. Well, we’d like to offer another one: smelling your woes away.
Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils to improve physical and mental well-being.
Is it magic? Not really. It’s science.
You may not realize it, but a fragrance is more than just a pleasant experience. Our sense of smell is rarely given the kind of importance that is actually due to it. When we smell something, the receptors in our nose send messages through the nervous system to our brain.
Essential oils are made from the different parts of plants and herbs such as the flower, petal, root, bark, or peel. Several studies have proven how their smells activate specific parts of the brain such as the limbic system and the hypothalamus that help to counter stress.
They also lead to the secretion of feel-good hormones such as serotonin, (a hormone that increases one’s sense of wellbeing) and impact our emotions positively.
Lifts your mood and more…
If you’ve visited a spa, you would know how well they’re aware of the power of aromatherapy. Nearly all spas diffuse specific oils to immediately make people feel calmer and relaxed. (Some part of their work is done there itself!)
The rest of the services, especially massages, most likely also involve the use of essential oils. Mixed with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, olive, or coconut), essential oils (such as lemon, chamomile, bergamot, and lavender) are frequently used in massage therapy.
Further, there is some evidence that suggests that essential oils not only affect our mood but may also impact the skin and the joints positively.
But the most overwhelming contribution of essential oils is in reducing stress and anxiety.
Here are some proven ways in which aromatherapy is known to relieve stress and anxiety.
- It reduces the perception of stress by decreasing the level of cortisol which is the “stress hormone” and boosts relaxation
- Lavender aromatherapy helps to reduce crying in infants and promotes improved quality sleep in adults as well
- A study shows how aromatherapy helped intensive care patients to feel less anxious and increased their positive emotions
- It increases mindfulness as it makes one focus on the positive experience of smelling and takes one’s mind off stressful thoughts
- Scents such as lemon, or other citrusy fragrances can help to energize and invigorate, especially when one is tired and stressed
- An aromatherapy massage is more effective in relieving mental fatigue than a regular one
The best part is that you can easily combine aromatherapy with other practices. For example, you can use aromatherapy in meditation, massages, or baths. You can also enjoy it passively through candles, diffusers, and in lotions.
So, the next time you are stressed, immerse yourself in the scent of your chosen oil, in your chosen method. Allow it to simply melt your stress away!