While it may be hard to completely get rid of stress in your life, you can take steps to manage it. Many people turn to the first thing they can think of when it comes to dealing with stress. For some it’s smoking or drinking; for others it may be junk food or hours in front of the TV. But these solutions are really just quick fixes and in the end create their own set of problems. The next time you find yourself feeling stressed, why not choose something that’s healing for both your mind and your body? Essential oils are a great alternative therapy for reducing stress levels. Aromatherapy can actually be a powerful tool that can help you unwind after a difficult day.
There are many different essential oils, of course, but some in particular are used for anti-stress therapy. The chemicals in these anti-stress oils could soothe nervous tension, and relieve the side effects of stress, like anxiety, headaches, and muscle aches. And, when you combine some of these essential oils together, you can increase the health benefits. This process of combining certain oils creates something called “synergy” — which is just a fancy way of saying that, in this case, two oils working together can give you more healing power than either oil could on its own.
Is there any science to back up the claim that essentials could help relieve stress? In one interesting clinical trial, researchers investigated the effect of aromatherapy on medical staff who regularly worked night-shifts. This study consisted of 19 healthy medical personnel, including 11 physicians and eight technicians. Aromatherapy was performed for 30 minutes by having participants inhale the essential oil of lavender. A control study was performed to assess the effect of a 30-minute rest without aromatherapy. The research team found that sleep time improved after aromatherapy. They also found that night-shift work impaired blood vessel function in medical staff — an effect that was alleviated by short-term aromatherapy.
While there are a lot of essential oils out there being touted as stress-relievers, there are a few that are known to be quite effective and are also affordable (an important consideration!). Rose geranium oil is considered to be the best choice when it comes to soothing your nervous system. It said to be able to balance emotions. Bergamot is a great choice, too — it’s the oil used in Earl Grey tea. Bergamot actually comes from a bitter inedible type of orange. When used as an essential oil, it has an energizing citrus scent and soothes stress well. And finally, lavender is a great soother of nerves and is especially helpful for those having to deal with a prolonged period of stress.