Contrary to popular belief, stress is not always a bad thing. In fact, stress can make you more successful. That “fight-or-flight” instinct can help you meet deadlines, boost your thought power, motivate you to succeed and can help you fight danger. The problem with stress is not the short-term reaction that helps us meet our goals or removes us from a dangerous situation. The problem with stress starts when it becomes chronic.
Once stress becomes chronic or prolonged, the benefits of stress quickly turn to negatives. People who live a high-stress life are often unhealthier than those who can handle their stress appropriately. Stress is linked to alcoholism, drug use, broken marriages, heart disease, and obesity. Basically, it weakens your immune system and makes you look and feel much older than you already are.
If you struggle with chronic stress, you need to learn ways to handle stress and reduce your anxiety levels. One very successful way to do this is by engaging in aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of your sense of smell to change your emotions and promote better health.
When using essential oils to participate in an aromatherapy session, you can use a diffuser, add a few drops in the shower or simply boil some water on the stove and add these oils to help get the aroma throughout the house. Some oils you may wish to consider include:
Derived from the skin of a citrus fruit, bergamot is a great oil to use for reducing stress and anxiety. In addition, studies have shown that this oil can also be used to help alleviate insomnia, headaches and pain. It is also well known to help increase digestion.
Lemon is a very uplifting oil and although it seems contrary to stress relief, this oil actually promotes peacefulness while at the same time provides mental sharpness and clarity. Lemon oils have been used with agitated dementia patients with great results. If you can’t get hold of lemon oil, any citrus will work.
Derived from the flower, the sweet floral fragrance of geranium has long been used to help relieve tension and stress. Not only that, this oil is found to be antimicrobial and can promote a good night’s sleep.
Lavender is one of the most well known essential oils used to help relieve stress. Lavender has a calm and soothing effect and has been scientifically proven to help reduce agitation. In addition, it also helps to keep the brain sharp without causing sleepiness. Lavender has been studied so much that many hospitals and nursing homes have started using lavender essential oils in their patient areas.
Long associated with feelings of love, rose essential oils not only promote a sense of calm, but can also lower heart rate and blood pressure.
In traditional societies, marjoram was called the “joy of the mountain.” This essential oil promotes muscle relaxation and sleep. It can also be used to naturally relieve headaches and insomnia.
Long used in traditional societies for both medicinal and religious purposes, it is not only considered to be comforting, but is also slightly exotic. Frankincense can be used to help promote an uplifted mood that reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.