Let’s imagine this scenario: it’s been a tough week at the office, your boss has been loading you with extra work, and your team isn’t performing at the level you’re used to. You’ve had to bear most of the load of the project while answering to your very unhappy supervisor. That sounds rather unpleasant, right? Luckily, reducing stress is as easy as turning on your essential oil diffuser. There are many oils that specifically help to reduce stress, and we’ve created this handy list of five of these great oils. So sit back, turn on your diffuser, and use one (or all) of these five essential oils for reducing stress.
What’s So Bad About a Little Stress?
It’s important to remember that physical and mental health are inexplicably connected. Without one, the other can’t function properly. That’s why it’s so essential to take steps to reduce feelings like stress and anxiety as much as possible. Anxiety and stress can lead to physical health problems, lack of appetite, fatigue, and more. Basically, it’s no good, and you should try to eliminate it any way that you can.
If you’ve ever smelled lavender, it’s pretty easy to see why this is a popular choice for reducing stress. Not only is the scent overly pleasant and calming, but it has an almost nostalgic feel to it. The scent of lavender flowers has been used for decades in soaps, shampoos, perfumes, laundry detergent, and many more commercial products.
Lavender oil is extracted from the lavender flower or Lavandula. The calming effects of using this plant’s essential oil via aromatherapy have been studied for many years. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there have been several studies performed on the effects of lavender on human emotion, though few were successful in making a clear determination.
If you’re constantly worrying, or just need to experience a feeling of overall calmness, Neroli oil may be able to help. This oil has a sweet-spicy aroma that tinges the nostrils but doesn’t feel uncomfortable. It’s helpful to inhale when you’re feeling overwhelmed or starting to lose focus.
There have been some studies on the effects of Neroli oil on hospital patients. Some patients reported feeling calmer and more level-headed after participating in aromatherapy with the oil, suggesting that Neroli is one of the best oils for reducing stress and anxiety.
The oil is derived from the fruit of the bitter orange tree or Citrus aurantium. This can be found in the western parts of India, Eastern Africa, and in and around the Himalayan mountain range. The oil is also said to help in reducing inflammation and rejuvenating the skin.
This sweet, earthy-smelling oil is derived from the Boswellia tree, which can be found in Yemen and around the Horn of Africa, making it rather difficult to obtain the oil. The sap of these trees is dried and used as incense or extracted to make essential oil, and the scent is incredibly unique.
Frankincense has been recognized as a pleasant aromatic compound for many thousands of years, with references to the sap appearing in The Holy Bible itself. As an essential oil, Frankincense has a calming effect when used in aromatherapy, reducing stress and anxiety and returning a sense of clarity to the user.
Pure frankincense oil can be used either in an oil burner or via a diffuser. The oil is very potent (and expensive) and it doesn’t take much of it to fill your home with a sweet aroma. Have a seat in your favorite chair, crack open a book, and run frankincense through your diffuser for a relaxing afternoon.
This case study at Wiley’s Online library actually found some great results when testing the effects of Bergamot essential oil in a mental health facility waiting room. The trial lasted 8 weeks and found evidence to suggest that the diffusion of Bergamot’s essential oils actually improved positivity and outlook for subjects in the waiting room. That’s pretty impressive!
Bergamot is derived from the peel of a fruit called Citrus bergamia and has been used to help reduce stress and anxiety for decades. The sweet, citrus scent of this powerful oil smells similar to other citrus fruits such as sweet orange and can be used for cleaning and disinfecting as well as aromatherapy.
Sourced from the Lemongrass herb, this essential oil has a sweet scent that, when inhaled via aromatherapy, is thought to help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and panic. The aroma is very pleasant, and the oil can also be used with a carrier oil for topical applications.
The effects of lemongrass oil haven’t been widely studied, but there are sources available that suggest this herb has a profound impact on the overall positivity and feelings of stress that people experience while participating in aromatherapy.
While essential oils aren’t the be-all end-all for reducing your stress levels, when combined with a healthy diet, exercise routine, and other calming/stress management technique, they can serve to augment your efforts and make them that much more effective. Since the limbic system in the brain controls memories and emotions, it makes sense that pleasant scents would have an effect on emotions in humans. Next time you’ve had a rough week at work, try diffusing some essential oils