How to Reduce Stress Using Essential Oils
Psychological Benefits of Essential Oil Therapy
Essential oils have a powerful effect on the body and mind, whether you suffer from anxiety, depression, panic attacks, anger or have a general lack of apathy, you can rely on essential oils to help you deal with those problems. Essential oils act on the nervous system and help sooth frayed nerves and anxiety. The kind of oil you use really depends upon what issues you wish to treat.
Anxiety and Nervous Tension
If you suffer from anxiety and tend to worry excessively over routine, everyday issues, then you should try using the following kinds of essential oils. Any of these will help bring your anxiety levels down, which one you choose is up to your personal preference.
This is a serious psychological condition; it is very difficult to deal with such intensely negative emotions. Depression is often coupled with anxiety and obsessive thoughts. People who are depressed just don’t simply feel blue; depression is only diagnosed if the feelings have lasted for a long time and any changes the individual makes have no effect on the internal thoughts. Essential oils will help relax you and as the stress reduces so will the anxiety and obsessiveness. It is suggested that you use these oils to help you cope with depression and sadness.
Anger is a normal human emotion, but intense feelings of anger can be destructive to your mental health. Sudden bursts of intense anger and emotional outbursts will affect your life and health negatively. Do not let your anger get out of control, if you do have issues managing your anger, then use these essential oils as a treatment.
People who are depressed often feel a lack of interest in life and daily activities. A loss of interest and concern with things that you previously felt motivated about is a sign that you are suffering from apathy. Apathy can be treated and controlled with essential oils, use these oils in your aromatherapy routine to increase your motivation levels.
Dwelling on the past
If you find yourself reminiscing about the past in a negative way, try these oils to help draw your mind to the present
Instability of moods and frequent irritability can be treated with these calming essences.
Often connected with deep anxiety, feelings of panic leave the sufferer feeling helpless and out of control. If you tend to have panic attacks or face situations where panic is set in quickly, use these oils in your aromatherapy treatments regularly.
- Clary sage
The Mind/Body/Spirit Connection
Essential oil therapy has a spiritual dimension to it; people throughout history have used essential oils as a method to intensify meditative states. Essential oils have been used in rituals such as prayers, purifications and celebrations. The physical effect of the aroma makes people experience their spiritual side easily. Essential oils act as the highway that connects the physical world to the spiritual dimension.
The mind-spirit-body connection is complex and not properly understood. However it is very clear that aromatherapy has an effect on enhancing this connection. Essential oils seem to work on all three aspects of the self. The links are strengthened in some way and the whole being comes into balance.
How to Use Essential Oils for Anxiety
There are three major ways to use essential oils, either through aromatherapy, where the primary sense that comes in to action is the sense of smell. You can also add to your bath or diffuser to relax.
Ingestion is another option. Some essential oils are safe for consumption and can be taken when highly diluted.
The third method that you can use is to apply the essential oil blend directly to you skin, through massage techniques.
Using aromatherapy to deal with anxiety is a popular choice. Our sense of smell has a powerful ability to trigger memories and emotional responses. Essential oils act on the sense of smell and help soothe anxious feelings. The area in the brain responsible for emotional processing has a strong link with our sense of smell. Try out different oils and find the blend that helps you the most.
The stimulants in essential oil regulate stress and help you in feeling a calming response almost instantly. You will notice that your heart rate slows down, the blood pressure lowers and your breathing patterns become regular. Aromatherapy uses baths, direct inhalations, hot water vapor, humidifiers, fans, perfume, cologne or through the most popular option, diffusers.
- Oral Application
Many essential oils can be ingested just like medicine. However make sure that the oils you buy are high-quality and from a reliable, reputable manufacturer. Dishonest manufacturers often dilute these oils with alcohol or blend them with other synthetics. This makes them harmful for ingestion and even if used in other ways (in aromatherapy or massage) these oils will not be very effective. The USFDA has given its approval and declared some essential oils as safe for consumption.
- The best way to consume them is to add a drop of oil in a glass of water and drink it.
- Another way is to use honey; you can add a drop of essential oil to a teaspoon of honey.
- A more direct application is also possible, this involves adding a drop or two of oil to the area of the mouth underneath the tongue. This area has a lot of blood capillaries and will allow the essential oil to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Once it has entered the bloodstream the oils can travel to different parts of the body and act where it is needed.
- Another option is through capsules or gel-caps.
- You can also add them to your favorite beverage such as tea.
- Add them to any dish you cook, a small amount will not usually alter the taste, but might affect the smell.
- Topical Application
Most people find it best to use essential oils topically that is through direct application to the skin. The essential oil is placed on to the skin, teeth, nails or other mucous membranes of the body. The oils are easily absorbed into the skin upon contact. When applying to the skin, be sure to dilute the oil with a carrier oil. Essential oils are potent and can be too strong if applied directly. Apply the blend to an affected area, the rims of your ears, and the bottoms of your feet. You can also use a compress for the application or massage the oil gently into your skin.
Out of the many creative ways of using essential oils, aromatherapy is the most popular method; it is an easy way to create a relaxing atmosphere. There are a couple of aromatherapy techniques that you can use to reduce anxiety and stress.
- Use high-quality candles that have your favorite scent. When these candles burn they mix the essential oil particles into the air.
- Diffusers are excellent at saturating the room with the scent and goodness of essential oils.
- Inhale directly by taking a few drops of oil onto the palms of your hands, rub your hands slightly to warm up and activate the oil. Then cup them over your face and breathe in deeply.
- You can also place a drop of oil onto a cotton ball.
- Another option is to place a small drop of oil just below your nose.
- Mix the essential oils with an unscented carrier oil, like almond oil and use as a massage oil.
- You can also give your favorite unscented body lotion a boost of vitamins by adding in essential oils.
Essential Oil Diffusers
Diffusers transform any room into a personal luxury spa. Diffusers are devices that heat up essential oils and break them into their base components. The components then mix with the air and provide a soothing oasis of calmness. There are several ways to diffuse essential oils but the preferred and most convenient way is to use an ultrasonic or electric diffuser.
Types of Diffusers
A wide range of diffusers are available on the market. Most of them are of the pottery bowl or electrical type. These rely on heat to activate the molecules of the oil, thus making them more volatile. If using a bowl. Make sure it is non-porous and clean it properly after each use. Also ensure that there is adequate water in the bowl so that the heat does not directly reach the oil and burn it.
New diffusers are portable and do not use any heat source. They are safer and have filters in place to disperse the oil properly.
Nebulizers or oil vaporizers are also used to diffuse oil. These spray a small light mist of the oil into the atmosphere. Mostly used in clinics and spas because home use is too inconvenient, the mist sprayed in the air will affect clothing and furniture and must be properly cleaned up after each use.
- Electric Heat Diffusers
- Essential Oil Nebulizers
- Fan Diffusers
- Candle Diffusers
- Terracotta and Sandstone Diffusers
- Lamp Ring Diffusers
Aromatic Essential Oil Recipes to Try In Your Diffuser
- Anti-Stress Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
If you are feeling frazzled and anxious, try this combination:
- 2 drops frankincense essential oil
- 2 drops bergamot essential oil
- Grounding Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe
If you feel you are taking things too seriously and need to chill out then try the following amazingly calming blend of vetiver and cedarwood.
- 2 drops vetiver essential oil
- 2 drops cedarwood essential oil
- Ultimate Stress Soother
This will drive away stress and blues.
- 4 drops lavender
- 3 drops clary sage
- 2 drops ylang ylang
- 1 drop marjoram
- Powerful Essential Oil Antidote for Anxiety and Depression
- 4 parts ylang-ylang
- 4 parts clary sage
- 2 parts basil
- 3 parts geranium
- 1 part sandalwood
Combine and store in a small dark colored glass bottle. Whenever you feel anxious, open the bottle and take a light whiff of the oil, this will instantly clear your mind and soothe your frayed nerves
- A Tangerine and Lime Uplifting Blend
You will need the following oils, simple mix and add to the diffuser.
- 7 drops Lime
- 6 drops Tangerine
- 2 drops Bottlebrush oil
- 1 drop Petitgrain (bitter orange tree oil)
- 2 drops Frankincense
Creating Custom Essential Oil Diffuser Blends
Apart from the standard combinations to treat anxiety, you can also create your own blends, mix the scents you love and use them in your diffuser. The effect will be relaxing because your natural senses will respond more quickly. You can mix different oils or add singles to carrier oils.
Anxiety and Essential Oils-Less is more
Studies show that being exposed to an aromatherapy treatment of bergamot essential oil for about an hour reduces anxiety indicators such as high blood pressure and rapid heart rate. However, the treatment period should not be prolonged. Exposure to essential oils for longer than an hour does not increase the effectiveness; in fact it might have the opposite effect. When it comes to treating anxiety with essential oils, less is more.
Stress and its Negative Effects
Stress affects these body systems in a negative way, use essential oils to help heal your body.
- Sleeping patterns
- Respiratory system and lungs
Mental and Emotional Effects of Stress
- Deep-seated fear, feeling out of control, and overwhelmed
- Apprehension – intense feelings of doom or paranoia
- Irritable moods, inconsistent moods, sadness
- Lack of concentration, loss of ability to focus on tasks
- Negative thoughts and irrational obsession with negative outcomes
Some Mood-Boosting Oils
Oils such as bergamot, clary sage, and especially lavender are excellent options to promote relaxation and serenity, you should also try these to create a unique blend and brighten up your day and mood
- Sweet orange
- Ylang ylang
To sum it up, it is important that you make essential oils a part of your routine thanks to their multiple benefits. These oils are used everywhere and can even be bought online from from Keeva Organics (http://keevaorganics.com/).