The Top 5 Ways To Harness The Healing Powers Of Essential Oils For Relieving Stress And Anxiety
Essential oils have become astoundingly popular in modern society for the plethora of mental and physical health benefits that they provide while avoiding the sometimes extreme side effects of modern medicine. One of the greatest aspects of Essential Oils is the surprising number of ways that you can utilize them.
Modern life is full of stress and the epidemic of anti-anxiety medication abuse is a very serious reality. Essential oils offer amazing ways to help you reduce stress without risking the side effects of medication. This article will go in-depth about those different ways and how they work.
What Are Essential Oils?
First off, let’s take a look at what exactly essential oils are. Essential Oils are defined as the extracted condensed particles of different plants that can be used for mental and physical health benefits.
Some people like to think of them as the “soul” or “heart” of the plant. Indeed, when you apply them, it feels a bit like the plant is becoming part of you.
The amount of research regarding essential oils that has surfaced recently is rather astonishing. It seems as though more and more plants are being discovered to have healing properties when distilled into essential oils.
What Kind Of Healing Properties Do Essential Oils Have?
The number of healing applications for mental and physical benefits is frankly impressive. Many essential oil users find that they can enhance mood and even help lift depression. Many of the oils have been found to help ease anxiety and panic attacks as well.
Our olfactory senses are extremely powerful to our minds and bodies. So, using essential oils can quickly snap oneself out of negative mental structures that you are having difficulty breaking yourself out of. There is even research showing that they can help with Alzheimer’s! Many of the oils have calming effects that can assist with sleep or meditation.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, some essential oils have energizing capabilities!
Essential Oils have also been found to have incredible physical benefits. Many people use them to maintain healthy, young looking skin and hair. Some essential oils are known to help relieve itchy diseased skin.
When used internally, many essential oils can help prevent infection and corrosion of your organs. Some oils have been found to lower blood pressure and repair damage to the nervous system.
Which Oils Are Best For Stress?
Lavender comes from the old world and is grown in many countries. A small scruby plant is highly aromatic and has many benefits.
Sandalwood trees are aromatic foliage with heavy, yellow, fine-grained wood that is found naturally in Hawaii, Australia, and India but has been cultivated in many parts of the world.
Bergamot is a fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow or green color similar to a lime, Depending on ripeness. Mostly grown in Italy but has a presence in other Mediterranean climates.
Frankincense is an aromatic resin that is obtained from the gum of trees from the Boswellia family found in Oman, Somalia, and other countries Africa.
Ylang Ylang essential oil is distilled from the flower of the Ylang Ylang tree found throughout Madagascar, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Chamomile is a common garden plant found in dry fields across Europe, North America, and Argentina.
Clary Sage is a biennial herb that is native to the northern Mediterranean Basin as well as parts of North Africa and Central Asia.
Peppermint is a perennial plant that grows long stalks with small purple flowers and bright green leaves that provide the aroma/flavor.
For more in-depth info on these oils, check out our article Best Essential Oils For Anxiety.
How Exactly Can You Utilize Essential Oils To Alleviate Stress?
There are actually quite a few ways to use essential oils whether you want to use them often in everyday life or for a single particular purpose. Regardless of your application purposes, there is likely a way to use essential oils. In fact, essential oils are often referred to as “adaptogens” because they have the ability to adapt to an individual’s personal need. Let’s take a look at the five best ways to use essential oils to help alleviate the over the limit pains of everyday stress and anxiety.
Essential Oils are perhaps most well known for their aromatherapy applications. Inhalation is a perfect way to bring essential oils into your body and mind. As we stated above, your olfactory system is one of the most impactful on your body. Your olfactory system includes any physical organ or cell that contributes to your sense of smell. Inhaling through your nose creates a direct path to your brain. No wonder it can have such a powerful and immediate impact!
When you inhale through your nose, particles from the essential oil travel through your nasal passageways and into receptors in your brain that help to make up your limbic system which is often referred to as your emotional brain.
In other words, inhaling the scent of an essential oil is a direct way to affect your stressful emotions!
Let’s take a look at some clever ways to use inhalation of essential oils:
– Direct Use: The most common and probably the easiest method of inhalation is to smell FROM THE bottle of essential oil directly. Pure essential oils have a very potent scent, so smelling the open bottle is a sure way to inhale the lovely stress-relieving scent. A great way to keep the oil with you all day is to apply a few drops of the oil to your wrists or hands throughout the day. If you apply to your hands, a good idea is to cup them together, cover your mouth and nose then breath in deeply. Do this throughout the day to help manage your stress!
– Home Vents: Here is a very clever way to fill your house with a stress relieving essential oil scent! Place four to five drops of your favorite oil listed above on clothespins (wood is best as it absorbs and holds the oil in for quite a while) and clip them to your air vents throughout the house. Whenever your air kicks on, the air will circulate through your vents and the clips to fill your house with a stress relieving scent.
– Car Scent: Whether you have a long, frustrating commute or you simply get anxiety from driving, sometimes piloting that car can be a real pain. How about making your own car freshener that is also a great stress reliever? Just put a couple drops on a piece of cloth and attach it to your air conditioning vent! choose your oils carefully as some may make you less alert for driving.
The particles in essential oils are microscopic and can be directly absorbed into the skin! When applied and absorbed through the skin, the oil can have a direct effect on the mind and body.
Here are some ideas for using essential oils directly on the skin:
– Direct Skin Application: If you are experiencing stress or having an intense anxiety attack, try applying a few drops of your favorite essential oil listed above or your favorite blend of those oils to your wrists, temples, and chest. Not only will the scent fill your nose, but you can feel the direct relief! Some oils are safe for direct application, others need a carrier oil.
– Lip Gloss: Another clever method of skin application is to put a few drops into your favorite JAR OF lip-gloss and mix well. That way, whenever you apply the lip gloss to your lips, you are adding a stress-reducing scent that you can smell all day! Consider using Peppermint oil for a little extra tingling sensation.
– Lotion: Try adding a few drops of a stress-busting oil to your carrier oils such as almond, jojoba or coconut oil. When you apply it to your body, you are adding a calming scent! Carrier oil with essential oils added is best applied to the body right in the shower. Consider using lotions that free from unnecessary chemicals, so you aren’t absorbing those into your skin.
We do not recommend adding essential oils to any product that comes in plastic – If you do add, make sure you transfer to an amber glass container. Also, remember if you add essential oils to any product it can change the chemistry of the product.
Yes, essential oils can be ingested for benefits to your WHOLE BODY. However, it is important to DILUTE the oil into another substance before ingesting due to the powerful nature of pure distilled essential oil and that some oils are “hot” and can irritate the mucous membranes, so start with one drop.
Here are a couple suggestions for ingesting your favorite oils:
– Water/Tea: The most common way people ingest essential oils is to place a few drops into a glass of water. As a general rule of thumb, humans should drink at least eight or nine 8oz glasses of water a day. Putting in a drop or two of oil is an easy way to make that water delicious and receive some stress-relief. Are you a tea drinker? Do the same thing with your tea to create complex and delicious cups of your favorite hot beverage!
– Salad Dressings: Another great way to ingest essential oils is to mix a few drops of your favorite oil into your salad dressing. Lemon Oil into balsamic vinegar makes a delicious and healthy combination of your greens. Start with one drop and build from there – Less is better!
Want to fill your home or office with stress-relieving essential oil scent without going through the effort of the air-vent method while guaranteeing the scent will fill the air? Why not pick up a diffuser? Diffusers hold distilled water and 5-15 drops of essential oil. The mist molecules pick up other bacteria and virus molecules and cleanse the air while bringing a peacefulness to the area. You can also diffuse oils by adding them to a pot of simmering water.
– Directly into the bath: Love taking a hot bath after a long stressful day? Try placing a couple drops of lavender, Clary Sage or Roman Chamomile oil directly into your bath water for some seriously calming aromatherapy while also getting the added benefits of applying it to your skin. If you have dry skin add a teaspoon of almond oil to the bath water.
– Shampoo and Conditioner: Another great way is to add some drops of your favorite oil to your shampoo, conditioner, or liquid soap. Mix well and apply to your heart’s delight. Your shower and bath time will never be the same!
DONT FORGET! Test Essential Oils First!
Given their potency, it is important to test out different oils before applying them or adding to beverages or bath. Many of us have allergies and it would make for a stressful experience if you settled into a bath with an essential oil that you are allergic to! To test an oil out, apply just one drop to the inside of your forearm. If there is no irritation after a couple hours, then you should be good to go! If you see a redness develop, add a carrier oil on the spot and it will ease the irritation.