Fighting Stress with Essential Oils
Aktualisiert: 17. Feb. 2019
Stress. That nasty, five-letter word that makes just you cringe. We all experience stress in our lives, you can’t control that. What you can control, though, is how you deal with your stress, and with essential oils you have an amazing tool in your toolbox to not only help combat stress and anxiety, but to also help you prevent stress from wreaking havoc in your life.
Have you ever heard of the mind body connection? Simply put, the mind body connection means that anything affecting the mind, positive or negative, is also going to affect the body – and anything affecting the body is also going to affect the mind. This explains why when you’re dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression not only do you feel the effects emotionally, but physically as well. Dealing with chronic stress, anxiety, and depression can eventually lead to a vast array of medical conditions.
When you smell an essential oil, you have what’s called an olfactory response. The essential oil travels through the olfactory system and reaches the limbic part of the brain. The limbic area of the brain is thought to be one of the oldest parts of the brain and has a direct connection with emotions and memory. It stands to reason then, that using an essential oil that is calming and relaxing can have very positive benefits when dealing with anxiety and depression.
When you hear the word stress, you might have a negative response right away. The thing is, not all stress is bad. Sometimes stress helps you to perform at your best, keeps you safe, and gives you courage. That kind of stress is good, and you want to have that kind of stress in our lives. However, too much stress can be seriously detrimental to you both physically and emotionally and lead to anxiety, depression, anger, and addiction.
In a normal response to stress, your body senses danger (or the stressor) and goes into “fight or flight” mode, preparing you to fend off an attack or act. Different hormones and neurotransmitters are secreted from the body and can cause this reaction to take place in a mere matter of seconds. Once the threat has passed, other hormones and neurotransmitters are released to help you calm down and come back to your natural state. When dealing with too much stress, or stress over a prolonged period, the body can lose the ability to calm back down and return to normal, which can then lead you into a world of anxiety, depression, and sickness.
Stress plays a major role in your immunity too. When you’re under large amounts of stress your body loses the ability to make pathogen fighting cells as quickly and efficiently as it can under normal circumstances. This leaves your immune system weakened and can leave you prone to infections and illness and leave you sick for longer periods of time.
So, what can you do about stress? For starters, you can adopt healthy habits that give your body the best ability to fight off stress. Things such as having an outlet to deal with frustrations and to build a strong social support system. You want to learn techniques to calm the mind and promote a positive mental attitude, exercise, eat healthy, and add botanical supplementation, such as essential oils, to our self-care routines.
When it comes to using essential oils for stress and anxiety, keep in mind that aromatherapy can be used as an active treatment, for example when you’re dealing with an anxiety attack, but it can also be used as a preventative.
Some great oils to have in your oil toolbox for stress and anxiety include: sweet orange, frankincense, lavender, Roman chamomile, marjoram, bergamot, and vetiver. Synergy blends such as Balance, Serenity, Past Tense, Peace, Forgive, and Console are also great options to have on hand.
Ways these oils can be used in battling stress and anxiety:
1. Dilute to 2.5% and apply topically
3. Nasal Inhaler/Smelling Salts
4. In a lotion
5. In an aromatic spritzer
6. Bath salts
It is my hope that you’ll be able to take this information and use it to create an aromatic self-care regimen for yourself that can help you feel better both physically and mentally. Remember, the essential oils can be used when you’re actively dealing with anxiety, stress, and/or depression, but they can also be used daily as a preventative to promote a sense of calm and well-being in your life.