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An interesting trend I’ve noticed is that most people first start with aromatherapy as a natural way to relax and de-stress. Once they see that aromatherapy for relaxation really works, they then look beyond using relaxing essential oils and start using different essentials for various other purposes too.
So what is it that makes aromatherapy for relaxation so common? The answer is not surprising really. Stress has become all-pervasive in our lives over the past few years.
Most of us are familiar with that feeling of stress and overwhelm as we juggle multiple tasks on the home and work fronts.
While occasional stress is only to be expected, when it becomes a way of life it can trigger a myriad of physical and mental symptoms, adding to the chaos of an already hectic environment.
You probably know the signs of stress and anxiety – racing heart, a spike in blood pressure, trouble sleeping, and erratic mood swings among others.
Aromatherapy for relaxation, using the right essential oils, is an exceptional, natural way to alleviate feelings of chaos while restoring the spirit of calm.
Relaxing essential oils can have a positive effect on our body. They work by stimulating the release of certain chemicals in our brain while also stimulating other parts of our central nervous system. These processes help us to make you feel calmer and more relaxed.
According to a report published in Shape magazine, relaxing essential oils are potent substances that change the way our body reactions to stressful situations. They lower blood pressure and decrease heart rate while also relieving other symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Not sure where to start with aromatherapy for relaxation? The first thing you need to know is which are the best relaxing essential oils.
Top 10 Essential Oils for Relaxation
Lavender oil is the quintessential scent of almost any spa you enter. This oil produces a sedative-like effect, helping to drive away stress and enable our bodies to relax.
Lavender is a favorite agent for promoting sleep and improving your overall well-being.
Chamomile is the go-to essential oil for calming effects. The key to keep in mind is that it can be mixed with other oils and it can be used with children as well. It is a mild relaxant and stress reliever with a very light scent.
If your nerves are feeling a bit frazzled or you have feelings of mental fatigue, lemongrass oil may prove useful. Lemongrass oil produces an immediate stress-relieving effect on our senses, helping to calm our nerves and immediately drain tension from our body. With as few as three drops, this oil can affect in as little as three minutes.
Grapefruit essential oil demolishes stress and can help infuse energy where fatigue might be weighing you down. This oil is useful in delivering headache relief and decreases symptoms of depression.
Want to step outside of the essential oil box? Try adding a few drops of cedarwood essential oil to your diffuser. Cedarwood possesses sedative properties can not only help to calm you but also promote sleep. Cedarwood oil relieves spams and contains anti-inflammatory agents which may help to reduce joint stiffness and other forms of pain that prevent us from relaxing.
6. Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang essential oil helps to reduce our stress levels while also lowering blood pressure levels according to existing research (Shape.com)
Remember, these are just a few oils that can help to promote calm. Remember to keep the process simple and enjoy the glorious effects!
Vetiver is an essential oil that is listed as calming, but it actually does something specific. Vetiver oil can help with feelings of jitteriness or with hyperactivity. This makes it ideal if you are very nervous or jumpy for whatever reason. You can mix it with other oils, but it ideally should be used as a stand-alone oil for specific issues dealing with feeling jumpy and feeling nervous instead of just stressed. It can also help with minor anxiety or quick onset anxiety from nightmares or night terror issues.
Frankincense essential oil is another powerful oil with a reputation for improving mood but also has properties that boost spirituality. This oil is an excellent, supportive meditative oil that can assist in curing feelings that sometimes accompany panic.
Frankincense works with the limbic system, which controls your basic emotions, including fear and anger, two feelings inextricably tied up with stress. This wonderful oil also keeps your digestive system in good order and works as a painkiller. There are many, many more ways in which frankincense enhances wellbeing, which is partly why it is an expensive, but very effective oil.
9. Bitter Orange
Bitter Orange essential oil offers users a wealth of benefits. Studies show that this essential oil can reduce anxiety while also enabling some users to reduce their antidepressant prescription.
10. Valerian Essential
Valerian essential oil contains chemicals that have a calming effect on our nerves. Also, they have a sedative effect that can help to promote sleep. For best results, add a few drops to your aromatherapy diffuser and inhale the scents.
5 Ways to Use Relaxing Essential Oils to Restore Your Calm and Balance
Now that you know more about the benefits of aromatherapy for relaxation, it’s time to learn about the ways to use relaxing essential oils to restore calm and balance.
Inhalation: This is the simplest ways to use relaxing oils to get the benefits of aromatherapy for relaxation. Add 2-3 drops diluted oils to your palms and rub them together gently. Holding your hands 5 inches before your face, take a long deep breath. You can also add a few drops of oils to cotton balls and keep them under your pillow or add a few drops to a scarf and just wrap it around your neck. With both of these methods, you will automatically inhale the scent of the oil when you inhale.
Add to your bath or shower: Inhaling essential oil steam is another safe way to get the benefits of aromatherapy for relaxation. What better way to indulge in the aroma of essential oils than in your shower or bath? Add few drops of any relaxing essential oil to Epsom salts, gel or carrier oil before adding to the weater. Keep in mind that you want to mix these oils with something other than water as oil and water do not necessarily mix!
Use a diffuser: Diffusers provide us with access a longer-lasting and intense benefit in that you can use them in your home, or place of business or even your hotel room or car. You can create a spa-like environment in a matter of just a few minutes by just adding a few drops of any relaxing essential in your favorite diffuser
Light an aromatherapy candle: There are several candles you can buy that are scented with relaxing essential oils. My favorite is the Bath & Body Works Stress Relief Candle, which is scented with Eucalyptus and Spearmint essential oils. Read my review of this aromatherapy candle here or buy it directly from here
Topical application: Apply essential oils to your temples or use it as a massage oil to promote full body relaxation. Take care when applying a diluted EO to your skin. Essential oils can be especially irritating and cause rashes or redness. Some “natural” oils can be toxic, triggering nasty allergic reactions in and on our bodies. Some oils cause your eyes and nose to burn, therefore, when applying to near any of your body’s orifices, proceed with caution.
Air Freshener: You can create your own air freshener using water and essential oils. You can mix three to five drops of oil with two ounces of water in a spray bottle and spray it in the air or on your bed before you go to sleep.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.