Calm Your Anxiety Using Aromatherapy
Written by: Brandi Monasco
Many people think that aromatherapy refers to anything that has a pleasant smell such as potpourri, candles and even perfume. However, aromatherapy is defined as “the use of aromatic plant oils to bring about physiological and emotional changes.” Aromatherapy can be used to remedy a variety of symptoms such as insomnia, stress and headaches.
Your sense of smell is linked to your limbic system. Your limbic system is located on the top of your brainstem and is involved with your emotions and motivations such as fear and anger. When you smell a pleasant aroma or an aroma that is familiar to you, the aroma can evoke a pleasant and relaxing sensation because it stimulates your limbic system; therefore, you will start feeling more at ease and happier.
When you suffer with anxiety, no matter the reason or cause, it’s not always easy to control, especially once your anxiety symptoms hit. Fortunately, aromatherapy can help you with your anxiety.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that several studies have found that when using essential oils, such as rose, frankincense and lavender, pregnant women felt less fear and anxiety and they had a stronger sense of well being and needed less pain medications during their delivery.
Oils For Anxiety
There are many essential oils to choose from. Some work for headaches, some for digestive issues. These are a few essential oils that work for anxiety:
- Ylang ylang
The best way to use the essential oils is to diffuse them in your favorite oil diffuser. However, if you do not have an oil diffuser, there are other ways to get the relaxing and therapeutic benefits from the oils:
- Take a warm, steamy bath. While the water is running, add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to the water and one ounce of carrier oil. Soak in the water for at least 15 minutes.
- If you’re dealing with a stress headache, soak a hand towel or washcloth in a mixture of a half of cup of water and add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil. Hold the towel or washcloth to your forehead until the towel turns cold.
- If you’re looking for a massage, add 10 to 20 drops of essential oil to every one ounce of carrier oil and massage onto your skin.
When dealing with essential oils, it is always important to keep in mind to never apply oils directly to your skin without first diluting it in a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil.
Do you have any experiences with aromatherapy, particularly for anxiety? Please share with us in the comments below!
Source: T. (2005). The Cure Conspiracy. Peachtree City, GA: FC&A Medical Publishing.
Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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