Reduce Anxiety With Aromatherapy

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Written by: Anthony Cocco

When you smell fresh baked goods, what happens? Do you smile? Do you get hungry? Do you instantly want the cookie, bread, or whatever delectable treat is being concocted?  

Growing up in a family where homemade dinners were common, wonderful smells always filled the house. One of my all-time favorites is Italian gravy (red sauce). It didn’t matter what mood I was in, the minute I smelled this glorious Sunday sauce, I became happy. The nose knows!

Your sense of smell is one of the most powerful stimulators you have in your arsenal. If you learn how to use it to your advantage, you can elevate your mood and fight anxiety head on.

How Can Aromatherapy Help You?

Aromatherapy is the practice of extracting oils from bark, flowers, leaves, roots, stems, or other parts of a plant and using them to enhance your well-being. According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA): Aromatherapy is the art and science of using extracted essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process [1].

That’s what this is all about – finding what works best for you throughout your own healing journey. For me and many others, aromatherapy has proven to be incredibly useful and it could be for you too! Explore what aromatherapy could have to offer you and see how it can influence your life for the better.

If you are new to this, try some of the following essential oils:

1. Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)

Known to be one of the most used essential oils, lavender is best known for its sedative and calming effects, helping you to fight stress, relax and get better sleep. Perfect to counter anxiety!

2. Bergamot (Citrus Aurantium)

If you are a fan of Earl Gray tea, you are familiar with bergamot, as that is the oil used in flavoring. Bergamot is best known for use during times of grief, sadness and even depression.

3. Rose (Rosa Damascena)

Strongly floral and sweet, rose oil is commonly used for depression and stress. According to a 2009 study, at an emotional level, individuals in the rose group were found to be more calm and relaxed [2].

4. Orange (Citrus Sinensis)

Citrusy and sweet, orange oil is very popular among both adults and children. Orange oil is both affordable and versatile, though it is best known for its uplifting aroma – a great resource for helping you to cheer up on those stressful days.

5. Sandalwood (Santalum Album)

Sandalwood oil has been used for emotional and spiritual applications since ancient times. It is calming and gives a sense of true inner peace. With such a sweet, yet rich and woody scent, it’s a go-to for bouts of stress, low self-esteem and even depression.

6. Roman Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis)

Roman chamomile has a bright, crisp and herbaceous aromatic description. If you are under stress, experiencing a period of depression, or experiencing fear accompanied by anxiety, Roman chamomile can bring a sense of calmness to you.

7. Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata)

Pronounced Ee-lang, this oil has a slightly fruity, fresh and floral aroma. If you are trying to focus on celebrating blessings, gratitude, or happiness, ylang ylang is your scent of choice. At an emotional level, this essential oil can help with stress and anxiety. Also, if you are into balancing the Chakras, ylang ylang is said to help with the Solar Plexus and Sacral Chakras.

8. Vetiver (Vetiveria Zizanioides)

Earthy, smoky, spicy and woody, Vetiver oil is an excellent choice for aiding emotional well-being as it is calming and soothing. If you are looking to destress and unwind from the day, vetiver may help. It is most useful for addressing anger, coping with insecurity, fighting burnout and reducing anxiety.  

9. Frankincense (Boswellia Carterii)

Dating back to ancient times and popular within Christianity during Christmas (as it was one of the gifts given to the baby Jesus), Frankincense is best known for aromatic, cosmetic, medicinal and spiritual applications. With a balsamic, fresh, slightly spicy and woody scent, it is quite calming, grounding and relaxing.

2 Power Blends

These blends work best if you find a chair, close your eyes, practice belly breathing, allow the music to take you on a journey and let the aroma calm and invigorate your inner being.

Calm And Smooth

  • 4 drops Rose
  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 8 drops Orange
  • 4 drops Vetiver

Apply to a diffuser and listen to Michele McLaughlin, Philip Wesley, or Helen Jane Long (or an artist of your choice) for the best effects.

Orange You Delightful [3]

  • 10 drops of orange oil
  • 25 drops of vanilla oil

Apply to a diffuser and listen to Ludovico Einaudi (or other artist of your choice).

Give these blends a try or experiment with some of your own! Do you have any favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Adapted from Dr. Axe, Dr. Mercola, and Aromaweb  
1. National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
2. Relaxing Effect of Rose Oil on Humans
3. Now Foods: Essential Oil Aromatherapy Blends

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Anthony Cocco

Anthony Cocco

Certified Health Coach and Leadership Coach at Properly Defined
For almost two decades, Anthony suffered from a never-ending migraine. In October 2010, it was suggested by his neurologist to receive multiple Botox injections in his head and he immediately decided to take his health into his own hands. After months of trial and error he became migraine free on May 13, 2011, by implementing a holistic lifestyle. He has since dedicated his life’s work to creating programs that will work alongside healthcare professionals, focused on the holistic alternatives that are consistently overlooked.

Anthony is a Certified Health Coach, Leadership Coach, and former migraine sufferer. His passion can be found in helping individuals understand their unique body and become best prepared to overcome migraines and headaches.
Anthony Cocco


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