What is stress?
The definition of stress from the Oxford Medical Dictionary is any factor that threatens the health of the body or has an adverse effect on it’s functioning such as injury, disease or worry.
When most of us refer to stress we are talking about the emotional strain or tension that we suffer during demanding or high pressure situations. At these times we may feel worried, anxious, fearful, agitated and often unable to cope.
We all have a different stress threshold and some of us cope better with certain things than others. Our response to stress depends on the state of our health, diet, previous experiences and the support network we have around us.
Stress affects us at all at different times in our lives
As long as it’s short term the body and mind returns to a balanced happy state.
However, if we suffer long term stress it can have a negative effect our health. Insomnia, emotional and physical exhaustion, hormonal imbalances and depression are just some of today’s stress related dis-eases.
Aromatherapy can help you during stressful times
It can help alleviate feelings of stress and bring about positive feelings to help you cope with demanding situations.
Inhalation is a fantastic way to use essential oils in times of stress. Inhale essential oils directly from bottle, place a few drops on a tissue or on your pillow at night. Add 6 – 12 drops to your oil burner. You can also use a face, body or room mist.
Essential oils can also be used in a relaxing bath or in a base oil for massage. Massage is particularly good as it deeply relaxes and improves your general well-being.
Aromatherapy for stress
Choose essential oils that calm and soothe your body, mind and soul. That uplift you and bring you joy.
These are my top ten stress-busting essential oils:
Bergamot: it’s sedative yet uplifting qualities balance the emotions in times of stress. It soothes the soul and strengthens the spirit. It is gentle, positive and joyful.
Chamomile (Roman): is deeply calming especially for those who are emotional and sensitive, over-think things and worry a lot. It also reduces insomnia brought on by stress.
Cypress: strengthens the nervous system, cleanses the spirit and restores inner calm. It soothes and balances the emotions. It is great for stress brought about by change.
Geranium: is balancing on the nervous system and the hormones, helping to reduce stress and restore harmony. It enhances mood and helps bring about a sense of contentment and comfort.
Lavender: it’s sedating effect helps to ease stress. It is also balancing and one of the most calming and relaxing oils for the nervous system as a whole, assisting on both a physical and emotional level.
Lemon: is a happy oil – sunshine in a bottle! It is uplifting and strengthening for the spirit. Very refreshing and clearing for the mind. It brings about laughter, joy and optimism.
Rosemary: is an excellent tonic for the nervous system. It is strengthening and stimulating for the mind, helping to bring about a sense of clarity. It assists in times of nervous fatigue and apathy, enhancing positive energy and confidence.
Sandalwood: is one of the best grounding, soothing and calming oils making it perfect for treating stress. It helps reduce tension, overcome feelings of isolation, bringing a sense of tranquillity, warmth, healing, hope and love.
Vanilla: is soothing and calming, bringing a sense of peace and positivity to ones soul. It’s relaxing properties ease restlessness and insomnia and help to elevate your mood.
Ylang Ylang: is sedating in times of severe tension bringing joy, serenity and comfort. It enhances self-confidence, tenderness, care for oneself and encourages a passion for life.
You can use these essential oils alone or in a combination. You’ll probably find you like different ones at different times. There is no right or wrong choice, if it makes you feel good then that’s the oil for you!
I urge you to see your GP or natural health practitioner for advice and treatment if you are suffering from long term stress or feel that you aren’t coping with any situation you are in.
What is your favourite stress-busting essential oil? Head to the comments below and let me know.
In health and happiness, Dee
Information comes from my own experience with clients, my personal journey and from The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia.