Integrative Nutrition Blog
Aromatherapy & Anxiety – Three Oils That Can Help You Relax
I had no idea when introduced to essential oils a few years ago, just how much I would fall in love with them. Over the years, it has become increasingly important for me to choose practices that align with my core values rather than looking for a quick fix. With one of my favorite examples being essential oils and aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is the practice of inhaling the scent of essential oils to improve wellbeing. Although this ancient practice has been around for centuries, we have recently begun to see an influx of interest and use of these oils due to the dramatic increase of anxiety and depression currently plaguing our world. According to recent findings, anxiety is the most common mental illness in the US, reportedly affecting over 40 million adults. With a rapidly increasing amount of people looking for help outside of pharmaceuticals for such issues, it’s no wonder oils have become much more mainstream as of late. This is due to the fact that using essential oils has the power to impact one’s feelings, health and overall well-being.
Having dealt with anxiety first-hand, I can attest to just how helpful incorporating aromatherapy into a daily practice can be. Whether you’re dropping calming oils onto your pillowcase before drifting off to sleep, inhaling a scent to instill a sense of calm, or my personal favorite, adding them to a relaxing bath, there are a plethora of ways to incorporate oils into your life for some added relaxation.
Feeling a bit anxious? The following essential oils are my go to when searching for a sense of serenity:
Ever reach for a cup of warm chamomile tea before bed? That is because chamomile contains a high percent of esters, proven to have profoundly calming effects on one’s nerves. This flower and its oils are extremely effective in soothing tension and promoting restful sleep.
This wondrous plant has the ability to aid the body in calming nerves and inducing joy, pleasure and confidence. The aroma of this magical plant has proven to lower cortisol levels when inhaled and naturally release symptoms of stress, re-centering the body. For my women out there, ever have dramatic hormonal changes on a certain time of the month? Clary-sage has been dubbed “the best oil for your worst time of the month”, as it has the ability to help find a calm center during times of hormonal fluctuation.
My personal favorite and widely popular amongst its users. Lavender is the oil to reach for in times of anxiety and high stress. The calming properties of lavender become paramount in relieving pain or discomfort. Many people look to lavender to help with sleep support – either diffusing the oil throughout the night or applying to their pillows to help induce a state of calm. What some may be unaware of however, is that this oil aids verbal expression and calms insecurities that are felt when one risks their true thoughts or feelings.
With the surge of anxiety affecting the population, it may be wise to invest in some essential oils to help instill that sense of peace we all hope for. Simply try a few out for yourself and see which help you relax!