Have you ever used aromatherapy or experienced a boost in your mood after you’ve put on scented hand lotion? If so, then you know smell can directly affect how you feel. In fact, it’s smell that often triggers memories and emotions. And it’s smell–more so than the other senses–that can best influence brain activity and help us calm down.
So when it comes to overwhelm and anxious feelings, it makes sense that aromatherapy can help.
Science backs this up, too. In a study conducted at Ruhr University in Germany, Professor Hanns Hatt suggested that, “Essential oils may affect a number of biological factors, including heart rate, stress levels, blood pressure, breathing, and immune function.”
And in a 2014 study conducted by the American College of Healthcare Sciences, “58 hospice patients were given hand massages once a day for one week with an essential oil blend in 1.5 percent dilution with sweet almond oil. The essential oil blend consisted of equal ratios of bergamot, frankincense and lavender. All patients who received the aromatherapy hand massage reported less pain and depression, concluding that aromatherapy massage with this essential oil blend is more effective for pain and depression management than massage alone.”
With both calming and uplifting abilities, Bergamot can dissipate anxious feelings while simultaneously providing cleansing and purifying benefits.
With properties that help to soothe the mind and body, the warm, woody scent of Cedarwood promotes a relaxing environment.
Often called the “king of oils, ” Frankincense promotes feelings of peace and overall wellness when used aromatically.
Lavender is often considered a must-have oil to keep on hand at all times due to its versatile uses, including calming and relaxing properties that promote peaceful sleep and ease feelings of tension.
While providing a sweet, floral aroma, Roman Chamomile can soothe body systems as it supports calming effects for the skin, mind and body.
With a unique, exotic aroma, Vetiver is known to provide a calming, grounding effect on emotions, promoting restful sleep.
Derived from unique star-shaped flowers, Ylang Ylang is often used to support healthy skin and hair, while simultaneously providing a calming effect and promoting a positive outlook.
Lastly, if you’re wondering how best to use these oils, try adding a few drops to your diffuser 20-30 minutes before bed or while you’re watching TV or reading a book. You can repeat this a couple of times a day–whenever you feel anxious or overly stressed.
Let me know in the comments which of these oils helps you calm down the best and what your daily essential oil practice is.