Tackling Stress with Aromatherapy
We all know about those detrimental effects that continuous stress has upon our lives, our relationships, and our overall well-being.
I believe that stress (here understood as some external and internal unresolved conflicts) can by itself seriously impact our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
This notion should be deeply considered especially now, that we are living in a world overloaded with fear, confusion, uncertainty and therefore a high level of day to day, crippling stress. We should aim to maintain strong immune system and decrease exposure to stressors, to be able to naturally fight any infections and diseases.
I found that there is an easy and effective way of dealing with the amount of nervous tension (stress), that we have been facing for the past year. The help comes from essential oils.
The use of essential oils in psychotherapy has been thoroughly explored, and I am a devoted advocate of bringing these natural solutions and tools to accelerate body-mind healing.
As bestselling author, Valerie Ann Worwood explains, essential oils (…) certainly strengthen the immune system, which gets considerably weaker during stressful periods, whereas people who lead stress-free lives have a better ability to fight off disease.”
Additionally, as essential oils directly and instantly affect our emotional brain (the Limbic System), they can aid tailoring our emotional state according to our needs.
We can use this knowledge to train our brains. By simple act of repetition we are able to assimilate certain smells (e.g. favourite relaxing essential oil), to the feeling of ease and calm. How? Simply by using, let’s say Lavender oil, at the time of distress and anxiety, we will soon experience the relaxing and balancing effects of this oil on our body and mind. Moreover, after a period of frequent usage, the smell of Lavender will bring about the desired feeling of relaxation instantly.
If you commit to this practice and have a bottle of oil or an aromatherapy pendant at hand, then you will be able to use this strategy every time you feel overwhelmed, tired or anxious. There are also some added benefits to this practice. You will definitely become more observant and aware of your mental and emotional states. Also by deeply breathing in the oil, you will open up your chest (and your heart!), activate your parasymathetic response (calming down even more so), and pay closer attention to your breath, which is a direct way to your consciousness and your body (which is one of the main goals of psychotherapy).
Here is a list of some Essential Oils that can help you combat your daily stresses: Cedar, Chamomile, Grapefruit, Lime, Spearmint, Vetiver, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Geranium, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Bergamot, Jasmine.
Hint: It is good to choose an oil that resonates with you to maximise the chances of you reaching out for it eagerly whenever required.
Hint: Essential oils are useful and effective tools we can use, however de-stressing our lives is a daunting quest and it is best to start by prioritising tasks, explore your relationship with the need of control and perfectionism, practice self-care, and reach out to your network system or even seek professional help if needed.