When I'm feeling stressed, anxious, or like I am unable to cope with whatever is ahead of me, I almost always reach for my essential oils. Unfortunately, for most of us stress is a part of our daily lives, and it certainly can be useful (you want to experience stress when running away from a bear), but chronic stress can be extremely detrimental to your overall health.
At Vanderbilt Hospital, they started diffusing essential oils and found that it had a huge impact on the level of stress perceived by staff members. These oils helped to reduce feelings of stress and frustration as well as creating a more positive work environment. If essential oils can reduce stress and anxiety in one of the most stressful places in the world (a busy university hospital emergency room), I'm pretty sure that they can help you reduce your stress levels as well.
It is also thought that stress is linked to over 90% of doctor's visits, and it is a known fact that stress is linked to illnesses and causes of death such as heart disease, cancer, and suicide. Many healthcare providers prescribe sedating drugs to help people cope with intenses stress or anxiety, however this does not help people address the root of the problem.
Essential oils work differently as they contain chemical components that are both calming and stimulating. Researchers have found that depending on the emotional state of a person, the same essential oils can be either stimulating or calming. Someone who is agitated will feel a calming effect from a particular oil, while another person who is feeling depressed may find a restorative effect from the same oil.
If you aren't already using essential oils to help reduce your stress, there's no time like the present to start. You'll likely discover many other uses for them as well. But, to get your started, here are my top ten ways to use essential oils to reduce stress.
- Diffuse 3 drops each of grounding blend, calming blend, and wild orange in your bedroom. Start the diffuser 30 minutes before going to bed to make sure that the aroma is in the air.
- Place 1 drop of lavender oil on your pillow or rub 2 drops into the bottoms of your feet before going to sleep.
- Rub 2 drops of cedarwood oil on your shoulders and neck, and then place your hands over your nose and take three deep breaths.
- Mix 3 drops of roman chamomile and 3 drops of geranium or lavender with 1-2 cups of epsom salts and add to a bath.
- Diffuse a blend of citrus oils (lemon, lime, orange, or a citrus blend)
- Rub 2 drops of soothing blend on your neck and shoulders at the end of a long, stressful day.
- Mix 1 drop each of frankincense and wild orange with your body lotion and apply as you normally would.
- Diffuse 3 drops each of grapefruit and bergamot. This is great to use in the office.
- Rub 1 drop each of sandalwood and ylang ylang onto your feet or neck.
- Place 1 drop each of spruce and cedarwood oil in your hands, rub them together and apply the oils to your hair. Your hair acts as a diffuser releasing the scent all day long.