Anxiety and stress are very much a 21st century problem. We all lead busy lives, juggling kids, work and family, often to the detriment of our health and wellbeing. It’s not uncommon to end up feeling as if your head is about to burst, which makes it hard to relax and sleep at the end of a chaotic day. People use all kinds of strategies to help them calm down when they are feeling stressed, including a hot bath and a glass of wine, but can scents do the same job?
Scents Affect our Mood
Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful. Different smells trigger different memories and emotional responses, but scents can also affect our mood, in a positive way. This is why scented candles and aromatherapy oils have become so popular in recent years.
Some scents are particularly useful if you suffer from stress and anxiety. One sniff and the emotional center of your brain is flooded with feel-good sensations. If you suffer from stress, it is well worth trying scent therapy to calm you down and promote a sense of emotional wellbeing. Place an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom; it might just help you sleep better at night.
Different scents trigger different reactions in the brain, but if you need some help to relax and chill out, try the following scented oils.
Lavender has long been linked to stress relief and studies have shown that sniffing lavender oil helps to lower heart rates. If stress is making you anxious and jittery, a few drops of lavender oil in a hot bath can be immensely relaxing. Alternatively, add some lavender oil to a diffuser and use it to calm you down enough to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
The scent of pine is refreshing and evocative of a forest somewhere scenic, so it should come as no surprise that pine essential oils can be immensely relaxing. Pine scented oils are perfect for the festive holiday season. Add some to an oil diffuser if gift shopping is stressing you out.
Vanilla is sweet and comforting. This all-natural scent has been strongly linked to feelings of happiness and relaxation. Vanilla scented candles or essential oils are perfect for the bedroom, but don’t sniff it if you are feeling hungry, as you may develop an intense craving for cake!
Rosemary scented oil is a great choice if you are feeling overburdened and unable to catch a break. The scent of rosemary will sooth your mental fatigue and boost your mood.
Jasmine is a lovely floral scent with mood boosting properties. The scent of jasmine can reduce feelings of depression and stimulate the mood. Grow jasmine in a pot or use jasmine essential oils to give you a lift on a stressful day.
Peppermint is another deliciously refreshing scent. Peppermint is associated with toothpaste, sweets and tasty cocktails, but are you aware that peppermint oil is also great for focusing your brain? Use peppermint oil if stress is affecting your cognitive function.
Next time you are feeling overwhelmed, try some scented oils for a natural mood lift.