The holidays can be magical, but they can also be more stressful than joyful. From crazy schedules and last minute shopping to cold weather and family drama, it’s easy to understand how we can suddenly find our moods shifting from jolly to cranky. The good news is that the holidays don’t need to be a stressful mess if you add aromatherapy, a natural stress reliever, to your life.
According to Jane Ehrman, a behavioral health specialist at the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, breathing in certain scents will take your mind off of the stresses of the holidays, getting you out of your head and into a more peaceful place.
The following essential oils will have the biggest impact when it comes to addressing holiday stress.
Studies have shown that bergamot reduces the corticosterone response to stress, leaving you with a more centered, stress-free sensation. It’s a wonderfully rich scented essential oil that’s actually used in Earl Grey tea.
Chamomile tea has been referred to as “calm in a cup”, a reference that tea drinkers will attest to. Chamomile oil has been traditionally used to support a healthy digestive system and to calm the nerves. The “Roman” variety is the best choice for addressing stress and anxiety.
The flowery, light scent of geranium is known to improve moods, relax the body and even help relieve negative memories.
Frankincense is one of the most commonly used essential oils for stress relief. Incensole acetate, a compound found in Frankincense oil, had attributes that lower anxiety and depression.
Along with frankincense, lavender is also a scent that is frequently used for stress relief. The floral fragrance of lavender has been shown to not only relax the user but to increase focus among other things.
The woodsy sweet scent of sandalwood alone makes it a great option for relieving stress and anxiety. Sandalwood is also known for improving sleep.
A potent stress buster, jasmine is considered to be one of the best scents to counteract mental distress. Jasmine effects have even been compared to Valium which is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety disorder.
Valerian is well known for its calming properties (both mind and body). Clinical trials have shown that valerian both improves the quality of sleep and lowers the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
9. Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang is the perfect remedy for holiday stress, creating a sense of well-being, calming the mind and uplifting emotions. Some feel that Ylang Ylang can even help release feelings of anger and help release negative feelings.
How to Use Essential Oils
There are quite a few ways to use essential oils including air fresheners, diffusers, used in massages (diluted by 30%), soak a clean, soft cloth in a mixture of oils like Chamomile and Lavender and apply it to your forehead, etc. Always read through the usage directions for essential oils and check out any provided reference guides before using. Most guides will also give you handy recipes, combining some of the essential oils listed here.
Have fun with aromatherapy and the essential oils listed here and find out for yourself how relaxed and joyful the holiday season can actually be.