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Aromatherapy & Stress

While stress is considered an accepted part of life, using essential oils may greatly reduce the symptoms of stress.

Author and psychologist Richard Carlson once said, “Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness”. Stress has become such a part of modern life that it is now generally accepted that to live a full, productive, “normal” life there has to be stress involved. Stress can affect the mind, the body and the spirit.

Stress is a Part of Life

Why do humans accept everyday aches and pains, upset tummies, rashes and other symptoms of stress? If the body reacts to stress by, for example, breaking out, there is likely to be an immediate attribution to the stress of a new job, a change in financial circumstances, busyness, a sick child or other stressful situation.

Stress Can Lead to Serious Illness

Scientists and doctors now connect serious disease with stress. Mild stress interferes with the general running of the body but long-term, chronic stress can be totally debilitating and can lead to diseases such as hypertension, ulcers, depression and heart disease among others (Science Daily, 2007).

Good and Bad Stress

Stress comes in two forms: good stress (sometimes called “Eustress”) and bad stress (sometimes called “distress”) and within these forms there are various levels. Good stress can be motivating and can help individuals succeed, for example when one is nervous before a job interview. Bad stress – dealing with work overload, a critically ill family member, facing divorce or any number of other examples of bad stress – can cause people to become angry, depressed, anxious and sometimes keep them unmotivated.

Recognizing Stress

The first thing to do to alleviate stress is to recognize it. Once the feeling has been recognized – tightening muscles, stiff shoulders, tummy ache, etc. – the next step is to strike back! If possible, walk away from, or minimize exposure to the situation that is causing the stress.

Lavender Essential Oil to Relieve Stress

Next, take out a bottle of lavender essential oil and take 3 deep breaths, inhaling the healing aroma of lavender. Now the calming process has been initiated. Apply Lavender essential oil to an aromatherapy diffuser, add it to a bath, or add it to face creams, shampoos and cleaning products.

Other Essential Oils to Relieve Stress

Bright lights, staring at a computer, the telephone ringing, cramped conditions and little fresh air are all stresses related to being in an office environment. To relieve office stress, add 2 drops of Cedarwood essential oil and 2 drops of Bergamot essential oil to a plug in diffuser. Alternately, add these essential oils to a cotton ball or tissue and inhale as needed.

Chemical or environmental stressors can include too much coffee, too much junk food, painkillers, excess alcohol or exposure to secondhand smoke. To reduce this type of stress add 2 drops of Lavender essential oil and 2 of Geranium essential oil to a diffuser or add these essential oils to a cotton ball or tissue and inhale as needed.

Mental stress might include financial worries, unemployment, exams or illness in the family. To help relieve mental stress soak in a hot bath with 10 drops of Geranium essential oil. Alternately add 12 drops Lavender essential oil and 8 drops of Grapefruit essential oil added to 20 mls of a carrier oil and smooth into neck and shoulders before going to bed.

Emotional stress can include grieving, relationship problems and parental guilt. A brisk walk in the fresh air, breathing in Rose essential oil and Bergamot essential oil added to a tissue will help to get the circulation going. A hot bath with 10 drops of Lavender essential oil will soothe and relax.

Take time to reduce stress and make sure to use essential oils as part of your de-stressing regime.

*This is educational information and any opinions expressed here-in do not replace professional medical advice. If you are ill, see a suitably qualified medical practitioner.*

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