Stress is a part of life, but it can take a toll on our physical and mental health if we don’t manage it well. Chronic stress can lead to a range of health issues, including anxiety, depression, heart disease, and more. In our fast-paced world, it's incredibly important to find ways to manage stress and support our overall well-being. This is why I love being able to use essential oils and aromatherapy to support my emotional health.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Essential oils work by stimulating the olfactory system, which is responsible for our sense of smell (it is also considered our primitive brain). When we smell essential oils, the molecules enter our brain and stimulate the limbic system, which is involved in regulating emotions, memory, and additional functions in the brain. This can help to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and improve our overall mood.
Some of the best essential oils for stress relief include lavender, chamomile, bergamot, ylang-ylang, and frankincense. These oils have been shown to help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and improve sleep quality. They can be used in a variety of ways, including diffusing them in a room, adding them to a bath, or applying them topically (diluted with a carrier oil of course).
What Can I Do Besides Aromatherapy?
In addition to using aromatherapy, it's also important to practice other stress management techniques, such as exercise, meditation, and mindfulness.
Here are some good habits to practice to support our bodies:
- Prioritize sleep: Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health. Depending on who you are, 7-8 hours of sleep per night may be a good goal, but creating a sleep schedule is important.
- Eat a balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help support your physical and mental health.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining good health.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise is important for maintaining physical health and can also help reduce stress and improve mood. 30 minutes of exercise per day is great, but if you are not a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) or heavy weight lifting, going on a walk is just fine.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga, can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- Take breaks: Taking regular breaks throughout the day can help you recharge and prevent burnout. Take a walk, stretch, or do something else that helps you relax and refocus.
- Engage in hobbies and interests: Engaging in activities that you enjoy can help reduce stress and improve your overall mood. Whether it's reading, painting, or playing music, make time for hobbies and interests that bring you joy. Not everything needs to be a business.
- Connect with others: Social connections are important for mental health and can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Make time for friends and family, or join a social group or club.
- Seek help when needed: If you're struggling with mental health issues, seek help from a mental health professional. Don't hesitate to reach out to a therapist or counselor if you're feeling overwhelmed or struggling.
- Trust yourself. I can’t begin to discuss how often we are made to feel like we’re making a bad decision on a regular basis. From marketing to social media…we can be made to feel like we’re not enough. After many years of working on my relationship with my body, trusting myself is the most important thing.
It's important to note that stress is not just an individual problem – it's a societal problem. We live in a society that values productivity and achievement over rest and community/self-care. This can lead to burnout, anxiety, and other health issues. I will be discussing this more in an upcoming post, but for now, try out our Balanced Soul Box!