Have you noticed yourself becoming more anxious lately over little things that you used to take in your stride? The demands of daily living in a fast-paced environment can become overwhelming and stressful for us all.
Fortunately there is a simple and effective strategy to release some of that tension and stress and provide welcome relief. Here's a simple guide to how you can benefit from using aromatherapy.
The procedure of using the pure essence of plant oils for physical and psychological well-being. Aromatherapy has been used for thousands of years. Today it is becoming a focus for many clinical studies and is used in a wide range of settings including hospitals and health spas.
How Essential Oils Work
The oils react with the body through the nose as well as by absorption through the skin. So, if your anxiety is triggered while away from home, on the job or in the car, the oils can be taken along with you. You can simply open the bottle cap or place a few drops on your palms and inhale the vapour. After inhaling, the odour molecules travel to the brain receptors that control breathing and stress levels.
Choosing Essential Oils
Only the best pure plant extracts should be used for true Aromatherapy benefit, so it is essential to make sure you are buying the real thing and not be caught out with many of the synthetic products on the market.
- Look out for labels that display '100 percent pure essential oil.' Avoid any with words like 'fragrance oil' or 'perfume oil'.
- The bottles should be dark glass to prevent any exposure to light and not plastic which reacts with the oil.
- Look for the botanical name on the label; for example the Latin name for lavender is lavandula angustifolia.
- Purchase from a trusted supplier; a qualified aromatherapist is the most reliable choice.
Ways to Enjoy Essential Oils at Home
A wonderfully calming method, for when you have a little time to yourself, is to take a long relaxing aromatherapy bath. A bath provides the opportunity for absorbing the oils both through the skin and by the inhalation of the volatilized oil. Add the essential oils immediately before stepping into the bath.
Note that the essential oils will not dissolve in the water and will float on top, so it is best to mix them with a diffuser. About a half cup of full-cream milk, or a few tablespoons of vegetable oil mixed with a little honey are good emulsifiers and will disperse the oils. Bath salts will also work as a diffuser.
You can make a very simple bath base mix using the common household ingredients of one part baking soda to two parts of Epsom Salts and three parts of salt. Add a few drops of lavender oil to around two tablespoons of this mix and add to the bath right before you get in.
Make sure that you give the water a good swish around and remember to keep the bathroom door shut so that the beneficial aroma does not escape.
In a Diffuser
To change the atmosphere in your room and improve your state of mind in a very short time, just add a few drops of essential oil to an aromatherapy diffuser. Diffusers work in different ways. Some disperse the oils by a heating and evaporation process. Others use a fan to pass cool air through the essential oils, which is a safer method.
Simply add the oil to your diffuser making sure that you adhere to the manufacturer's instructions and inhale the calming aroma.
Bergamot essential oil is an excellent diffuser oil. It has a sweet, citrus aroma and is known as a relaxant, which aids in reducing nervous tension and stress.
In a Scented Pillow
A few drops of essential oil directly on your pillow case or placed on a tissue or cotton ball is a great way of gaining some soothing and therapeutic effects. However, be careful not to get any oil in your eyes.
Try some of these simple aromatherapy techniques for anxiety and see how they can help you lower those anxiety levels and achieve a calmer outlook and sense of well-being.