Aromatherapy is one of my favorite methods of stress relief. It never fails to lift my spirits. It’s also simple, quick, and effective. Scents can impact our mood and emotions so powerfully because they travel directly to the part of the brain (deep limbic system) where they’re processed. Our other senses don’t operate this way. Since I’m a very busy person, like everyone else these days, things that work are my favorite things.
There are many interesting and fun ways to put aromatherapy into practice. These are my top three:
- Essential oils: The list of uses for essential oils is long and varied. I like to inhale them right out of the bottle or off a cotton ball. I always carry a bottle of orange oil in my purse. There’s nothing like it for a quick pick me up. One whiff and I instantly feel refreshed and energetic.
My daughter, Christina, who’s suffered from a migraine and tension headaches since she was a child, is never without a bottle of peppermint oil in her purse. She dabs some on her temples to help relieve headaches. She also adds it to her shampoo for the same purpose. Grace, my youngest daughter, uses lavender oil in a diffuser at night to help her sleep.
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My clothes smell pleasant and my mood is pleasant when I put a few drops of lavender oil on cloth I’ve cut from my girls too worn to save old baby clothes and toss it into the dryer.
- Beauty products: All women have a daily beauty routine, but even if it’s a simple one, you probably use at least a handful of products. Some of us use a lot more! After all, there’s shampoos, soaps, face and body lotions, makeup, and hair products. Since I’m using these products anyway, I make sure I love the way they smell. I try to take a moment and enjoy those scents. Every hand soap dispenser in my house and office contains a different fun flavor. I also keep a variety of scented body butters on hand to apply before going to bed depending on the mood I’m in. I use unscented body lotion in the morning so that it doesn’t interfere with my perfume.
- Fragrant plants: This is my all-time favorite aromatherapy technique. I love the natural fragrance that comes from flowers, herbs, shrubs, and trees. Who doesn’t enjoy taking a walk or bike ride and catching the drift of orange blossoms or jasmine wafting through the air?
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Place fragrant plants in strategic places in your home or office to make the most of the power of aromatherapy. But not just any plants. Use plants whose smell invokes deep and pleasant memories. Big pots of Confederate jasmine at the entryways to my home fill me with a sense of nostalgia for our early days in Florida. The smell of basil fills me with the same soothing feelings. I’ve placed pots of spearmint on my desks at work and on the “key” table at the top of the staircase at home. Spearmint reminds me of my childhood. When I was a child my parents always had a bountiful garden. Inhaling that herb’s fragrance takes me back to Michigan summers and my parents love.
Simplicity is at the heart of the tips and tricks and helpful hints I use to make my life easier and better. Otherwise, I tend to forget to use them. They also need to work. That’s why I like using aromatherapy for stress relief. It gets the job done!
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Please let me know in the comments below if you have any other helpful uses for aromatherapy that also might help relieve stress.
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