How to decrease stress with your sense of smell
Stress can come in all shapes and sizes. From lack of sleep over work to emotional eating and anxious turmoil – stress is almost unavoidable in life. However, you can utilize natural techniques to help prevent and manage stress when it occurs. Often people choose to relieve stress in unhealthy ways – which can lead to even more turmoil down the line when they hit a wall. Keep in mind that natural is always better, so instead of reaching for that fifth cup of coffee, begin to introduce alternative ways to rid yourself of anxiety – such as Aromatherapy.
The power of your nose
One of the best natural remedies that work to decrease your stress levels is your nose. Your sense of smell is truly powerful as it reacts with your brain to trigger emotive, neurological and chemical responses. Smells can bring you back to fond memories, energize an otherwise lethargic day, reduce tension, and bring about a sense of calm that enables you to tackle the stressful tasks of everyday life. Below are examples of natural scents that are found in flowers, plants and herbs that have been shown to have positive effects on mood.
Grapefruit – Grapefruit provides a very light but tangy citrus scent. The smell is energizing and invigorating. Try a grapefruit lotion for those mornings when you know you will have a stressful day to reduce tension and increase productivity.
Jasmine – Jasmine is a warm and exotic smelling flower that comes from India. We’re not sure if it reduces stress or just makes you think of that last tropical vacation where all you did was lie on a beach. Either way – Jasmine works wonders in a bath or in your bedroom.
Mandarin – Mandarin is one of the sweetest scents you will come across. The light sugary smell will brighten your day just as much as it brightens your senses. A mandarin orange tastes as good as it smells so take a bite out of one every morning for an energized day.
Rose – People always say you should stop and smell the roses, but do you ever listen? Roses are amongst the most famous of smells and the strong floral note is used in many perfumes, lotions, candles and oils. The scent of a rose has a calming effect and the real thing carries the purest aroma. Go buy yourself some roses after a long day for a special treat.
Ylang Ylang – Ylang Ylang is a hard scent to pin down. Some call it fresh, some call it fruity and some call the oil distinctly floral. This delicate scent is not only known for reducing stress but also the unique aroma is thought to alleviate depression and panic attacks. Ylang Ylang is a popular note in expensive perfume and brings a calming effect to the home when used as an essential oil.
Lavender – Lavender is a warm and light scent that is concentrated in the foliage of these beautiful purple flowers. Try a bath with lavender essential oils (or simply sprinkle the foliage directly in the water). You can also add a few droplets of lavender oil to your sheets for a restful sleep.
Chamomile – Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory herb that works wonders during allergy season, calms the nervous system and aids in sleep. Allergies are known to act up during times of stress and sleep can also become an issue. If you are suffering from insomnia, a cup of chamomile tea should do the trick.