All of us deal with a lot of stress every day. There’s stress from our jobs, from family dynamics, from getting stuck in traffic, from the deluge of news and commentary on social media… the list goes on and on. Stress is unavoidable, but not unmanageable. Indeed, the best way to prevent stress from sabotaging your mental health is by developing a strategy to process stress in a healthy, constructive way.
There are many tools to include in your stress management toolbox, ranging from physical fitness to journaling to self-care rituals. Add aromatherapy to that list. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest how scents can help us feel calm and relaxed. And some scents are more useful than others for helping you destress.
The Science of Scent
You’ve probably heard that certain scents possess mental health benefits… but what does the science say?
While there’s not yet a strong scientific consensus supporting the merits of aromatherapy, there’s a lot of preliminary evidence to suggest that scents can have a real, bodily effect. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University note that scents have been used for their therapeutic properties for centuries. “When inhaled, the scent molecules in essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain,” the research notes. The Cleveland Clinic confirms that, while scents impact different people in different ways, they can often impact mood, metabolism, stress levels, and even libido.
Which Scents Work Best for Stress?
With all of that said, which scents are most effective for mitigating stress? Again, it varies from person to person, but there are a few scents that are widely associated with calm and relaxation.
1) Sea Breeze
The Sea Breeze scent is closely tied to the beach, vacation, and time away from the daily grind. Due to these positive associations, this scent may be a great option for overtaking stress and transporting you to a happy place.
2) Ylang Ylang
The ylang ylang blossoms aren’t as well-known to the general public, but they’ve long been a favorite among essential oil enthusiasts. Ylang ylang has been anecdotally connected with lower depression, anxiety, and blood pressure.
Lavender has a strong reputation for its stress-relieving properties. Not only is lavender often recommended as a natural remedy for anxiety and depression, but some aromatherapy experts say it works well as a sleep aid.
Citrus scents, such as lemon, are often touted for improving concentration and focus. For some people, lemon can also be a good way to combat stress.
The stimulating smell of rosemary can help to revive body and mind, making it easier to move past feelings of physical or emotional fatigue.
There’s some scientific evidence to suggest that peppermint can lower stress levels while boosting mental clarity.
Frankincense is a good option for clearing your mind and eliminating distraction. It can be especially beneficial in helping you prepare for meditation.
8) Sweet Orange
Sweet Orange has a pleasant citrusy and sweet aroma. It can be helpful in reducing stress and nervous tension, creating a calming effect on the mind and body.
Are There Any Risks with Aromatherapy?
Before delving too deep into scent therapy, it’s natural to wonder about possible risks, side effects, or complications.
It’s important to note that some people have skin sensitivity especially to citruses when exposed to the sun, citruses are photosensitive and contain compounds which increase UV sensitivity.
While there are no specific risks associated with scent therapy, it’s critical not to substitute essential oils for more robust medical care. Aromatherapy can complement other mental health treatments, but it’s not meant to replace them.
Some additional tips for ensuring your safety:
- Be sure you buy high-quality oils. Check ingredient lists, and only buy from reputable sellers.
- We prefer single ingredient essences without added carrier oils
- Store oils properly, keeping them out of direct sunlight or intense heat.
- Check with your doctor if you have specific questions.
- When combining scents with CBD, verify that you buy high-quality products that are made in the USA.
Combine Scents and CBD
One way to enhance your aromatherapy experience? Combine it with CBD. That’s something we’re passionate about here at Asé Pure Naturals.
We’re thrilled to offer a full inventory of natural, holistic, vegan, cruelty-free, non-GMO CBD products, any of which can pair well with essential oils or aromatherapy. Start your CBD experience with Asé Pure Naturals today!