With the year we just had, it’s no wonder that most people are either wound uptight or burned out. Months of quarantine can certainly up your stress level, especially since most of us didn’t get much of a chance to take time off and relax.
Aromatherapy uses herbs and herb extractions to help with your body/mind balance. Inhaling, consuming, or applying certain herbs can go a long way into making you feel better, and some combination can work miracles on your state of mind.
Here are the ways aromatherapy usually uses to improve your mood:
- Inhalation (Perfumes, Sprays, and Diffusers)
- Consummation (Teas, Infusions, Food)
- Application (Balms, Massages. Lotions)
Aromatherapy is not going to be an alternative to going out and relaxing like you normally are used to. But it’s a good way to balance your life and gain control over any negative moods you’ve been dealing with.
How Aromatherapy Affects Your Mood
Scientific studies have shown how, depending on the scent, a person’s mood can be affected positively or negatively. It turns out that it has more to do with memory than scents. Or rather the memories associated with those scents, determine the effect it has on one’s reaction.
Let’s take for example the scent of roses, a well-liked smell. But, let’s take this person whose earliest memory of this smell is at the funeral of a loved one when he was grieving and in pain. To this person, roses can be an unpleasant smell.
But it’s not all there is to this. Our minds are compelled with scents and memories, but some scents have the same effect on almost everyone. For example, lavender invokes a sense of relaxation and peace; it’s used to treat insomnia and is known to be very effective. Lavender has that effect even though it’s unrelated to our memories.
The molecular constitution of aromatic herbs holds more than nice smells. They hold medicinal components that are known to work far better than a lot of medications. Whether they reach the body through inhalation, consummation, or topic application, they have effects that can be quite beneficial if used properly.
Improving your mood through inhaling pleasant scents is probably the easiest and most passive way to overcome the effects of a bad day. It can be something as simple as your favorite essential oils blend put into a diffuser when you get back home, or it can be a recipe to help with a specific problem to have.
In fact, it can be much simpler than that. You can simply open up a bottle of essential oil, smell it, and that’s all. Smelling lavender essential oil before going to bed is a simple way to deal with insomnia. Same with rosemary for memory improvement if you have to study.
If you have humidity problems in your house, then using a diffuser is out of the question. In this case, time for a DIY project! You can make your own spray out of alcohol and your essential oil blend!
Sprays are better if you’re going to use more than one essential oil at the same time. Why stand there and keep smelling each bottle when you can just spray it all at once and be over with it.
As for the choice of your blend, it can depend on whether you want to treat something like anxiety or depression, or if you just want to improve your mood after a bad day. Specialized herbalists made it their mission to create blends and recipes that meet the needs of each condition. I will leave a few links down below on some essential oils recipes and how to properly use them.
Essential Oils 101: https://naturallivingfamily.com/aromatherapy-essential-oils/
EO Blends: https://theherbalacademy.com/summer-aromatherapy-mood-sprays/
Generally, balancing your diet can work wonders on your mental health, but let’s not go too deep into this and simply discuss how adding herbal teas, infusions, and some spices can help you with whatever rough patch you’re going through.
Let’s start with the most known infusion used for relaxation: chamomile tea. While chamomile is used as an anti-inflammatory agent and digestion problems in herbalism, it’s also a good infusion to drink and relax. You can also have it before going to sleep because it helps calm you down.
Sage is good for hormonal balance. If your moodiness is due to a certain time of the month, then it’s a great infusion to drink. It can even help out with light cramps and other symptoms. Sage is also good for hot flashes and excessive sweating. It can be your cool drink on days with high temperature.
The herbs that can help you with your mental health are innumerable. And surprisingly, all you’ll need to do is include them in your daily diet or take the time to pour some hot water on a few leaves and drink it!
Topic application is one of the most known ways to relax muscles and relieve stress. In addition, it’s an effective way and is very useful for spas and their businesses.
But you don’t need a full body massage each time you feel moody or have a bad day. Sometimes, it can be simply healed with a good soak in a hot tub. Bath-bombs are fun ways to relieve your stress, and most of them hold essential oils or herbal components in them. You might want to create your own bath bomb, which is a fun DIY project that should be easy to manage. You can add your own blend of oils and herbs to personalize it.
You can also add essential oils with relaxing qualities to your body lotions and creams. They have nice aromatic scents, and their molecules are known to seep through the skin much faster.
In addition, try rubbing them on your temple if you have a headache or on your muscles if you’re feeling stiff.
What Are the Essential Oils Good for Stress?
- Ylang ylang
- Clary Sage
- Lemon Balm
And the list goes on. The world of herbs is wide, and we can’t state everything in a list, but in general, one could start with familiar herbs that are available and have been tried before for guaranteed effects.
Can I Just Apply or Drink Essential Oils?
The answer is NO! Essential oils are quite concentrated and applying them directly to your skin can do more harm than good. There’s also the risk of allergies or bad reactions, so make sure to test everything before putting it on a large part of your skin or swallowing it.
Usually, for the topic of internal uses, essential oils are diluted with carrier oils like coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, and avocado oil. The dosage varies depending on the specialists, so you will have to check before using, and in general, one drop of essential oil per two tablespoons of carrier oil is a safe ratio.
Sources: The Herbal Academy, Learning Herbs