Stop and smell the serenity
Aromatherapy can help you stay calm
Harness the power of aromatherapy as a fragrant way to fight jangled nerves.
Yes, it’s true. Inhaling deeply may be all you need to stay calm in moments of stress. When you breathe in an essential oil’s aromatic molecules, they’re transported through the nostrils to your brain. There, nerve cells interpret, translate and transmit the scent’s chemical message to the limbic system, which controls emotion and memory. This is why some smells trigger strong responses.
You can use essential oils to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (which governs your ‘rest and digest’ response, as opposed to your ‘fight or flight’ reaction) to ease tension and calm nerves. Research shows that lavender, jasmine and bergamot essential oils reduce stress and anxiety through these pathways.
When shopping for an essential oil, look for an organic variety, with the common name as well as the botanical genus and species on the label, and avoid anything labelled ‘fragrance’ to ensure you’re getting the highest quality. Make sure they are packaged in a dark glass bottle, as quality can deteriorate in clear or plastic containers.
DIY calming oil This sweet jasmine scent brightens spirits, while also soothing tension. This recipe, which uses rock salt to enhance the aroma, will last for up to three years if stored out of direct sunlight. Using a small funnel, fill half a 30ml...