Stop and smell the seren­ity

Prevention (Australia) - - In This Issue -

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...

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