Responding to stress is something people naturally do to help regulate the body—but staying in a constant state of stress will eventually have negative health effects. Cortisol, also called the stress hormone, is part of the body’s natural response to stress, but when released at high levels, or when is it not allowed to disperse due to chronic stress, it can decrease immunity, bone density and overall quality of life. The body cannot manage long periods of constant stress without producing inflammation in the body as well.
Practicing consistent balance in self-care to support the body’s natural relaxation response and to keep our body’s cortisol levels balanced and healthy is essential for long-term wellness. A healthy lifestyle practice helps us to manage stress before it becomes constant. Aromatherapy is one effective method we can use to stop stress from taking root in the body.
Aromatherapy triggers the relaxation response, necessary for balance. The relaxation response can be triggered by doing something you like, such as deep breathing, walking, and massage. Triggering the relaxation response has many health benefits, including healthy cortisol levels and decreased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, improved digestion and normalized blood sugar levels.
That’s why it is important to make time for yourself every day, even if that means stolen moments here and there, such as while the kids are sleeping, in the car, washing dishes or even doing laundry. Aromatherapy is flexible and portable, and it provides a lot of diversity.
Consider using essential oils as part of your everyday health routine.
To support everyday use, try inhalation of single essential oils, or, if you have more time, creating a personal blend of essential oils. Both methods have therapeutic properties. If you choose inhalation, select essential oils with a pleasant association. Diffuse calming, yet uplifting aromas like Citrus or Bergamot Citrus and inhale deeply. If you choose to make a blend, select essential oil with relaxing and/or uplifting properties. Anise, basil, clary sage, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, nutmeg, petitgrain, rose, rosemary, sweet orange, tangerine, and ylang ylang are especially useful for simple, stress-reducing blends.