Essential Oils and Natural Solutions for Stress

Stress activates your body’s sympathetic nervous system which causes the fight-or-flight response. When your natural fight-or-flight response is activated, cortisol is released by your adrenal glands and acts as a full-body stimulant raising your heartbeat, constricting your blood vessels and tensing your muscles.

While cortisol is necessary and important for your energy levels and for dealing with real stressors, too much cortisol has a number of unsavoury health affects including:

  • weight gain and obesity

  • increased risk of diabetes

  • vulnerable immune system

  • mental health affects

Manage Stress Naturally with Essential Oils

Naturally lower cortisol levels

There are a number of ways you can help to regulate your body’s cortisol production in order to lower stress levels.

Change your diet and lifestyle

It seems like, for every ailment, we are being told to change our diet and lifestyle. The reason this message is crammed down our throats, however, is because it’s true. It helps.

Eating a gluten-free diet has been shown to help manage stress. Also, eating a wide variety of bright and colourful vegetables and fruits works to manage cortisol production in the body. Avoid eating sugar and try cutting down on alcohol and caffeine.

Physical activity and exercise also manage your body’s cortisol production and lowers cortisol levels. Find a physical activity you love (or can at least tolerate) and do it a minimum of three-times per week. You might consider yoga, hiking, jogging or working out at the gym - whatever it takes to get your body moving will bring about positive changes.

Develop a meditation and mindfulness practice

Practicing meditation and mindfulness will have a number of positive impacts on your overall health and wellbeing - even if you practice it for just a few minutes each day.

If you’re not sure where to get started with meditation, try this 1 minutes meditation exercise. If you’re someone who has tried meditating before and just never got to eh point where you could quiet your mind no matter how much you focused on your breathing, these meditation hacks will help.

There are a number of ways meditation will improve your quality of life and wellbeing. Click here to learn more about meditation’s positive health benefits.

Mindfulness is another great way for you to be present in the here and now and to reduce stress levels. If you’re new to practicing mindfulness, click here for information on getting started.

Build social connections with the people around you

Isolation, loneliness and social-disconnection all contribute to stress and increased cortisol levels in your body. If you already have a rich social life, reach out to those you trust and talk to them about your stress levels and what is going on in your life.

If you are someone who struggles socially (you’re among friends here - socially awkward doesn’t even begin to cover my social afflictions), there are a number of online resources which can help you connect with and meet new people.

Here in Newcastle, there is Urban Rec - a sport and social league for adults. Urban Rec also runs leagues in Sydney and Canberra.

Meetup is another great way to find people in your area with similar interests as you. You can also use Facebook to connect with and meet new people.

Managing Stress with Essential Oils

Essential oils can help manage your body’s cortisol on a chemical level by interrupting your body’s descent into fight-or-flight mode. Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, tangerine, bergamot, frankincense, vetiver and other essential oils have calming properties which help your body to reach homeostatic equilibrium when feelings of stress threaten to overwhelm you.

Aromatherapy diffuser blend for treating stress

Diffuse this aromatherapy diffuser blend in your space to reduce stress levels and effectively manage cortisol levels in your body. These essential oils are intended to be blended directly into your aromatherapy diffuser.

  • 6 drops - frankincense essential oil

  • 4 drops - lavender essential oil

  • 4 drops - bergamot essential oils

Aromatherapy diffuser blend for stress relief and mental clarity

This aromatherapy diffuser blend will reduce stress levels while helping to restore mental clarity in times when you need to focus or concentrate in order to remain level headed. These essential oils are intended to be blended directly into your aromatherapy diffuser.

  • 12 drops - bergamot essential oil

  • 9 drops - rosemary essential oil

  • 5 drops - lavender essential oil

  • 5 drops - cypress essential oil

  • 3 drops - peppermint essential oil

Aromatherapy diffuser blend for stress relief and relaxation

Sometimes, we want to kick back and relax but our body won’t let us. Our minds race uncontrollably and relaxation seems far away and unattainable. This diffuser blend will relieve stress and, in its absence, leave you with a deep sense of calm and relaxation. These essential oils are intended to be blended directly into your aromatherapy diffuser.

  • 5 drops - bergamot essential oil

  • 5 drops - blue tansy essential oil

  • 5 drops - lavender essential oil

  • 5 drops - ylang ylang essential oil

De-stress essential oil bath recipe

The following essential oil recipe can be dissolved into 1 cup of epsom salts, or blended into 100ml of your favourite carrier oil and added to your bath water (add onle 1 tablespoon of the blended bath oil to your bathwater). Soak in the tub for as long as you can, or until the water goes cold.

  • 10 drops - bergamot essential oil

  • 10 drops - lavender essential oil

  • 10 drops - lemon essential oil

  • 10 drops - lime essential oil

  • 5 drops - clary sage essential oil

  • 5 drops - frankincense essential oil

  • 5 drops - ylang ylang essential oil

What are some of your favourite aromatherapy diffuser blends and essential oil recipes for de-stressing? Contact us here to share your recipes and to be featured on The Essential Life.

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