Essential oils are a popular natural remedy to alleviate stress and lift your mood. The process of aromatherapy involves taking in the scents of essential oils that were extracted from plants and letting them improve health and relaxation. Since your olfactory system can influence your limbic system – the area in your brain that regulates emotions – inhaling relaxing scents can provide a therapeutic experience.

Here are some of the most popular anti-stress essential oils you should definitely check out:

Remedying Anxiety

Sandalwood oil is produced from the roots and wood of the East Indian sandalwood tree, Santalum album. It is considered one of the most valuable trees in the world. Scent-wise, the essential oil is warm with earthy hints. It also possesses anxiolytic properties, and a 2006 study by PubMed has shown that sandalwood is a promising essential oil for reducing stress among those who use it.

Alleviate Stress

In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified stress as a health epidemic. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce the effects of stress, such as using the anti-stress clary sage essential oil. This flowering herb from the Mediterranean basin can positively impact the stress hormone cortisol, thus alleviating stress symptoms. Allow the essential oil to diffuse throughout your room to achieve a calming effect, or inhale it gently from a cotton ball.

Promoting Relaxation

When it comes to mitigating life’s stressors, a relaxing atmosphere can do wonders. Lavender scents are the go-to essential oils to promote relaxation because it has anxiolytic properties that reduce anxiety. This floral and aromatic scent is one of the most popular essential oils for those who are just getting into aromatherapy.

Conducive for Meditation

Much like lavender, orange essential oils also have anxiolytic properties that provide a calming effect and help can ease you into a more relaxed state. A 2012 study concluded that participants who underwent aromatherapy with sweet orange essential oil did not show a spike in tension when put in an anxiety-inducing situation compared to the control group who were given a placebo scent. This citrusy scent can also increase alertness, which creates the perfect mood for meditative exercises.

Lifting Moods

Another popular citrus option would be lemon essential oils which are obtained from lemon plant leaves. This bright aroma is known to be a natural mood enhancer associated with a positive mental state. In a 2005 study, researchers found that lemon essential oil greatly improved the attention, mood, cognitive performance, and concentration of students as they learned. In addition, a 2018 study conducted on mice found that the scent had effects on the dopamine levels of the subjects.

Assisting with Rest

The ylang-ylang is a yellow flower with petals fanning out like stars. They grow on the Cananga tree in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and some parts of Australia. Research has found that the ylang-ylang, with its sweet aroma, can assist in reducing blood pressure and promoting relaxation – perfect for rest and relaxation.

There are many different essential oils whose aromas can have anti-stress effects when inhaled. With increasing stress levels throughout the world, they may prove to be a strong player for perking up your mood when you are feeling overwhelmed.