The long hours, the heavy workload, the job insecurity, the threat of job loss or redundancy, and the conflicts with other workers or bosses – Can really make you feel overwhelmed by work stress.
Work stress takes a toll on your physical and mental health every day. Headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, irritability, anger, lack of motivation and even depression and anxiety. Excessive job stress can even make you lose your appetite and sex drive completely.
Though the health risks are much more important (In my book anyway), work stress effects your performance at work too. Lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating and focusing are some of the symptoms of work stress.
How to Relieve Work Stress (Before it Makes You ILL)
Unfortunately, most of us find it easy to deal with stress with unhealthy behavior, such as drinking alcohol and smoking. But all you have to do is remember that – As always – nature can really help.
Since most of us are too stressed (…) to practice stress relief techniques at work (meditation, stretching, cognitive-behavioral methods), aromatherapy and essential oils are a quick, easy, effective and relatively cheap little savers from work stress.
It’s tempting to dismiss aromatherapy and essential oils as hippie nonsense — I used to – But there’s actually been quite a bit of scientific research done on aromatherapy in general and some essential oils in particular.
4 Essential Oils – Proven to Relieve Stress and Improve Mental Focus
Here are a few of the best essential oils for relieving stress, promoting good moods and improving mental focus at the same time:
Lavender oil is probably the most medicinally useful botanicals for stress relief, anxiety relief and short-term memory enhancement.
Just apply a few drops on the palm of your hand and inhale deeply. It can be safely used directly on your skin, so you can also rub 2-3 drops and massage them on your templates.
The lavender plant contains linalool and linalyl acetate that can pass through the blood-brain-barrier and quickly affect brain activity. In an April 2012 study, volunteers underwent mood assessments and brain scans after inhaling lavender oil. Compared to a control group, the lavender oil group categorized themselves as more relaxed but also sharper.
A number of studies have reported that lavender essential oil may be beneficial in a variety of conditions, including hair loss, anxiety, stress, and postoperative pain.
Lavender is also used for restlessness, nervousness, and digestive problems such as loss of appetite, nausea and upset stomach.
Some natural therapists claim that Lavender oil is so amazing that it’s the only essential oil you’ll ever need. But, it’s important to buy a high-quality lavender essential oil, do not compromise on that please.
2. Lemon balm
The herb lemon balm (Melissa) has been used medicinally for hundreds of years. In Europe, it’s still commonly used to help with stress, anxiety and insomnia.
Not only does Lemon Balm essential oil calms your mind, it can also improve your ability to concentrate and solve problems.
In a 2003 study, British students given lemon balm capsules performed better on computer memory tests and tests of calmness. There’s also been research demonstrating its positive brain benefits for dementia patients when used as aromatherapy.
To use it at work, again, just apply 3-4 drops of high-quality lemon balm on the palms of your hands and inhale deeply.
A recent study found that a compound in Rosemary oil (1.8-cineole) can help improve mental speed and accuracy.
Rosemary aromatherapy can also reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, promoting calm and contentment, while simultaneously boosting mood and mental performance.
Vanilla is such as powerful anti-anxiety remedy. According to a study from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, patients who breathed vanilla-scented air while undergoing MRIs reported 63% less anxiety than an unscented air group.
Pure therapeutic vanilla essential oil is a great scent to have around. It appears to have mood enhancing capabilities and stress relieving effects. It’s also anti-inflammatory and thus improves cognitive performance as well.
You can get only one of these wonderful essential oils, or combine and use 2 or more of them to get the extra benefits.
Essential oils are now my favorite way to naturally relieve work stress (while smelling like spring at the same time).
How about you? Have you ever tried to relieve work stress with aromatherapy?
To your health and happiness,
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