Diffusing essential oils can take your stress away! Know why and how to do it

Aromatherapy is a widely used self-care practice that allows one to unwind and relax after a tiring day. Diffusing essential oils is one of the most effective ways to get the best of this practice. An expert tells about the benefits of diffusing essential oils and much more!
Diffuse essential oils for mental health benefits. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Purvi Kalra Published: 13 Feb 2024, 02:30 pm IST

Imagine entering into an aromatic room after a long, tiring day. That soothing aroma in your most cosy space can wash all your worries away. In a room that smells good, you would naturally feel gravitated to either dive into a book or watch a feel-good movie, and finally slip into a good night’s sleep. There are several mental health benefits of diffusing essential oils. Think no further, and invest in a good diffuser and your favourite essential oils because here we are going to tell you why!

Benefits of diffusing essential oils

The usage of essential oils isn’t just limited to today’s times. They have been used since ancient times to treat various illnesses on account of their benefits.

Diffusing essential oils will help you calm down even during yoga. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Psychiatrist Dr Shivangini Singh tells Health Shots the various benefits of diffusing essential oils for mental health.

1. Essential oils may reduce anxiety

Aromatherapy has been a widely used self-care technique as it can significantly change your mood for the day. Diffusing essential oils may be good option since diffusers gently release aromas that can induce more positive feelings. “Essential oils act as anxiolytic, antidepressant, sedative, and anti-convulsant effects by altering neurochemicals in the brain,” says the expert.

2. May reduce stress

Essential oils, when diffused, can bring about a sense of calm by creating a more pleasing atmosphere in any space, and you start feeling a lot more centred. The expert says, “Essential oils can also help in regulating our blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, brain waves composition, and cortisol serum levels (stress hormone).’

So, when you catch your mind is racing a marathon every minute, consider using a diffuser to ease your thought process.

3. May improve sleep

After a pressing day, we all want to unwind and relax. Aromatherapy can offer ultimate relaxation and it improves and enhances sleep by creating a calm and welcoming environment for sleep to come.

4. Reduces the effect of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

When days get shorter, like in winter, we tend to feel low and dejected because of the gloomy days with less sunlight. Seasonal Affective Disorder can also impact people’s appetite and sleeping patterns. Diffusing essential oils creates an environment of comfort that gives you that much-needed distraction from the colder weather and darker evenings outside.

Diffusing essential oils will help you achieve inner peace, and a state of calm. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock.

How to diffuse essential oils?

Diffusing essential oils is simple and easy, and the process is:

1. Take your diffuser.
2. Put some water into the pit that is meant for diffusing oils.
3. Put 5-6 drops of your favourite essential oil into the water.
4. Turn on the diffuser, and wait for the aroma to envelop your space.

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Also read: Best essential oil diffusers to reduce anxiety and stress

You may note that jasmine and citrus essential oils have been found to have the most evidence for mental health benefits, followed by rose and lavender. Essential oils can be used topically, through inhalational methods and orally. Inhalation methods are the safest and most convenient. But you must check with your healthcare provider in case you have any health issue.

Precautions while diffusing essential oils

When diffusing essential oils, always:

1. Diffuse in a well-ventilated area.
2. Diffuse for 30-minute intervals and take regular breaks.
3. Make sure pets have the option to leave the room if they don’t like the aromas.
4. Follow the dilution guidelines (ACHS guidelines).

Side effects of diffusing essential oils

Those taking prescription drugs and supplements can show a reaction to essential oils, and anything used in excess can have adverse effects. They can show different reactions in children, the elderly, and those with weakened immunity. Hence always peruse the instructions given specific to the essential oil you are about to use. Some common likely side effects are:

1. Photosensitivity

Some oils are sensitive to light and immediate exposure post-application can irritate and rarely burns.

2. Hypersensitivity/Allergy

A patch test is always recommended in case of hypersensitive skin types.

3. Irritation

Very high concentration and application can lead to skin irritation.

Purvi Kalra

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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