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The Five Essential Oils That Calm Stress And Anxiety

The Five Essential Oils That Calm Stress And Anxiety

More and more evidence confirms that an aid to treating anxiety is Essential oils. Essential oils are oils from sweet smelling plant sources like roses, lavender or jasmine. These oils can enhance your mood and well-being in many ways. Recently it has been found that if you are feeling stressed or particularly anxious, the aromas of oils can actually calm you and your mind. Although this news might surprise you, in reality this idea is nothing new.

The practise of Aromatheraphy in mental health has been around for centuries and guess what: it actually works! The good thing about essential oil treatment is that you can do it yourself in your house whenever you want. Of course there are some rules: never use more than a few drops and be careful when you are using candles. The rest, though, is easy and harmless. If you have been thinking about using oils to ease your anxiety, we will be looking at some of the most commonly used oils to treat anxiety here to get you started.

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How Do You Use These Oils?

You can use the oils in the bath, or by putting a few drops on your pillow for nightly healing. But the best way to reap their full benefit is using a diffuser. This is why the first thing you’ll need to do when you start using Essential Oils is to find the right diffuser. There are many different kind of diffusers and you have to find the one is right for you and your needs.

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Which Oil Is Right For Me?

To help you on your search we now look at a few aromas known for their calming influence:

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  1. Lavender: Its calming and gentle aroma helps relax even the most anxious of minds. Lavender is, in fact, the number one calming essence. Its special calming qualities are so legendary that there has even been medical research to learn more about its aid in calming the heart and mind. This oil is the best in extreme panic and stress.
  2. Rose: Second only after lavender in its healing properties. Not only calming but also uplifting. This one is the best one to choose if you need to calm down but also focus. A good scent to use for an uplifting bath as well.
  3. Jasmine: Do you have a lot to do but feel too anxious to start? Do you have to go out but feel a bit nervous about it? If so, then this oil is the one for you. It gives you a happy vibe and a ready focus to go out and do what needs to be done. Ideal to get in the mood for a party or some other happy gathering.
  4. Cedar Wood: calms the mind and also treats any muscle tension that has been caused by anxiety. It also aids your sleep and lets you wake up happy and alert. Put some drops onto your pillow before you go to bed. If you have stress sinus problems this is the ideal oil to diffuse in your bedroom. (As a bonus it also wards off moths and several other summertime insects.)
  5. Sandalwood: This oil harmonizes the mind and brings mental clarity, it helps scare away fears and is mildly sedative. It also helps positive visualization and concentration.

The reason why it is so hard to find the right oil is because there are many different options available. Almost all essential oils are beneficial, but only some are suited to treat stress and anxiety.

Do a good and thorough search to oils that are proven to help. When you find the ones that are right for your problem there is still one more decision to make: which essence do you like best? This is important – if a smell doesn’t appeal or connect then the whole thing just doesn’t work, as an annoying smell won’t calm you. As you can see, these oils all have their own special qualities. It is up to you to find the one that is right for you.

Featured photo credit: CC0 Public Domain via pixabay.com

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Dannii Cohen

PsyD in Psychology, professional counsellor, life coach and self-help expert

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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