This time of year seems to just bring on the stress doesn’t it? I am not sure if it is back to school time, the weather changing, the upcoming holiday hustle or just that we all are taking on more and more than ever before. I can tell you that this time of year is busy for us at All in the Balance.
The thing is if we are stressed then we are taxing our immune system and this can lead to numerous illnesses including heart disease, cancer and suicide. I think some stress is unavoidable and I really do believe that we all have stress no matter how hard we try to keep it out of our daily life. Life is crazy and things happen. The stress response is the body’s way of dealing with a perceived threat. The problem starts when the threat never leaves. And this is the kind of stress that modern society is attempting to deal with. I think how we handle stress is where we need to focus our energies.
Sadly so many are not aware of natural ways to help our bodies deal with stress. If you turn on the TV it seems like all they advocate is alcohol and pills. This personally is such a sore spot for me. Having young adult children I want them to know that they can work on how they deal with day to day stress in a more holistic way AND have better results. When you doctor hands you a sedatives sure it can create a relaxed and calming feeling but did you know that the same pill can also become addictive an depress brain function? I don’t want my children to become addicted to anything that depresses brain function!!!!
This is why I just love, adore, respect and 100% believe in the use of essential oils. Aromatherapy can help with stress management in so many ways. One of the biggest ways is by a direct link to the limbic and autonomic system. Say what you say?I know remember I went to school for a year to understand the chemistry behind these beauties so please just try and bear with me. People respond to the sense of smell on an emotional level more strongly than any other sense. A single aroma can trigger a whole string of forgotten memories. Have you ever had this happen to you before? It is wild! The area of the brain associated with smell is the same area as that associated with memory. Can you see the connection? Our olfactory nerves are located within our nasal cavity. those nerves respond to particular aromas. These nerves then send the information to the part of the brain where memory and emotions lie. OK I promise I am almost done with the chemistry lesson but it is important you get an idea of how these oils work. So this area connects with ( hypothalamus and the pituitary gland) which governs our hormonal systems. These aromas trigger a variety of chemical actions within the body including the release of specific chemicals. ( Enkephalin reduces pain and creates a feeling of well being, Endorphins also reduce pain and induce a sexual feeling and Serotonin helps us relax and be calm) Because the olfactory nerves are a direct extension of the brains limbic system, the reaction to smell is relayed immediately. 🙂
I could go on and on but I wont in this post. The point is essential oils are so much more then oils that just smell nice. The olfactory system/brain connection is darn right fascinating. If you ever want to learn more about this connection check out a book called Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert.
Hopefully, I did not lose you. Bottom line is you can do SO MUCH holistically to combat stress. There are a lot of essential oils that are amazing when it comes to calming us, improving our mood/outlook and helping us increase serotonin, endorphins and enkephalins. One of my favorite stress buster oils is neroli.
In addition to essential oils, I think learning to meditate is another fantastic way to de-stress. I think it is also a fantastic way to prevent stress build up. Check out this post and see if you can gather any tips.