Stress-Relieving Techniques for Nurses - Part 4
Essential oils are an ancient method of healing practiced in cultures around the world. Different plant extracts have different soothing and healing properties. When these essential oils are diffused into the air and inhaled, they can reduce anxiety and tension.
This month in our Stress-Relieving Techniques for Nurses series, we are going to share essential oils for aromatherapy that can help soothe your tension and breathe out your stress.
Because we are all under a tremendous amount of stress. So far in our Stress-Relieving Techniques series, we’ve shared meditation strategies, meditation apps, mindful breathing techniques, and soothing tea recipes. Aromatherapy is one more technique we can put into practice with minimal effort to help ourselves deal with the stress and anxiety in our lives.
First, let’s talk about how we practice Aromatherapy and use essential oils.
There are a few different types of diffusers you can use with essential oils. You can purchase diffusers online or at any of your major store chains.
Like humidifiers, ultrasonic diffusers have a water tank and produce a fine steam. Add a few drops of your essential oil of choice to begin inhaling soothing aromas. They are a good choice if your indoor air is too dry.
Unlike ultrasonic diffusers, nebulizing diffusers do not use water. Instead, they atomize the undiluted essential oil and can fill large areas with relaxing aromas. They are a good choice if indoor humidity levels are satisfactory.
Evaporative diffusers add humidity and aroma into the air without producing a stream of mist or steam. A pad or filter disperses humidity and aroma via a small fan.
Essential Oils and Their Benefits
Now let’s take a look at the various types of essential oils and their associated benefits:
- Sandalwood: Sandalwood’s gentle aroma can help you feel more at peace after each breath. And it’ll remind you to inhale and exhale more deeply more often.
- Lemon: Extracted from the leaves of the lemon plant, lemon essential oils are rich in linalool that helps reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
- Jasmine: Derived from the white flowers of the jasmine plant, jasmine oil has shown the potential to reduce negative emotions and improve mood.
- Bergamot: The same oil that gives Earl Grey tea its signature fragrance, bergamot is sourced from the peel of a citrus fruit.
- Lavender: Prized for its calming effects, lavender is widely used in bath products to reduce stress.
- Clary Sage: Extracted from the flowering herb from the Mediterranean basin, clary sage can have an effect on cortisol, the stress hormone.
While essential oils can also be used topically, it is very important that you read the instructions and precautions regarding skin reactions before using them.
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