Using essential oils, made from parts of certain plants like leaves, herbs, barks and rinds, may help you unwind, destress and stay focused as you endure the hard work of recovery. In fact, more and more people are turning to aromatherapy as a way to relax and center themselves. Of course, there’s a wide range of use for essential oils – from easing headaches and stomach woes to boosting immunity – but here we take a look at a few essential oils study-proven for their stress- and anxiety-busting benefits.
Before using essential oils, talk with your healthcare provider and addiction counselor. You want to make sure they don’t interact with any medications you’re taking, aggravate a preexisting health condition or act as a trigger for you in any way. And look for trusted brands without extra ingredients.
- Lavender: This essential oil is perhaps most prized for its calming effects on the body and mind. According to one study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, inhaling a lavender aroma enabled participants to perform a memory task while under stress better than those who used a placebo.
- Bergamot: Sourced from the peel of a citrus fruit, known as Citrus bergamia, this oil is what gives earl grey tea its fragrance. While research is limited, one study published in Phytotherapy Research found that being exposed to bergamot for 15 minutes gave participants in the waiting room of a mental health treatment center positive feelings.
- Lemongrass: This oil, sourced from the lemongrass herb (Cymbopogon citratus), has been found to promote relaxation and reduce symptoms of anxiety. The delicate yet calming aroma of the oil has also been linked to improved sleep and reduced insomnia.
- Orange: In one study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, breathing in the sweet aroma of orange oil allowed participants to remain unrattled during an anxiety-inducing situation compared with those who inhaled a control oil (tea tree oil) or a placebo.
- Vetiver: The woody and strong root-like smell of vetiver has been found to help people center their mind and body. Many people incorporate vetiver into blends for mindful practices like meditation, yoga and prayer.
Stress Management for Women in Recovery
At Rising Roads, we focus on the unique needs of women in recovery. We help our female clients discover new coping strategies to manage (not run from) their emotions, so they can continue to heal and reclaim healthy, sober lives. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558.