It's 2018, and as I'm sure you've noticed, the world is currently a very, very stressful place. You probably have chaos coming at you from all angles: your work, your personal life, the political stability of your nation, just to name a few. Sometimes the basic strategies you use to relax aren't quite enough. When it feels like your deep breathing exercises just aren't doing it for the day, it might be time to consider putting essential oils behind your ears as a way to decompress when stress runs high.
Essential oils don't just smell like fabulously floral perfumes. Many of them actually serve a variety of medicinal purposes, depending on which essential oil you're talking about. From eucalyptus, to chamomile, to lavender, each essential oil comes with its own wealth of spiritual, psychological and, medicinal healing benefits, which is pretty cool when you think about it.
There are a lot of different ways in which you can take advantage of essential oils, but dabbing them on the skin behind your ears is an especially effective way to reap the natural benefits. Other possible places to dab the oils are on your temples or the inside of your wrists, but behind the ears is especially effective because the skin is thin and the oils will absorb quickly.
You might want to make sure you love the smell of a given oil before putting it on your skin.
Since different essential oils are derived from different plants and herbs, some might be more useful for relaxation than others, and they certainly provide a range of odors, from the perfume-y scent of neroli, to the more herbal smell of eucalyptus.
Not all essential oils will cause the same bodily reaction, and some will work better than others to calm you down. For example a 2013 study from the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice showed that lavender essential oil can significantly reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Each essential oil is likely to have a slightly different effect on you, and not all people will respond the same way to any given oil, but here's a broad understanding of what a few different essential oils can do for you: If you're looking to generally calm down after a hectic day, geranium and mandarin essential oils are great options. Neroli essential oil is said to have an anti-depressant effect, while jasmine sort of soothes the physical body with a sedative effect. Patchouli essential oil has been touted a really effective stress-reliever.
Though they have a history of medicinal healing, most of the benefits of essential oils are based on anecdotal evidence.
Dabbing essential oils behind your ears isn't a prescribed guarantee for wellness, but rather an activity — similar to meditation — that can help you achieve mindfulness and release stress. Making a habit out of using essential oils could work to calm you down just by the repetition itself, on top of the beautiful smell.
If an essential oil is way too strong for you to dab directly on your skin, you could consider incorporating it into your life in other ways. For example, I love to put a few drops of lavender essential oil into my humidifier every night. It's a totally calming, subtle scent that not only helps me wind down, but also serves as a psychological reminder that it's time for me to go to bed.
Research shows that creating habits out of a bedtime routine can in and of themselves can really help you go to sleep a lot faster, so why not add a few dabs of essential oil to your own nighttime routine? Let the de-stressing begin!