Everyone has a stressful day now and then. While there are many different ways to relax after a long stress-filled day of activities, few work as well as aromatherapy. Officially, aromatherapy dates back to 1937, when Rene-Maurice Gattefosse coined the term, but the practice of using calming scents for stress had already been around for thousands of years. This fact alone should show that aromatherapy works since it would’ve fallen out of favor many years ago if it didn’t.
These days, aromatherapy candles for stress relief are popular, because they are easy to use. All that you need to do is place it in a safe location and light the wick. Many popular candle manufacturers are now selling them in stress relief scents like lavender and clary sage. However, there are several different stress relieving scents to choose from, so if you don’t like one of them, you can always choose another.
Do Stress Relief Candles Work?
The short answer is: yes. Although aromatherapy is considered a form of alternative medicine, studies have shown that certain scents can help people relax, as they have calming properties. It’s amazing to think that something as simple as a scent can have that big of an effect on the human body, but it’s true.
Aromatherapy, in the form of calming scents for stress, works by targeting the scent receptors in your brain. You breathe in the scent, for example, from a stress relief candle, and the molecules in the scent go in through your nose, which triggers the parts of the brain responsible for calming you down. The effect is practically immediate and completely painless, with no side effects. You’ll just feel that much calmer!
The Best Aromatherapy For Stress
Traditional aromatherapy consists of one thing – essential oils. These oils are sometimes blended to make combinations with additional healing powers, or they are used individually. Essential oils come from the plants themselves. They are distilled and extracted from various parts of the original plants, such as the seeds, roots, stems, leaves, and blossoms. Exactly which parts are used depends on the plant.
For example, in order to make essential oil from lavender, you need to take the lavender buds, boil them until steam is produced, and then capture that steam. This is difficult to do, which is why it’s best left to the professionals. Once the essential oils are extracted and placed in glass jars, candle makers mix them into the wax. Each particular candle manufacturer has their own method of doing this, which explains why the scents vary slightly from one candle to another. All that matters here though is that these are the blends that contain the best aromatherapy for stress relief.
Relaxing Scents For Stress
Some of the best scents for stress relief are lavender, eucalyptus, rose, ylang ylang, vetiver, bergamot, spearmint, frankincense, and chamomile. Each scent has its own properties according to aromatherapy practitioners. Lavender is known to restore the properties of the central nervous system that get overworked when you’re stressed out. It can also help people fall asleep, which is why it’s a good idea to place lavender scented candles in your bedroom. (Just make sure that you don’t fall asleep while they’re lit, as they are a fire hazard if left unsupervised.)
Eucalyptus is good for the respiratory system. If you pay attention the next time you’re stressed, you’ll notice that you start to take shallow breaths. Breathing in eucalyptus essential oils in the form of stress relief candles can make you breathe in deeper, calming you down. Spearmint works the same way, only it can also improve your mood and your ability to focus. This is why it’s often combined with eucalyptus in the same candle.
Like lavender, rose essential oil is made from extracting the scent from the petals of the flower. Rose is known to help with emotional healing, particularly the type that goes along with stress.
Ylang ylang also comes from flowers, notably those of the Cananga tree, which grows in tropical locations. This essential oil makes you feel happier and more optimistic, both of which counteract the feelings of stress and anxiousness that you lit a candle to overcome.
Although vetiver isn’t a flower (it’s actually a type of tropical grass) its essential oil can produce a calming effect. In candles, vetiver is usually combined with scents like sandalwood, bergamot, or even rose, in order make it even more effective. You’ll often find it on its own, too. There have been studies that show that vetiver can reduce anxiety, making it a useful piece of any stress relieving regimen.
Bergamot has properties that make you feel less agitated. This scent is popularly used in candles because it also has an uplifting citrus scent. It’s not unusual to see bergamot in stress relieving candles by itself, or combined with vanilla or another essential oil. While vanilla itself doesn’t have any calming abilities, it works well in tandem with other scents, which is why you often see it paired with the best scents for stress relief.
Anyone who’s ever had a cup of chamomile tea knows how calming the scent is. Now, imagine it in candle form. Chamomile is often combined with other scents in a candle, usually lavender, in order to make it even more effective. Lastly, frankincense is more than one of the things carried by the three wise men. It’s an essential oil that has a calming effect on the mind and body. It’s good for treating the anxiety that goes along with stress and can help you improve your overall mood.
How To Relax With The Best Scents For Stress Relief
Sometimes lighting a candle and breathing its scent deeply is enough to relieve your stress. However, other times might require something a little more dramatic. Try sitting down, removing your shoes, leaning back, and closing your eyes. Focus on nothing but the scent thrown from your stress relief candle. You’ll feel yourself calm down quickly.
Meditation also tends to have a calming effect, especially when it involves scented candles for stress relief. There are aromatherapy practitioners who can help you with this, but in most cases, a nice lavender or eucalyptus scented candle is enough. You just need to be willing to relax, or at the very least, able to make yourself relax, as the essential oils in the candle do what they’re supposed to.
You don’t even need to be at home – it’s entirely possible to place a small aromatherapy candle in your handbag and pull it out during the day at work. Even if you don’t light it (which you probably shouldn’t do while in the office), the scent enough should be calming. What a great way to relax before a stressful presentation or meeting!
Our Recommendations For Great Scented Candles For Stress Relief
1. Bath and Body Works ‘Eucalyptus Stress Relief Candle’
There are many great stress relief candles on the market. One is the Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief 3 wick candle in eucalyptus spearmint. This candle is known for its soothing scent that fills a room quite quickly, due to its multiple wicks. The Bath and Body Works stress relief line is known for its high-quality candles that really do calm you down.
2. Aira ‘Stress Relief Candle’
Another line of stress candles is made by AIRA. These candles are made of soy wax and boast a 110 hour burn time. There’s a lot of relaxation in there – especially in their 16 ounce Stress Relief Scent.
3. Wax and Oils ‘Aromatherapy Pack’
If you’re looking for scented candles for stress relief that you can take on go, for example, if you go on a lot of business trips, look no further than the Wax and Oils three pack in lavender, vanilla, and peppermint eucalyptus. These candles come packaged in small tins that are easy to toss into your luggage.
4. Art of the Root ‘Healing’ Soy Candle
Then there’s this healing soy candle by Art of the Root. This candle is designed for “grief, sadness, stress, and emotional turmoil.” It goes beyond the standard stress relief eucalyptus spearmint scent by mixing in lavender and thyme as well, for one very successful candle with multiple healing properties, just as the name implies.
5. First Candle Aid ‘Anti-Stress Candle’
The ‘First Candle Aid’ Anti-Stress candles made by Etsy seller LirioVela contain ylang ylang, jasmine, and vanilla, all three of which make for one very pretty – and calming – fragrance. These soy candles are sold in glass jars and are hand-poured.
6. Scentual Goddess ‘Stress Be Gone Candle’
Lastly, ScentualGoddess, another Etsy seller, makes a Stress Be Gone candle. This one is scented with lavender and vanilla essential oils, and is topped with calming herbs like chamomile that will melt into the soy wax. And if the candle itself isn’t quite enough to calm you, the candle’s tin has a stress relief mantra written on it that, when repeated, will help the aromatherapy do its job.
So, the next time someone asks you: Do stress relief candles work? You can answer honestly that “yes, they do!”