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Have you ever noticed how certain scents can have a refreshing and uplifting effect, maybe when you walk by a tree ripe with lemons or catch a whiff of mint? The benefits of aromas, even in small doses, can do wonders for our mood and energy level, and it is pretty simple to add a little aromatherapy to our day. How does it work? Aromatherapy utilizes essential oils derived from plants, many that have been long recognized for their healing capacity. When these essential oils are heated, the scent molecules are released and are able to engage our senses and interact with our brain.
Modern day conveniences and the compact size of most essential oil bottles let us bring the benefits of aromatherapy to wherever they will be most useful. Setting up a small oil burner somewhere at home or on your desk at work takes up barely any space and is a simple way to enjoy scents. Another easy option is to keep a small aromatherapy spray mist in your bag to get a quick little boost with your favorite energizing scent anytime during the day.
Here are five different scents that help to energize and rejuvenate the body and mind. Whether you tend to enjoy a cooling mint, a fresh or fruity citrus scent or some combination of these scents, they are sure to leave you feeling ready for whatever the day has to offer next.
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)– The oil is derived from the leaves and branches of the Eucalyptus tree, through steam distillation. Stimulates the nervous system and helps with concentration and pain relief.
- Lemon (Citrus limon)– Extracted from the peel, this versatile oil can be used to help boost immunity and stimulate digestion while the scent itself is invigorating and refreshing for the mind. Can cause sensitivity to sunlight when used on the skin.
- Juniper (Juniperus communis)– This oil is derived from the berries of the evergreen juniper tree and has a warm and woody aroma. Commonly found in beauty products, such as shampoos and lotions, this oil can help to relieve fatigue and improve memory.
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita)– Steam distilled, this fresh and familiar scent is produced by a strong and concentrated oil so use at low dilutions is recommend. Peppermint Essential Oil contains menthol which induces a cooling and refreshing sensation when inhaled that can be very stimulating to the mind, increasing alertness and stamina.
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)– Extracted from the leaves, same as the culinary herb, this oil is refreshing and mentally stimulating, providing positive affects on performance and mood. The scent of rosemary can also help to calm your nerves.
A few ways you can add aromas into your daily life:
- An oil burner in the bathroom can be used to energize in the morning and to relax at the end of the day by burning oil while you bathe and when getting ready.
- Add a few drops of Eucalyptus oil or another invigorating scent into your shampoo or face wash (add to the bottle and shake) to help you get going in the morning. Make sure the oil is high quality and safe for contact with skin. Avoid contact with the eyes.
- Spray or mist a favorite scent to help you refresh and switch gears when you begin a new task or return to work following a break.
At some point today, be sure to take a deep breath of something refreshing!
Ashley Freeman is a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance. Certified in Raja Yoga, her experience includes private in-home lessons, workplace wellness programs, and group instruction teaching various class formats and yoga styles. Find her on Google+