We may all be experiencing higher levels of anxiety right now. Whether we are going back to work, home schooling, self-isolating and thinking about leaving your doorstep or unsure whether you have a job. There are so many things we have little control of and when we start to think about things we can’t control this may quickly escalate into heightened levels of anxiety, fear and panic.
Having a tool kit of coping strategies when you notice you feel anxious is important. One important part would be to consider using either a scented hand cream, aromatherapy oil on a tissue or in the room as a diffuser. When we connect to our sense of smell through scents that evoke a sense of calm and peace this can quickly help reduce a busy over thinking mind and ground us back to the present moment.
Remember being present and mindful means we are more likely to stop the emotional part of our brains (the amygdala) hijacking our thoughts. When this part of the brain takes over we loose control of rational thinking and our brains can create so many what if’s………..
Using a scent each day stimulates our sense of smell switching on our oficatory bulb which sends signals to our brain. Calming scents help you become present and stimulates the part of the brain (prefrontal cortex) that helps us feel in control. The more this area is stimulated the more we are able to logically reason with our thoughts and worries. The world and our worries may not have changed but we may learn to control them rather then them control us.
Scents that have a calming affect on the mind include lavendar, sweet marjoram, Roman chamomile, lemon, neroli, jasmine and rose. I personally love The White Companies ‘Flowers’ body lotion and room diffuser range, rich in jasmine, neroli, rose and lavendar. I also use L’Occatine’s Verbena range. I instantly feel connected to what I am thinking as I apply the lotion in the morning.
Having a hand cream, diffuser or tissue with a scent to check in to feeling calm through the day helps soothe an over thinking mind, reduce anxiety and stress. When we reduce our anxiety and stress levels this helps reduce inflammation that may be affecting pain, joint health and digestive health.