stress and aromatherapy

What Is Stress And How Can We Help Reduce It?

The hustle and bustle of life today has seemingly made stress inescapable. A Gallup Poll from late 2017 found that nearly 80 percent of Americans feel stress at least once during the day. The World Health Organization recently declared stress a “World Wide Epidemic.” Failure to manage stress could have severe health implications.

Fortunately, at Utama Spice, we focus on providing products and tips to help achieve a healthy mind and body. That’s why we’re here to give you some of our favorite tips and methods to help reduce stress.

What Happens When We’re Stressed?

“Stress” is a broad term and hard to define. According to the American Institute of Stress, there hasn’t been one definition that is globally accepted. Although the closest definition is something that causes “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.” When we suffer stress, we tend to go through a couple of common stages.

The first is the “Alarm Stage,” which causes our body to go into “fight or flight” mode. Our brain releases chemicals and hormones, such as cortisol, that ramps up our heart rate and blood pressure. After this, we move into a ‘Stage of Resistance’, where our body becomes adaptive to the situation and begins to resist it. The last step is the ‘Exhaustion Stage’, where our cells die because our body has used all of its adaptive energy.

This infographic from Healthline also helps outline some of the common physical responses our body has when stressed. The American Institute of Stress has also noted numerous emotional and physical disorders linked to stress, which can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Heart Attack
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Immune System Disturbances

What Causes Stress?

Many people suffer from everyday stress, which occurs due to the pressures of life and daily responsibilities. Others suffer from stress that is brought on by an unexpected negative change, such as losing your job or finding out that a loved one is sick. You could also suffer stress as the result of a traumatic experience. Post-traumatic stress disorder is an example of this.

According to the American Psychological Association, the top seven causes of stress in the United States are:

  1. Job Pressure
  2. Money
  3. Health
  4. Relationships
  5. Poor Nutrition
  6. Media Overload
  7. Sleep Deprivation

If you wish to reduce stress, it’s imperative that you understand what’s causing it in your life. Some factors are in your control. For instance, you can control your diet and how much sleep you get per night. If these factors contribute to your stress levels, it’s best to make improvements in these areas.

Other areas are not so easy to control. For example, the train that you take to work each morning is running behind. Although there’s nothing you can do to make the train arrive any quicker, you still become stressed. It’s this type of stress that you can seek to reduce through various tools, products, and methods.

Essential Oils Can Help Reduce Stress

RelatedOne of the best ways to help reduce the effects of everyday stress in your life is through the use of essential oils. You can use essential oils in two ways. The first is putting the oil into a diffuser, which then releases particles into the air that you breathe. The second is applying the oils topically.

Lavender essential oil is one of the best ways to reduce stress. One study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that those who inhaled lavender before completing a stressful task performed better than those who didn’t. Another study from the International Journal of Nursing Practice found that lavender was useful in reducing work-related stress. Lavender has a natural calming effect and can help you sleep better as well.

If you suffer from stress, consider adding a diffuser to your bedroom and office. Add a few drops of lavender to the diffuser, and run it throughout the day. You can also run the diffuser about an hour before bed to help you sleep. If you suffer from stress-induced headaches, hypertension, anxiety, or depression, you could apply a few drops of lavender oil to your temples or wrists to help lessen the symptoms.

Other essential oils that could prove useful in fighting stress are bergamot and lemongrass. One study found that bergamot boosted positive emotions and lowered cortisol levels. Researchers have also found that exposure to lemongrass could reduce anxiety and tension “immediately.”

One of the best ways to reap the benefits of these essential oils is through a blend. Although you can purchase the above oils in pure form, you could also buy pre-mixed blends. These are easier to use and can maximize stress reduction. Consider something like our Deep Calming Essential Oil Blend.

Other Tips To Help Reduce Stress

While improving your routine and adding essential oils to your daily regiment could help reduce stress significantly, there are a few other tricks that we like using whenever we start feeling stressed. One method that works for us is to start keeping a journal. Whenever we are feeling particularly stressed, we take time to write down what we are thankful for. This forces positive thoughts and allows us to connect with our spiritual self.

We’ve also found that practicing mindfulness can go a long way toward reducing stress. Effective mindfulness practice can keep you in the moment. It may seem counterproductive to stop what you’re doing for something like yoga or meditation, especially when you’re busy. Being able to take the time to do so could help you reenergize and refocus while boosting your self-esteem.

About Utama Spice

At Utama Spice, we believe in the power of natural products and energy. We have been working with natural products for more than 20 years as we saw that herbal knowledge and traditions were quickly being forgotten in favor of products that contained dangerous chemicals.

Since then, we’ve sought to provide our customers with natural products and tips to improve their physical, mental, and spiritual health. We invite you to check out our News Section to learn more!

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