By Beth Aust, RN
February is the month of LOVE and its time to LOVE yourself with self-care. Self-care is CRUCIAL to managing everyday stressors. It’s time to be proactive, instead of reactive, to avoid being in a state of overwhelm.
The key to self-care is to “trigger” the relaxation response. Some relaxation triggers include meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, and exercise.
Let’s breathe in some self-love with aromatherapy.
Brief science lesson: Essential oils are aromatic liquids found in shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds; in essence, nature’s pure living energy. We think of them most frequently for their strong aromatic properties, but they are complex substances made from many different constituents (as many as 300 ingredients in one essential oil!) with many beneficial properties.
The aromatic properties of essential oils stimulate our sense of smell and positively affect our bodies, moods, and minds simply through inhalation. When we smell an oil, it passes through into the limbic portion of our brain which is responsible for things like memory and emotions.
There is much evidenced-based research on the power of aromatherapy on the mind and emotions. You can find numerous research articles from the US National Library of Medicine/National Institute of Health like this one: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/
3 soothing oils for the heart
Rose Oil: The rose has been given the power of healing and soothing the heart. In fact, the word rose comes from the Greek word rodon, meaning red. Its floral, feminine scent is heart centering, making it the queen oil for grief and bereavement. Rose comforts in dark times of emotional pain and shock.
How to use: You can place a small drop on your palm and inhale, or just smell from the bottle. The energetics of the aroma itself is enough to open your heart to connect with love that is, was, and will be.
Palo Santo Oil: is said to align with organic life force that banishes negative energy and sparks a reconnection with the heart. It is ideal for those who feel disconnected from their emotions and are longing to reconnect with loved ones and themselves.
How to use: Diffuse Palo Santo in your home or workplace. You can also place a drop or two on a warm compress and place it over your forehead or chest when meditating or relaxing.
Bergamot –The embodiment of self-love and self-worth. This oil helps process and release the fear of not being good enough, emotional pain, restraining habits, and opens you up to love and self-acceptance. Bergamot teaches acceptance of your uniqueness, self-approval, joy, and resulting self-confidence.
How to use: Diffuse during meditation or even add to your diffuser jewelry to bring joy and confidence with you through the day.
Life is meant to be enjoyed. Bring joy and peace back into your life by showing yourself some love more naturally. Joseph Campbell wrote, “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”