The Scent of Stress Relief

Think of the things that help you unwind. A glass of wine, a peaceful moment of meditation, soothing music in your earbuds. How many of those moments involve smell? Probably not a lot. Let’s not forget how this oft-overlooked sense can be used in our quest to relax.

The popularity of aromatherapy has been booming in recent years. Its market size is expected to break $1 billion in North America in 2024, a 50% increase from 2018, according to a study by P&S Intelligence.

At its heart is the use of essential oils (essentially plant extracts) for a variety of ailments. What limited research has been done into the medical benefits of aromatherapy has indicated that it can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. From a practical standpoint, it’s not too difficult to get started.

 

Find an oil

Different scents are intended for different purposes. For relaxation and anxiety relief, the most popular options include lavender, lemon or rose oils. Make sure you’re buying 100% pure essential oil. Some cheap, mass-market oils are either synthetic or diluted. For a local option, Camden-Grey Essential Oils produces a variety of products you can buy directly: camdengrey.com.

 

Find a use

There’s a few ways to apply your essential oil, depending on your preference. Diffusers can help spread a scented mist around a room. A good device isn’t too expensive (under $50 via Amazon). Or, a similar way is simply to dab a few drops of your essential oil onto a cotton ball and let it evaporate into the air. Topical uses are popular, as well—just make sure you’re diluting it with a carrier substance such as a vegetable or nut oil. For something more stylish, Myxn Scents in Naples sells aromatherapy necklaces: myxnscents.com.