Tired of being hijacked by your fight or flight threat response? Learn how to use de-stress using aromatherapy to gain back control.
Stress isn’t always a bad thing
Some of us actually do our best work under a bit of pressure. Back in the day, we relied on it to keep us alive. Imagine you encounter a lion – your body recognises the threat, knows your life is in danger. So, your adrenal glands start pumping cortisol ( the “stress hormone”) into the bloodstream which gets you into fight or flight mode. First, it floods the system with sugar to give you an immediate surge of energy. Then, it diverts blood away from any ‘non-essential’ functions – like digestion and the immune system for example. Sending it instead to larger muscles like your arms & legs prepping you to either fight or run for your life.
It all happens very quickly to get you out of a stressful situation. So, when this only happens every once in a while – it’s all good. Again, picture this – you hear a loud noise, your heart races and you may even jump. Then your brain catches up and assesses the situation, it realises it was just a car door slamming shut. You smile and move on.
Danger lies when stress becomes a way of life
The issue with our fast-paced culture is that these days, many of us live in a state of constant stress. This can have seriously damaging effects on your health. Cortisol inhibits insulin production (your fat storage hormone) and so you end up with an excessive amount of sugar in the blood which can be toxic. In addition to your immune system and digestion, it can also affect your reproductive system, increase blood pressure, cause weight gain and even speed up the ageing process!
De-activate your fight or flight responses naturally
The good news is that there are a number of natural remedies and techniques out to help manage stress. E.g. Practice using breathe and meditation to self-soothe. Another favourite is to connect with your sense of smell. Especially those found in essential oils (aromatic plant extracts). These have the ability once inhaled to alter your brain chemistry, stimulating memories, moods, and feelings. It can help you transition from “fight or flight” into a more relaxed state.
Our top 5 essential oils for promoting relaxation and wellbeing
Cedarwood: This deep, woody aroma really makes you feel at peace, it contains Cedrol which has a calming effect on mood and anxiety. It relieves tension and can also leave you feeling uplifted when you wake. It also has sedative qualities (so a useful sleep aid for a restful night), reduces muscle pain and minimises skin irritation
Patchouli: Warm, earthy & woody, Patchouli is arguably one of the most grounding and relaxing aromas for balancing emotions.
It also stimulates the release of pleasure hormones – serotonin, and dopamine and is believed to work as an aphrodisiac.
Peppermint: Its uplifting scent can help improve your mood and your ability to focus. It also alleviates feelings of mental fatigue and restlessness.
Sandalwood: Has an amazing woody aroma that has a powerful therapeutic effect on the brain’s limbic system. It is an excellent emotional balancer. Especially when you need a moment of peace after dealing with the challenging demands of the daily grind.
Lavender: Easily one of the most powerful & calming anti-stress essential oils. It has a wide range of benefits, including helping restore your nervous system, sleep, restlessness, irritability, panic attacks, headaches, general nervous tension, and much more.
Where to apply Flight Mode
It should come as no surprise that they can all be found in LBB’s aptly named Flight Mode – Mood Rescue Oil. Individually, essential oils work well. However, when blended they work synergistically to yield exponential benefits. In other words, 2+2=5.
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