Let’s be honest, the world can be a pretty scary place from the moment you leave the bed these days. The pace of the modern world can be a bit much and any moments of escape from the stress and anxiety out there waiting for us would be welcome, right?
Today we are going to be looking at using candle scents to relieve stress and anxiety, a holistic approach to aromatherapy, and discuss the best candle scents for anxiety. To kick off this conversation, let’s have a look at the holistic approach to mindfulness and bodywork practices.
What is Holistic Healing Therapy?
Despite the origin of the word “Holistic” coming from the Greek word “holos” meaning “whole”, the practice of Holistic Medicine dates back thousands of years with origins in ancient China. It is a healing method that focuses on the patient as whole, rather than breaking down treatment by specific health conditions. The aim is to cover the health of the body, spirit & mind, and develop treatments that will prevent health issues, rather than treat them as they occur.
People also benefit from these practices when combatting anxiety, some techniques being designed to promote relaxation, and to reduce stress.
What is “Holistic Therapy Treatments”?
Most Holistic Therapy Techniques stem from the practice of mindfulness and bodywork. They are often included as part of a CAM, or complementary and alternative medicine regimen, designed to strengthen the connection between the body, mind, and spirit, and aid in reducing stress and anxiety. Some of these practices include:
Biofeedback – Gaining greater awareness of the physiological functions of your own body
Breathwork – Conscious control of breathing to influence mental, emotional or physical state
Guided Imagery – The use of words & music to evoke scenarios of positive imaginary
Hypnosis – Submitting to a trance-like state of heightened focus and concentration
Meditation – A practice to hone attention & awareness by focusing on a particular object, thought etc
Mindfulness – Meditation focusing on being aware of what you’re sensing/feeling in the moment
Reiki – Channeling energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the bodies natural healing processes.
What are Aromatherapy Candles?
In general, the term aromatherapy candle refers to candles that contain essential and fragrance oils, like those made here at the Sojourn Company! Essential oils are extracted concentrated liquid that derives from plants and resins. We go into detail about this process in our article about Bergamot Essential Oil.
The lighting of an aromatherapy candle releases essential oil into the air allowing you to inhale the molecules of the oil for as long as the melt pool is warm. These molecules then enter through your respiratory system and carry into the bloodstream.
While there is no singular definition of what makes a candle an aromatherapy candle, with products and their ingredients varying from one to the next. Some may contain essential oils only, while others utilize both a mix of fragrance and essential oil, aromatherapy candles are known for providing well-being at a physiological, psychological and even spiritual level. Let’s look at some of the benefits of aromatherapy scents for anxiety and relaxation.
Benefits of Aromatherapy Scented Candles
Scented candles that utilize essential oils using ingredients from plants with anxiolytic properties have been known to aid people with chronic anxiety.
Research is ongoing, and what we do know is that we have not fully realized the potential health benefits of essential oil candles. Studies do show that certain essential oils may help relieve feelings of stress and promote relaxation.
Early evidence suggests that other essential oils may also ease stress, but we must also factor in the calming effects that candles have due to their association with relaxation. Even the soft glow of a candle flame in a darkened room can provide a sense of relaxation because of our brain’s association with candlelight and calm.
Benefits of Aromatherapy Soy Candles
As we have discussed in our article on best candles waxes for scent throw, Soy wax is biodegradable, and a fully renewable and locally sourced presouce here in North America. Like most soy candles, our candles provide a clean burn with minimal soot, while creating a long lasting melt pool to release our custom fragrance and essential oil blends.
Some additional benefits of aromatherapy soy candles that use essential oils are as follows:
A 2014 Study held in Korea notes changes in both 5-hydroxytryptamine and Cortisol Plasma Levels females experiencing menopause. The study suggests after inhalation of clary sage essential oil, there was a reduction in cortisol levels, one of the hormones involved in the body’s stress response, and that concentration was significantly increased.
Another study in Healthy Female Students showed that bergamot essential oil (BEO) reduced salivary cortisol levels, feelings of negative emotions and fatigue. Studies also suggest positive effects of BEO’s chemical components like limonene on dopamine levels as well as other stress relieving neurotransmitters in the body..
Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil Aromatherapy Candles
In addition to providing cold and headache relief, Eucalyptus oil in aromatherapy candles act as a stimulant to the senses. Holistic healers benefit from using this essential oil for a multitude of disorders and diseases.
Energy workers like Reiki specialists often use eucalyptus in their aromatherapy treatments to heal and open the sacral, throat and heart chakra.
Benefits of Lavender Aromatherapy Oil for Candles
Perhaps there is a reason we run to the best lavender candles for anxiety when we see them stocked on shelves.
Ongoing studies since 2016 suggest that inhaling lavender essential oil can reduce anxiety, and provide some efficacy in Anxiety Disorders.
Benefits of Ylang Ylang Aromatherapy Oil for Candles
A 2014 study conducted in Sao Paulo Brazil researching the aromatherapy benefits of ylang ylang for anxiety and self-esteem, found those tested who inhaled ylang-ylang for 1, 2 and a 3 month periods (90 days) reported higher self-esteem than those tested using a placebo..
Best Candle Scents for Anxiety
Now that we have a better understanding of the different effects that various scents possess, Here are some suggested scented candles for anxiety that could be used to support your other efforts to help manage anxiety and stress:
Clary Sage – Clary sage is a mood lifter and has been shown to improve dopamine levels which is the brain chemical responsible for feeling happy. Inhalation of clary sage is also tied to the reduction in cortisol levels, and stress response hormones. We find the use of sage in our Yucca Valley Candle to offer the same effects.
Lavender – According to the National Institutes of Health, studies have indicated that lavender can help improve neurological disorder. Lavender is often used in aromatherapy treatments to relieve migraines and other forms of headaches and is used to aid those suffering from insomnia by improving sleep through its calming and relaxing properties to both mind and body.
Orange – Orange you glad I didn’t say Banana? Many people have found benefits using orange scent for reducing stress and anxiety like this 2013 Study on its use for reduction of salivary cortisol and pulse rate during visits to the dentist (why didn’t anyone tell me about this before my last visit?). A 2019 Study found Orange Essential oil and its main component Limonene had antidepressant-like effects.
Lemon – Remember the uplifted feeling you get after cleaning your home or dishes with a lemon scented product? Well, lemon fragrance is a mood lifter! That may be partly due to the feeling you get after cleaning your environment but lemon is also associated with feeling calm and there is some promising indication of its effect to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression as this 2016 Study suggests.
Peppermint – The uplifting scent of Peppermint wakes the mind and enhances focus.
Reported to almost immediately lift your spirits, Peppermint is a known mood elevator that can help clear your thinking.
Sandalwood – One of sandalwood’s primary benefits is that it promotes mental clarity. In addition, Sandalwood possesses calming and relaxing properties as this 2006 study suggests. We love pairing Sandalwood with other calming tropical scents like Vanilla in our serene Tahitian Bungalow Candle.
Palo Santo – The scent of Palo Santo wood is said to palo santo eliminate negative energy and promote tranquility in the space where it is burned. Are you looking to create a calmer atmosphere? Try burning a palo santo scented candle like our Yucca Valley – it’s our ode to the peaceful scents found amongst the vastness of the desert.
Vanilla – Since the 17th century, Vanilla in nutrition has been used to fight anxiety and depression. Vanilla Essential Oil has a calming effect on the mind, helping with anger, insomnia, anxiety and stress. The Sloan-Kettering study suggests that vanilla helped reduce anxiety during MR imaging. Vanilla is known as a relaxing scent that evokes feelings of warmth, and can help aid in calming the mind before sleep.
Frankincense – While we are waiting for more human studies to be completed, Frankincense scent may help to lower depressive and anxious tendencies.
Apple – Apple scent is said to balance the emotions by calming and uplifting mood while aiding nervous tension and stress.
Cinnamon – Although Cinnamon oil’s use in aromatherapy hasn’t been well documented in studies, many aromatherapy candles use the scent of cinnamon as a mood enhancer as it makes you feel refreshed.
Relaxing Scents for Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can have a profound impact on our daily lives, making it difficult to relax and find inner peace. But, there is hope. One simple and effective way to soothe the mind and calm the senses is by using relaxing scents. Aromatherapy has been used for centuries to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and alleviate anxiety.
Whether it’s through essential oils, candles, or other products, the right scent can help you escape from the chaos of the world and find a sense of peace within. Let’s look at som escents that promote relaxation.
- Lavender – known for its calming properties, lavender has a sweet floral scent that can help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Bergamot – a citrusy, floral scent with a hint of spice, bergamot is said to have a calming effect on the nervous system.
- Vanilla – with its warm and comforting aroma, vanilla has a calming effect on the mind and body.
- Roman chamomile – this sweet, apple-like scent is known to have a calming effect on the nervous system and is often used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
- Ylang-ylang – a floral, sweet scent with a hint of tropical fruit, ylang-ylang is believed to have a calming and sedative effect, making it ideal for reducing anxiety
Other Practices to Improve Anxiety
Keeping calm throughout the day is an ongoing and daily process. We would love to say, “light a candle, and all your problems will melt away” but that just isn’t the case. Here at the Sojourn Company, we firmly believe that aromatherapy candles can be a tool in the toolbelt to help aid with stress and anxiety, but here are some other healthy practices to help promote mindfulness and a calm spirit.
- Meditating Daily – Mindfulness meditation can help reduce anxiety symptoms in those with generalized anxiety disorder
- Ending your day avoiding screens and reading a book
- Incorporating candlelight with a relaxed exercise routine such as mindfulness,
- Implementing Yoga or Tai Chi into your daily routine
- Create a calm space with candlelight – We love Sojourn Company candles, but your choice!
Best Candles for Anxiety
Here at the Sojourn Company, our candles are nature and travel inspired with the hopes that those enjoying our custom blend of fragrant and essential oil scents will be transported to a peaceful escape, even if for a little while.
We use the best materials we can source to ensure a consistent, clean burn for the life time of your candle, and we hope that you find enjoyment and calm while they are lit.
As we grow as a company, we continue to strive to bring the best candles to help combat the stresses of everyday day to you! Our Yucca Valley Candle was designed to transport your senses to the peaceful tranquility of the Mojave desert, while in our Tahitian Bungalow Candle our designed to transport your senses to a tropical escape. We hope you love them as much as we do!