Newsflash: Everyone faces stressors in their lives. But, believe it or not, stress management is a learned skill that can be developed over time. You can’t avoid stress, but you can learn ways to cope with it and reduce its adverse effects. While there are many ways to deal with stress, you are likely reading this in the blog section of a home fragrance brand, so guess what? We are going to talk about the calming and relaxing benefits certain scents can offer. Interestingly, many cultures around the world use scents to release negative energy and accumulated stressors, so we think we're in good company. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of aromatherapy and how you can easily incorporate it into your everyday life for that little bit (or a lot as may be the case) of stress relief.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of scents to improve mood and well-being. People will swear by a certain scent or type of fragrance, but we have found that while there are some general truths, so much depends on the user. While some people strictly prefer a natural candle fragrance or pure essential oils for their journey into relaxation, we have found that many types of fragrances are able to work their destressing magic. Even synthetic fragrances (sometimes referred to as artificial fragrances), which have an undeservedly bad reputation, can do the trick, so don't knock them until you try them. To many people, a scented candle is just what the doctor ordered. Hand poured or not, a clean burning soy wax or coconut wax scented candle with a clean cotton wick and just the right amount of fragrance is the perfect gift for their mood. More than enough studies have shown that scents can reduce stress, anxiety, improve sleep quality, and boost your mood. Yes, please! So why not take the plunge and give an aromatherapy candle a shot?
Finding Scented Candles to Combat Stress
A scented candle is certainly not tough to come by, but finding the right one to suitably destress you might take a little digging. Not all mood candles are created equal. Sure, you can find a scented candle made with a natural soy wax blend and pure essential oils, but that doesn't mean the candle smells good or even that you can smell it across the room. What kind of aromatherapy candle would that be?
Going the DIY route and making your own DIY aromatherapy candles is certainly fun, but are you willing to take the time to get it right on a busy day and then make another candle each time you need one? We are, but that's a different story.
Your best bet is to test and learn. Try out several different scented candles, whether or not they have pure essential oils, and see what strikes your fancy. The best aromatherapy candles are the ones that you connect with. We understand that any scented candle may smell better before you light it, but at least you'll be narrowing down options to find the perfect candle for you. When you're ready to explore a bit more, check out the candle store.
If you are insistent on looking for an aromatherapy candle that is also a clean burning candle with natural essential oils, cruelty-free with no synthetic ingredients, and a cotton wick (of course), you can definitely find that as well. Some of the best aromatherapy candles use a single essential oil like lavender to promote relaxation. A lavender candle is a great go-to stress relief candle, perfect for calming and self-care. Chamomile, vanilla, and eucalyptus are other good scent choices for a stress-relief candle. Of the three, chamomile is generally regarded to be the most calming type of stress relief candle, with eucalyptus being a more stimulating type of destressing aromatherapy candle.
The 411 on Stress - What's So Bad About Stress Anyway?
While stress is normal and to some extent, necessary, too much stress is certainly a bad thing. When you are under stress, your body releases hormones that prepare you to take action. These hormones send a signal to your muscles, increasing blood pressure and heart rate, and preparing your body for fight or flight. This mechanism works well for dealing with short-term stressors. When stress becomes chronic, however, the hormones released remain in your system. This can result in harmful effects on your body and health. So why not try a scented candle or two (or ten) to combat that stress? Any calming candle, be it a hand-poured lavender candle, a chamomile candle, or whatever else might strike your fancy is worth a shot.
Worried About Wax?
There are several different types of wax used to make candles and the list seems to be ever-growing with new wax types moving into and out of favor. Right now, coconut wax appears to be the wax darling. Recently it was soy wax, which is still popular but does seem to have been at least somewhat dethroned. There is also paraffin wax, which you have likely heard negative things about, but there are different types of paraffin and some are not bad.
While any candle has the potential to fill an entire room with a strong scent, the best aromatherapy candle might not be a soy candle. A soy candle will generally provide a longer burn time, but you might be sacrificing fragrance diffusion with a natural soy candle. Even if it's full of essential oils, this can still be the case. Soy wax is regarded as more difficult to work with and tougher to get a good quality candle out of, but it does make a nice clean burning candle and certain brands have truly mastered the art of the soy wax candle. They are not our pick of wax for the best aromatherapy candles, but certainly, if that's what's calling your name, go for it.
Finding the best aromatherapy candles is not a one size fits all proposition, but there are some generalities that do seem to hold true. While everyone loves a clean burning candle, a lot of that has to do with candle maintenance, which comes down to the user (aka you). A calming fragrance is in the nose of the beholder, but a lavender or chamomile scent often gets the job done. While any type of candle may bring a soothing effect, not all are made equal. You have different wax options: soy wax, beeswax, coconut wax, paraffin, and more. Any of these could be the right fit for you, but our choice is coconut wax for its balance of burn time and fragrance diffusion. Beyond that, you may want to look for the type of fragrance and what kind of wick is being used. Only through testing different candles will you know if the scent fills an entire room. Burn time might be another consideration for you, but we think loving the fragrance and how it scents the room trumps burn time anytime.
As we see it, it is crucial to make time for yourself to relax. This is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and well-being. You don't need to spend hours at a spa; a few minutes with the right aromatherapy candles can do wonders. When you are feeling stressed out, it can take its toll on your health. From increased risk of heart disease to anxiety, there are many ways stress can affect your body and mind. Aromatherapy candles are a great way to manage stress and promote relaxation. Give it a try and let us know what you think!