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I always admired my friends who had an essential oil diffuser because they always raved about how helpful aromatherapy had been in their lives. Curious about the product and the idea, I decided to try it myself. If this could be a good supplement to my therapy sessions, why not try it out? However, I’d like to clarify that aromatherapy encompasses much more than essential oil diffusers – for the purposes of this post, I’ll be reviewing solely the benefits a diffuser has provided in my life. According to Medical News Today, people have used essential oils for “nearly 6,000 years, with the aim of improving a person’s health or mood.” With such a natural product in existence, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to introduce something new in my life and to explore if the essential oils of certain plants could bring me peace during a time of madness and anxiety.
Most people who want to know if something will work for them will typically do a good amount of research via youtube, books, articles, word of mouth and so forth. Well, that’s pretty much what I did, but here I am to summarize some main points for you. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Aromatherapy is thought to work by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, which then send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system — the part of the brain that controls emotions.” This is done when the oils are extracted from a plant and then distilled afterward. Some uses of essential oils are, but are not limited to:
- Direct inhalation
- Indirect inhalation
- Topological application via massage
- ” … ” via lotions
- ” … ” via bath salts/bath bombs
- Creating your own cleaning supplies at home
- Freshening your sheets or clothing
But to solidify any possibility of me truly understanding why people liked essential oil diffusers, I had to see its benefits in real time. Some people are a fan of candles, others like burning incense, and then there are those obsessed with their essential oil diffusers. I fall in the category of the latter. And I’m not ashamed of that whatsoever.
So what exactly am I investing in, when it comes to this new product I want to intentionally bring into my life? Other than generally having frugal habits, I often tell myself that if I have candles already, what’s the point of buying something new? It took me years to invest in an oil diffuser, despite hearing all the different benefits it holds. After combating the little voice inside my head, I decided to go online to purchase a diffuser with good reviews (and lit up, yes) and essential oils that were worth the price to me (but also had the smells I wanted). I am not too sensitive when it comes to smells, but I do get headaches if I’m overexposed to a scent that I am not particularly fond of. I shopped around my local Marshalls to see if I could find a diffuser and scents on sale, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find one that I personally was attracted to. I was hoping to find one that had low impact packaging, but I couldn’t do enough research to see if one existed. My rationale was that I was pretty stressed at the time I sought out this purchase and didn’t want to keep postponing it for any longer. I didn’t want to keep making excuses and not tending to my mental health. So here it is, here is what I purchased.
Essential oil diffusers can come in different sizes – Most I’ve seen range from 160ml to 500ml in the water reservoir. I wanted a personal sized one that could cover the area near my bed, so I chose to go with the smaller size for the time being. I ended up getting the Radha Beauty diffuser that has the option of changing color and two options for its mist: constant and sporadic. (If you want one with both the diffuser I got and two more essential oils in the package as well, go for this deal). I personally use the “constant” setting because I like seeing the air come out in a streamlined manner. (Maybe that calms me down too?) The essential oils I ended up getting, after doing countless research and ensuring I stayed within my budget, were the Bel Air Natural essential oils. The scents that it included were Peppermint/Tea Tree/Rosemary/Lavender/Eucalyptus/Frankincense. I chose the combination as I thought I would enjoy these scents more, as they could also be used in other projects I am planning for the future. Future DIYs, perhaps?
But moving on –
As this post has highlighted, I have been extremely stressed and not taking care of myself, despite the whole #selfcareseptember trend that was going around. I wanted to make sure I did the basic things needed to care for myself: eat, sleep, work out, skin care, etc. There were many nights where I felt restless – thinking often of what I needed to accomplish the next day, what things I hadn’t gotten done, and how disappointed I was in myself in the lack of motivation I possessed to keep moving forward. What got me through my days was my aromatherapy diffuser.
The first time I used this essential oil diffuser, I found myself being in tune with my surroundings and monitoring how I felt, what I felt, and seeing noting the before and after effects from using the diffuser. I was pleasantly surprised to see the results on top of what I was doing for myself on the side: therapy.
Now, I’ve been pretty open about my experience with therapy if you’ve spoken with me about it recently. I haven’t been talking to many people, so it may not be evident to everyone, but it is something I’ve incorporated in my life the past couple of months. In addition to my weekly therapy sessions and daily check ins (whenever I put in the time to write something up), I have been using aromatherapy as a way of taking control of my life. I literally just choose the scent I want to smell for the night and let it run until the water reservoir is depleted. In the beginning of my time using it, I would play calming music while having the diffuser do its thing to help me go to sleep, but eventually, I was able to just use the diffuser to help unwind for the night. This change in my routine has proven to bring positive changes in my life – So please, read on as I tell you the benefits I’ve come to realize from using an essential oil diffuser and why I believe it’s a worthy investment.
It helps you destress.
Student, 9-5 worker, hustler, mother, father, child, apo, however you identify and whoever you identify with, you probably stumble upon stressful situations that affect your mood. Though stress is normal and healthy to have, unbearable amounts of it can take a physical and mental toll on your body. With a diffuser, I found the aromatic nature of the oils helpful for destressing. When I feel extremely overwhelmed with everything on my plate, or when I’m having a really bad day and it follows me into the evening, I have to find a way to unwind. Our world is so information heavy, and with the amount of noise that comes with netflix, anime, and even youtube, I’ve found that silence and aromas bring my mind to ease. With an essential oil diffuser, I’ve found myself destressing from my days, with a device that aids in mindful breathing and promotes calming environments.
It can act as a “natural” antidepressant.
In addition to “just being stressed”, I’ve felt very depressive symptoms for the past couple of months. September was a month where I felt a lot more of the feelings, mostly in due part to personal things going on in my life in terms of finances, my life path and the amount of work I’ve been putting into this blog (just as a few examples). I remember when I tried therapy in college, I wanted them to give me antidepressant meds so that I could stop feeling everything I was feeling. I knew deep on the inside that it wasn’t a solve it all solution – I learned this in crisis counseling, peer support groups and even my psychology courses in college. So without having access to anti-depressant meds, I opted for the benefits of aromatherapy, as it could act as a “natural” antidepressant. What I found, though the depressive symptoms did not disappear immediately, was that it helped lessen the intensity of what I was feeling in that moment and helped me recenter myself to focus on my well being. Which leads me to my next point:
It can help clear your mind.
When you are destressed and feeling less down, you are put in a state of being more mindful. That is something I really admire about essential oils. I can think more clearly when I have them going in the background of my busy and stressful life, and it helps me understand that there is more to my life than the stress I’m going through. I wish I could think this more often, but it never actually works that way, unfortunately. But it’s okay. I see mindfulness as a muscle that we can strengthen with practice. (Also, a shameless PSA but I have a post coming up on mindfulness soon, so stay tuned for that).
It can help when you’re sick.
The past few weeks (probably all of September honestly), I have been sick on and off. I had what seemed like a cold, then came along some bodily sickness that intensified because of stress, lack of sleep, lack of eating, and the occasional sore throat and canker sores all over my mouth. Sounds so pleasant, am I right? *sigh* To help mitigate this, I used the essential oil of Eucalyptus and Tea Tree to help clear my sinuses and promote better breathing. It does wonders, and I’m so thankful to have had and used this natural way of getting better.
It can help you sleep at night.
Sleep is oh so important. How are you to function the next day without a proper night of rest? With my essential oil diffuser, I have been able to fall asleep so quickly. And when I say quickly, I mean it. Sometimes, I feel restless and fixated on everything going wrong in my life, but I feel this odd but calming effect that quickly shifts my mind from bustling to quiet. That shift brings me to sleep. Once I’m destressed, have a clear mind and feel less sick or depressive symptoms, I find myself wrapping up the end of my night and finally resting. Before I know it, it’s the next morning and I’m waking up naturally before my alarm goes off. This is a huge thing I noticed — how aromatherapy has assisted me in fixing my sleeping schedule. I’m slowly getting back on track.
And there you have it: 5 simple ways that aromatherapy has benefited my life. My diffuser has been my go-to stress relieving, pampering and self care routine for a while now. I am so thankful I chose to invest in myself & splurge on a diffuser and some oils that will hopefully last me a long time.
Do you use essential oils diffusers? And if so, what benefits have you seen in your life? Do you have a favorite scent? Let me know in the comments below!
Personally, my favorite essential oil by far has to be lavender. I may be biased because it’s my favorite shade of purple, but it it brings me such peaceful vibes, which honestly are well needed in my life.
Anyway, if you’re still curious about aromatherapy benefits, check out this blog post that I enjoyed reading as well!
With love and gratitude,