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How Smell {And Aromatherapy} Help With The Four Main Types Of Stress

How Smell {And Aromatherapy} Help With The Four Main Types Of Stress

April 11, 20215 min read

I had no idea there were four types of stress – did you? This led to two huge ah-ha moments for me…

All “stress” is not the same and… it’s all chemistry.

It makes sense when you think about it.

I thought of stress as a mental thing, an emotion. Not something we can really see or quantify. It’s more of a feeling – right?

Wrong – it’s all chemistry.

When your body senses a threat – it releases hormones to prepare you to react.

Hormones are simply chemistry.

Emotions are simply chemistry.

The good news is we can do something with chemistry. We have options on how to change things through chemistry. Which can be far easier than trying to think our way out of something…

Then if I make the leap to hormones and chemicals I tend to relate stress to cortisol. Cortisol tends to get a lot of press.

But cortisol isn’t the only player.

Cortisol might not be YOUR major player…

There are 4 main players in the stress chemistry playing field and each one is triggered differently and causes different reactions and side effects in the body.

PLUS – each one has different chemistry to help counteract that reaction.

This is where our oils become major players on the field too.

Check out this video for the full story on how all this works. And then below I’ve listed a few of the go-tos for each stress story and what oils help.

The Foundation for Health

There are other solutions besides the oils.

Water being #1 – we talk about that in the video. It’s a huge part of your emotional foundation.

Food and digestion are key too – we give this an honourable mention in the video and then go into this in a lot more detail in the daily habits / Ayurveda course.

So if you {like me} like to understand this on a deeper level to help yourself or others – then the Daily Essentials Course gives you so many solutions on how to impact and change this stress story that’s happening right now. Check that out here.

Four Main Types of Stress – and what helps…

The four main types of stress all have a different hormone player and distinct chemistry.

#1 – Serotonin – The Happy Place

Serotonin is your happy hormone. It’s primarily found in the gut, blood platelets and the Central Nervous System.

Low serotonin leads to feelings of depression, anxiety, phobias, insomnia and a feeling of rage or anger.

The Essential Oils that can help shift your mood and support higher serotonin levels in your body include:

Citrus Oils act like sunshine in a bottle for your mood.
Mints perk you up and provide an energy boost.
Florals wrap their soft petals around you like a nurturing hug.
Grounding and Stabilizing oils from trees and roots.
Soothing Oils that calm your nervous system.

Essential Oils for Serotonin

#2 – GABA – Calm the Storm

GABA is the chief inhibitory {aka anti-excitement} neurotransmitter in the brain and central nervous system.

In early development GABA often plays the opposite role and is in charge of ramping things up, makes sense that kids often have the opposite reaction to some essential oils.

Having low GABA levels can feel like you can’t apply the brakes to your thoughts or find that calm place outside the storm of your thoughts and muscle reactions.

This can lead to:

Stiff, Tense Muscles
Feel overstretched & overwhelmed
Unable to relax
Mental Chatter or “voices in your head”
Over-reactive to the situation
Experiencing feelings of anxiety
Feeling uptight/high strung
Drawn to substance abuse

Essential Oils that can be particularly effective for helping to soothe and support the systems as well as promote increases GABA levels are oils that are:

High in Linalool content
Helpful for focusing and mental clarity
Soothing tense and stiff muscles
Calming and soothing oils for the brain

Essential oils for GABA

#3 – Catecholamines – Running From the Tiger

Sometimes our stress response that kicks in when we sense danger gets stuck in the “on” switch. This can happen from repeated stress reactions or from a particularly traumatic situation.

When this happens the body functions that are turned off or on low to help you deal with the stress {aka running from the tiger} don’t function as designed. Digestion, critical thinking, reproduction are all set to low and the high levels of adrenaline lead to an exhausted adrenal system.

We can’t function on high forever…

Essential Oils that help support a healthy Catecholamine balance include oils that support;

The adrenal system
Changing patterns
Memory and brain functions
Soothing and calming the nervous system

Essential oils for Catecholamines

#4 – Endorphins – The Mood Rollercoaster

Endorphins and Dopamine are the main chemicals at play for pleasure and reward seekers. When this gets out of balance and you end up craving that next hit – of food, experience or pain relief you can feel like you are on a rollercoaster of high’s and lows.

Besides the emotional rollercoaster of feelings, this can also lead to food cravings and addictive behaviours.

Essential Oils that help you get off the rollercoaster include oils that naturally boost feelings of happiness, cope with physical pain and soothe cravings and addictions.

Essential oils for Endorphins

Where to Start?

There are so many oils that help and with everyone having unique chemistry and make-up it can be overwhelming to know what to start with.

The good news is there are many oils that help so whatever choice you make will likely work. And many work well for all four types of stress, as typically we may have more than one thing going on.

Even better news is doTERRA has created a collection of blends that have the greatest impact aromatically so you can try them out and see what works best for you.

Connect with your primary doTERRA support person and let them know you want to try out this Aroma Essential Kit and explore feeling happy and relaxed. The trickle effects of this will make a huge difference for your health.

If you don’t have a doTERRA support person yet – I’d be honoured to help you and work with you to find the best, simplest solutions for you.

Click here to start feeling happy and relaxed with the Aroma Essentials Kit.


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