Stress is one of the biggest reasons that people pig out on sugary, fatty, salty treats or processed carbs, which, of course, pack on the pounds.
It’s also one of my favorites.
Just keep a little lavender whenever you’re on the go, and when stress strikes, just inhale deeply. That’s it!
Ancient Romans used the lavender plant to scent their bathwater while other cultures have historically used it to treat depression, irritability, and insomnia. Research now shows us that lavender’s aroma can greatly diminish stress, which, as you may well know, is a prime trigger for food cravings.
The Scientific Evidence: As always, before I share a tactic, my researchers and I track down a study, which validates it. So check out the fascinating research on this super-simple Sniff Away Your Stress Tool.
Researchers at a nursing hospital in Taiwan recruited 110 nurses as volunteers in a study of lavender oil and stress. Half of the nurses pinned small containers of 3 percent lavender oil (the rest was water) to their clothes while at work. The other half, the control group, pinned their clothing with containers but no lavender oil.
“Aromatherapy was shown to be effective in the reduction of the number of stress symptoms for 3 or 4 days,” the research team wrote. Isn’t that awesome?
Sure enough, stress symptoms and the severity of stress was cut by more than half with the lavender group, while the control group saw its stress levels increase.
All, thanks to lavendar!
The Simple Steps:
- Bring a small glass vial of pure lavender with you wherever you go. Or take roll-on lavender (which you can find at health food stores) with you when you’re On the Go. .
- Then sniff your lavender whenever you feel stressed out.
- You also could, as in the experiment, pin a small bottle of the lavender to your clothes. (After pin-pricking a few holes in the container’s lid will allow the aroma to waft out.)
How It Works: The various chemicals in lavender, such as Linalol, linalyl acetate, geranyle, eucalyptol, pinene, limonene, cineole, phenol, coumarins, flavonoids, work together 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,” according to The Mayo Clinic.
Sources: “The effects of aromatherapy in relieving symptoms related to job stress among nurses.” Chen MC. Et al. International Journal of Nursing Practice. Nov. 15, 2013.
“Aromatherapy: Lavender.” How Stuff Works.
“What are the benefits of aromatherapy?” The Mayo Clinic.
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