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Aromatherapy to Reduce Office Stress

Using essential oils to reduce tension and stress in a work environment

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Physical, emotional and mental stress can be a big part of everyday office life. Use essential oils and aromatherapy to help reduce that stress.

Physical stress in offices is most often due to poor ergonomic design. To reduce visual stress make sure eyes are at least 25 inches from the computer monitor, use dark letters on a light background and ensure that the top of the computer monitor is tilted slightly further away from the eyes than the bottom. Also, make sure there is adequate ceiling light and blinds to block outside light.

To reduce body stress in the office, do some shoulder rolls to relax the neck, shoulders and to open the chest. Circling the ankles will help the blood flow back up to the heart. Getting outside at lunchtime for a short walk is more beneficial to the body (and mind) than putting feet up and having a rest. A breath of fresh air and some stretches will get the circulation going and will perk up the mind.

Emotional and mental office stress can be alleviated with the use of essential oils. Calm down an anger-filled or tense office atmosphere by diffusing Chamomile (R) essential oil, Bergamot essential oil, Lavender essential oil or Benzoin essential oil. Blend them all together or use individually.

When fatigue sets in or workers start to get sleepy in the afternoon, energize the office by diffusing Bergamot essential oil, Orange essential oil, Palmarosa essential oil, Rosemary essential oil and Peppermint essential oil.

When seasonal colds and flues make their rounds in the office, be sure to diffuse an anti-viral oil such as Tea Tree essential oil around the entire office. For added protection use some Tea Tree hydrosol to wipe down work surfaces, keyboards, lunch tables, telephones and anything else that is shared in the office.

Diffusing essential oils around the office will help everyone well but there may be comments from people who are allergic to scents. To address this concerning issues be very clear that essential oils are made from plant material only and there are no human-made chemicals added. It is important to recognize that if someone is allergic to the lavender plant then they will likely have the same reaction to the essential oil. If they do not have reactions to geraniums or oranges, then they likely will not react to the essential oils.

Essential oils have an effect on the brain via the olfactory system, which is just above the nose and connected to the limbic system. The limbic system, which is home to emotions, is also a link between the voluntary and involuntary nervous centers, and a link between right and left brain.

The air in an office can be charged with different emotions: deadlines can create panic, workers may not feel appreciated, colleagues can be overbearing and feelings of anxiety about working in general can abound. There are essential oils that can help with these different emotional feelings:

Whether the office is prone to germs or prone to office conflict or other office stress, use essential oils to alleviate a multitude of office-related stressors.


This article was first published at Suite 101 on April 22, 2009 and is republished here as per the terms of our agreement with Suite 101. Visit Suite 101 to read all of our articles.

*This is educational information and any opinions expressed here-in do not replace professional medical advice. If you are ill, see a suitably qualified medical practitioner.*

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