Stress impacts the human body and behavior in predictable ways. Chronic stress increases heart rate, elevates stress hormones, raises blood pressure, and causes a rash of affects that can include headaches, body pain, fatigue, nausea, sleep issues, emotional distress, etc., all of which, when left unchecked, contribute to serious health issues. We know that a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and rest, mindfulness, and relaxation are all key to long term stress-relief strategies. Together, they lower cortisol, increase endorphins, promote sleep, reduce negative effects of stress, and improve mood. The devil, of course, is in the details. Trying to carve out the time to exercise, cook a healthy meal, get more sleep, or do something we enjoy can be… well, stressful. Sometimes we just have time for something small and meaningful. And that, in a nutshell, is the beauty of incorporating essential oils into our lives; aromatherapy doesn’t require us to carve out extra time. Like firelight and relaxing music, these oils can gently boost contentment and relaxation while working quietly in the background of our days.