Aromatherapy in the Workplace

So far this year we have explored how essential oils can help us during flu season , assist us in our love life, cleanse us internally and now how they can effect us both emotionally and mentally in the office. As discussed before, the olfactory bulb, which aligns to the brain, allows smells to travel to the deepest part of our limbic system, sparking memories and creating chemicals of emotion. Aromas can stimulate us or relax us, excite or sedate us, even balance and center us, all because of a chemical process created through the limbic system of the brain. Whether essential oils are absorbed through the skin, inhaled or taken internally, they still will create a chemical reaction in the body because of their interaction with the brain. And because it is the brain that is affected, we can create certain environments that are conducive to concentration, creativity and positive personality through the use of essential oils in the office.

In order to create a comfortable and supportive environment in the workplace, care has to be given as to which oil is used. The sedating oils, such as lavender and chamomile, whilst great for calming and diffusing eruptive situations, can also lead to sleepiness and lethargy (not very conducive to work). These more relaxing oils may be added to the aroma lamp right before finishing time, to allow the body to begin to wind down and let go before going home. But for the main part of the day, the best oils to choose will be the more stimulating and energizing oils. A few drops of a single oil or 3 to 5 oils in combination can be very helpful in creating an environment of creativity, purpose and concentration. Of course care must be taken lest someone is allergic to certain aromas, making life impossible for them if essential oils are burned. But generally, where there is good ventilation, essential oils in an aroma lamp or oil diffuser can work wonders.

For mental clarity and mental stimulation, the best oils to burn in an aroma lamp either in combination or singly are: rosemary, peppermint, lemon, basil, ginger, tea tree and cypress. These oils help with fatigue, forgetfulness, lack of focus and brain fart. Also placing a bright yellow board or yellow paper right above eye level in your workstation helps stimulate the third chakra, which aids in memory and focus.

For office stress the best oils are: geranium, pine, melissa, rose, rosewood, elemi, sandalwood and grapefruit. These oils are great balancers, allowing you to center and ground without getting spacey and unfocused or sleepy.

For building self-confidence and a sense of self worth in the office, the best oils to burn are: frankincense, cedarwood, sandalwood, jasmine, ylang ylang and neroli. These are what I call the “feel-good” oils that inspire and uplift the psyche and heart. They help to center the mind and allow access to deeper, inner knowledge.

Inspirational oils, that help bring about ‘bright ideas’ and flashes of brilliance are: frankincense, rosemary, sandalwood, elemi, black pepper, litsea and neroli. Orange and rose otto can also be considered great oils for creativity and performance. These really help when there are mental blocks and problems with lack of focus or direction with a project. They seem to get one back on track by accessing a more creative and inspired personality.

End of the day oils (as stated earlier) are: chamomile, lavender, marjoram, clary sage and linden berry. These help settle and relax stress after a grueling day at the office. By calming and easing tension in the mind and therefore the body, these oils can aid you in walking out of the office and leaving the work worries behind.

For cleansing and detoxifying the work area of germs, the best oils are tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender (only if mixed with a stimulating oil like rosemary), lemon, juniper and cedarwood. So much sickness is spread through airborne germs and essential oils in a diffuser can kill off these bugs and promote a healthier environment.

Oil diffusers are an easy and cheap way of creating a workable environment in the office. Tempers can be calmed, confusion can be alleviated, sick days lessened and creativity/productivity increased, all with the help of essential oils.