Candles are a great way to add ambiance to a room and create soft lighting. But did you know they can also help calm and relax your mind?

Choose candles made from natural waxes like beeswax or soy. These are less likely to release toxins or air pollutants into your environment than traditional paraffin wax candles.

Reduce Stress

The stresses of everyday life can easily overwhelm and deplete your energy. Whether you’re dealing with family, work, or just the world around you, aromatherapy can help ease the tension with simple, effective techniques. Aromatherapy uses the power of essential oils, which are distilled from aromatic plants, to promote emotional wellness, calmness, and relaxation. These natural scents are infused into the wax of a small candle and released when lit.

During inhalation, the molecules that carry the aroma of a scented candle travel directly from your nose to the emotional center of the brain. Pleasing odors can unlock odor memories, which can cause you to feel comforted, relaxed, or happy.

It can benefit people suffering from anxiety, stress, or other mental health conditions. These soothing scents can have a powerful and lasting effect when combined with other calming techniques, like diaphragmatic breathing, mindfulness training, or hypnotherapy.

In addition to reducing stress, small candles can boost your mood and provide energy when needed. Many artisanal candle makers offer scents that are specifically designed to be invigorating. The warm glow of a candle and the aroma of its essential oil blend can create a soothing, cozy environment that’s perfect for unwinding at home or relaxing in the office. Scents like peppermint and rosemary can help to increase focus and energy.

Invigorate Your Senses

There’s something about a candle that can bring romance, nurture relaxation, and elevate your environment. Whether you’re a mom juggling family and work, a guy working to improve his health, or a student trying to stay focused, candles can bring a welcome aroma and warm glow into any space. However, not all candles are equal, and some can be toxic to our health and the planet. Luckily, artisanal small-batch soy candles use only natural ingredients that are healthier for you and the environment.

According to experts, scents have a powerful effect on our brain’s limbic system. They can instantly trigger long-forgotten memories, alter moods, and increase focus and productivity.

Invigorating scents like mint, citrus, and rosemary stimulate the mind, allowing us to get more done with less stress. Similarly, earthy scents such as vetiver or cedarwood help to ground the body and mind for better sleep quality.

Aromatherapy can also boost the power of your meditation and mindfulness practices. Adding a candle with essential oil notes such as lavender or cedarwood can set the mood for your practice to calm the mind and soothe the soul. You can also use a diffuser or rub the oils on pulse points to carry your favorite therapeutic scents wherever you go.

Remind You of a Happier Time

There’s something to be said for the mood-boosting power of a bright, scented candle. Like a sudden burst of sunlight entering your room, it can give you the boost in energy you need. Choose citrusy scents if you need a pick-me-up, or light a lavender candle to relax.

Aromatherapy can also help you transform negative feelings. They do this by binding with your receptors on the olfactory nerve cells in your nose, sending signals to your limbic brain that can affect your feelings.

For example, smelling lavender can make you feel calmer and relaxed by increasing specific patterns of alpha brain waves that promote relaxation. It can help you forget your worries and focus on a happier time, such as a happy memory from childhood or vacation.

As you consider bringing aromatherapy into your home this New Year, look for small candles made with quality ingredients instead of mass-produced ones. These handmade candles are a beautiful addition to any home, and they’re made in smaller batches with more attention to detail, so you can be confident you’re introducing healthy chemicals and fragrances into your living space.

Increase Your Focus

If you have a task that requires your undivided attention, spicing up your workspace with the right aromatherapy candle can make all the difference. Certain scents have been shown to increase your focus and allow you to move beyond mental fatigue and into a more productive state.

Essential oils activate specific brain regions that control emotions, memory, hormones, etc. The limbic system, which controls these functions, is intricately connected to the olfactory system, or sense of smell. The oil’s fragrance can reach your olfactory bulb and directly impact your emotional responses.

One of the easiest ways to use essential oils is through direct inhalation. It can be done by placing a few drops of oil into a diffuser or inhaling the aroma from a scented candle designed to diffuse these oils.

Aromatherapy candles that contain essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and spearmint are fantastic for encouraging focus. You could also use a candle that contains cypress, which has been shown to reduce anxiety and promote a more focused mood.

Other oils, such as lavender and helichrysum, have been known to support concentration. You can combine these essential oils in a candle that blends them with other focus-boosting essential oils. You can also apply a few drops of this blend or a similar oil mix to your pressure points (temples, a crown of the head, behind the ears, base of neck, chest, and inner wrist) to enhance cognitive performance.