The Benefits of Scented Candles According to a Psychotherapist
Many of us have been burning more candles lately than we ever have before. Candles are a tradition in many cultures, a mainstay in many homes, and even a luxury to treat yourself and others with, but are there real benefits to burning them? Especially at a time like now, when many of us have been quarantined for over a month, can candles truly affect how we feel about our space?
"It is scientifically proven that scented candles can play an essential role in the physiological effects of mood, stress, working capacity, and overall mental health," Chryssa Chalkia, an accredited clinical integrative psychotherapist and cognitive behavioral therapist, said. Chalkia wrote an article on the effect scented candles have on reducing anxiety, but we spoke to her directly about her findings.
In short, certain scents can be attractive to you because of the memories you have in association with them. But some scents trigger the same hormones over and over again in many different people, making them widely popular in calming home scents. These aromas, like geranium, lavender, and peppermint, have "proven to be useful for the treatment of various psychological and physiological disorders."
While ylang ylang "promotes feelings of joy and ease," jasmine "improves positive feelings and energy levels." Peppermint and spearmint "wake up your mind...enhance focus...and improve memory," but if you're looking for something to calm your anxiety, rosemary, lemon, chamomile, and geranium are for you.
Chalkia suggests, for those struggling to maintain a positive outlook during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of citrus-scented candles, which are proven to "lift your spirits and boost your energy." She recommends Diptyque's Choisya, "an orange [blossom]-scented candle with notes of sweet citrus fruit, fresh oranges, and green leaves" or the "True Grace Wild Lime Scented Tin Candle for a bit of energy stimulation. The NEOM Happiness Scented Candle, "which has a wonderful zingy lemon smell, can help you feel more positive."
Here are a few other candles with aroma notes proven to calm anxiety. We're sure they'll warm your new work-from-home space and bring you comfort during such uncertain times.
Mer-Sea Sun-kissed Canister Candle
This glass candle was crafted to bring light into your space with its bright packaging and orange clove and lemony cardamom aroma.
To buy: mersea.com, $32
Siblings Scent No.5
Pour your own candles in any heat-safe container with Siblings' bagged candle wax. This scent has transportive lavender and cedar wood for a calming aroma that will bring you down to Earth.
To buy: siblings.co, $22
DEHV Blush Concrete Candle
DEHV's Blush scent will fill your home with geranium and peony for a delicate freshness that will uplift your mood.
To buy: freepeople.com, $36
UnchainedBride Lime, Basil, and Mandarin Candle
Put a 60-milliliter mini version of this independently crafted scent in every room in your home so no matter where you go you're greeted by the brightness of lime and peppery basil. This little brand also has great gifts for brides-to-be, espeically if they've had to postpone their ceremonies due to COVID-19.
To buy: etsy.com, $7
Homesick New York City Candle
Distinctive of "spring days in Central Park," this scent encompasses the beloved season in one of the greatest cities in the world. If you've had to flee your home during the pandemic, be it NYC or another city or state, Homesick's city scents are designed to bring you back to that place of comfort.
To buy: homesick.com, $30
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