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The Surprising Science Behind Why Candles are So Calming
This essential oil is ideal if you have heart issues. Photo Credit: Wasanajai/Shutterstock

Ylang Ylang Boosts Optimism While Improving Heart Health

Ylang-ylang is a yellow, star-shaped tropical flower. It is native to countries around the Indian Ocean. The essential oil is extracted through steam distillation, with its most potent oil being derived from the flower itself. Its scent is fruity and flowery – you may even recognize it in Chanel No. 5! The oil has many uses like mood balancing and opening the airways. Ylang ylang is also believed to have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties and has even been used as an old wives’ aphrodisiac!

Ylang-ylang essential oil can soothe fearfulness and reduce intense agitation, both of which reduce a person’s quality of life. Also, this essential oil can reduce heart palpitations associated with anxiety while also providing a sedative effect. Ylang-ylang essential oil can improve self-esteem and optimism and help produce a good night’s sleep. If you need these outcomes in your life, consider using a ylang-ylang candle shortly before going to bed, such as while you are taking an evening bath. Make sure that you do not burn candles while asleep, as doing so can cause a fire. Do not use ylang-ylang if you have low blood pressure, reducing blood pressure further.

The Surprising Science Behind Why Candles are So Calming
A candle with chamomile can help you relax almost instantly. Photo Credit: Tainar/Shutterstock

Chamomile Is The Quintessential Relaxant

You have probably heard that chamomile helps people relax, especially before bedtime, and you may have tried chamomile tea to help you fall asleep. However, are you are opposed to having a drink right before bed? We know getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night is no fun. Then, consider using a chamomile candle instead. The chamomile plant is related to daisies, believe it or not, though there are two types of chamomile: Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile. German chamomile has a higher concentration of chamazulene, the active ingredient most highly researched for its benefits.

People have used chamomile for centuries to help with indigestion, speed up wound healing, relieve anxiety, relieve rashes, and soothe us into an easier slumber. If you decide to try chamomile candles (or any essential oil candle) out, make sure that you never burn candles while you are asleep. Using a chamomile candle while preparing for bed, possibly as part of an end-of-day meditation routine, can help you feel relaxed – both from the candle’s flame and the calming effects of the chamomile.

The Surprising Science Behind Why Candles are So Calming
Candles can be for all ages, genders, and types of people — just practice fire safety. Photo Credit: StockLite/Shutterstock

You Don’t Have To Be A Hippy Or New-Ager To Use Candles

Hopefully, by now, you are convinced of the myriad benefits of using candles to help induce relaxation and improve your health, but you may think that candles are for hippies. Alternatively, maybe they are for New Agers, and you do not want to consider yourself in those categories. If you have made it this far, you can’t deny that candles are more than just pretty decor and esoteric, mystical mumbo jumbo. Studies have shown that there are benefits to having and utilizing candles, so having an open mind and shedding any preconceived notions about what lighting a simple candle means could be beneficial to us all!

The evidence around the positive impacts of candles is based on science, not New Age theories. You can use candles as part of a relaxation or meditation routine while also practicing a traditional religion or no religion; candles do not make you a hippie, a New Ager, or anything else. Candles are just candles – they are a vessel for whatever you need them to be. If you need light, relaxation, or a smell-good accessory, they can be any or all of those.

The Surprising Science Behind Why Candles are So Calming
Depending on your needs, pick an oil that will improve your health. Photo Credit: Ground Picture/Shutterstock

Replace Your Regular Candles With Those That Have Essential Oils

You may already have candles around your house and enjoy the fragrant aromas that they give off. The fragrances may remind you of pleasant childhood memories or other experiences that you hold close to your heart. Furthermore, you have learned (or may have already known) that just looking at the flame and listening to it burn can help reduce stress. Start to slowly incorporate candles into your weekly or daily routine as your time allows and see what a difference they can make. For an even better payoff, start thinking about which essential oils might be useful to you.

Do you want to reap the added health benefits of essential oils? Replace your burned-out candles with essential oil ones. To maximize the benefit from the essential oils and make sure they work for you instead of against you, consider where to place them around your home strategically. For example, you would not want to light an energizing essential oil candle, like an orange or a peppermint-scented candle, in your bedroom at night or while you soak in the tub. However, a lovely lavender or chamomile candle would be ideal!

The Surprising Science Behind Why Candles are So Calming
Lighting candles can help regulate your brainwaves. Photo Credit: topotishka/Shutterstock

Relaxation Leads To Better Mental Functioning

Did you know that relaxation is more than resting your muscles and easing your mind? It involves an entire symphony of neural processes in which the brain is working at its absolute best. Your brainwaves are better regulated, the different parts of your brain communicate better with each other, and you are more aware of yourself and your surroundings. Practicing relaxation is essentially us managing our stress and workload. Our heart rate slows, and our blood pressure lowers. Furthermore, you can improve digestion to better absorb nutrients. In turn, it aids our immune system. That is an excellent system that enables us to get back to work feeling refreshed and energized!

Relaxation is not just about the physical benefits; it helps to improve your overall mental functioning. With your brain working optimally, you experience better cognition, better moods, and many other benefits. You also have improved relationships with other people and with yourself. Though we have mentioned meditation quite a bit, its benefits cannot be stressed enough. It can help reduce general anxiety as well as social anxiety. Furthermore, it improves memory function and concentration abilities. Also, it can even help with the brain’s volume loss over time.

The Surprising Science Behind Why Candles are So Calming
Burn some candles with your favorite scents and oils, and watch your mood and day get better. Photo Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Using Candles Improves Overall Health And Well-Being

Poor mood leads to agitation, anxiety, depression, irritability, and physical symptoms. That includes high blood pressure, heart palpitations, headaches, low energy, and more. In turn, you create a vicious cycle is where your physical and mental health is badly affected by your mood. That puts you in a worse mood, affecting your health, and so forth. In comparison, improved mood generated by relaxation and mental clarity results in lower blood pressure. It also improves energy levels, provides better sleep, and much more. That similarly creates a healthy cycle where you feel motivated and empowered to continue caring for yourself. This cycle is fragile. Thus, it is essential to take whatever steps necessary to protect it and rebuild it if you lose your way.

In other words, every aspect of your health benefits from reducing stress and anxiety and increasing relaxation, and you have nothing to lose from it. A great way to start reaping these benefits is to develop a meditation routine that involves candles infused with an essential oil. Pick something that you think will work best for you. So the next time you find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed, light a candle (or a few)! Turn on some soft music, grab a book or just stare at the flames, and enjoy reaping the benefits.