How to Relieve Stress and Boost Your Mood With an Aromatherapy Garden

By Aislin Suparak Gibson, Houzz

Stopping to smell the roses — or gardenias or basil or chamomile — seems like an almost impossible feat when phones are pinging, dogs are barking and there’s a hurricane of activity in the morning to get everyone out the door with matching shoes. However, unplugging from the hectic pace of daily life is essential for mental well-being.

How can you do this? One way is to create a fragrant, therapeutic space to calm down, get focused and boost your mood. Fragrances have the power to modify our brain and frame of mind. Inhaling their scents is a powerful form of natural therapy. Here are a few of the ways the fragrances in your garden can turn your home into a perfumed, restorative haven.

Calm and Stress Relief

Taking a deep breath and spending time outdoors are inherently calming activities, linked to mindfulness and lowered blood pressure. Adding fragrance can further boost the health benefits and enjoyment of being outside.

Calming scents help our bodies deal with stress and depression. Inhaling the fragrance from gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) can soothe, relieve anxiety and promote sleep, according to research led by Dr. Hanns Hatt, who is on the biology and biotechnology faculty at Ruhr University in Germany. Hatt showed that the fragrances acted as strongly as sedatives, sleeping pills and relaxants, and concludes: “The results can also be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy.”