Why Stress Has Become So Common

Recent shifts in social, economic, and lifestyle trends have fueled the age of anxiousness. Many high school students and teenagers especially struggle with feeling overwhelmed and stressed. These trends isolate people from one another and cause us to lose touch with nature and the present moment. Essential oils provide a natural option for relieving feelings of stress and even sadness as well.

What social factors contribute to the increase of people with stress?

Consider three social characteristics that affect these issues: social class or status, the influence of media on our perception, and the increasing use of technology. The current culture of the US may be said to contribute to this rise by perpetuating a culture of self-isolation, loss of trust, and widespread instant gratification.

  • Social/class status: It’s safe to assume that we live in a culture that promises the attainment of individualism through consumption at the expense of others. Equality and equity are often seen as the same thing, which further divides and isolates us from one another, making it harder to develop trust and empathy.

  • Media Influence: Media outlets often portray a world that seems like it’s falling apart. Violent images are more memorable and therefore, more prevalent in the age of information. This distribution of violence causes people to perceive the world as an increasingly dangerous place, even though in the US we may be at the lowest level of crime as reported by victims.

  • Technology: Studies have found five links between the use of technology and the development of anxious feelings: its convenience insulates us from small uncertainties and leads to avoidance, physical, and cyber-communication are very different, social media is a platform for instant public judgment, and the internet provides a window into other people’s lives, leading to a “compare and despair” situation.

How can I use essential oils to relieve the feelings of stress and anxiousness?

Studies have shown that aromatherapy can significantly lower stress. Lavender, cedarwood, and jasmine essential oils are the most popular oils used. Just place a few drops of the oil of your choice and rub your palms together. Place your hands over your nose and mouth and inhale deeply. Take a few calm breaths for instant relief.

  • Lavender oil can improve mental concentration, reduce stress, calm agitation and aid sleep

  • Cedarwood oil acts as a way to create a sleeping environment, and relieve stress and tension, calming the mind.

  • Jasmine oil is known for calming the nerves and helping people to overcome stress.

What can I do to help relieve this stress long-term?

Seek out more face-to-face interactions. Try going out with friends or family, or go alone to places where you can comfortably people-watch. Notice how people interact, and practice your communication skills.

Find more positive news sources. If you feel overwhelmed by the violence and chaos blasted on every news outlet, make it your goal to read at least one positive news story a day.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by school, then look into alternatives to traditional high school. You could attend an online public high school, which allows you to learn at your own pace.

Decrease your use of technology. Set some time for yourself to avoid social media, video streaming, and gaming daily. Use this time to engage in physical activity, such as exercising or gardening. Be mindful and in the present moment.

Avoid giving in to instant gratification. It’s easy to order food and avoid cooking or even speaking to anyone with the press of a button. However, instant gratification can lead to a lack of self-control and discipline. Take the time to cook or shop for groceries, despite it feeling like a waste of time.

And of course, always consider therapy and professional help should your stress feel overwhelming.