Reducing Stress One Candle at a Time

Candles go beyond exuding great scents and creating an ambiance for a bedtime routine, stay-at-home date or rainy day. They can also help you destress and stay calm.
April 8, 2021

Lighting a candle in your space uplifts the ambiance and makes your space smell great.

But, can scented candles go beyond that?

Are candles capable of having any psychological effects on the person lighting them?

Candles are actually scientifically proven to relax people, reduce stress and even improve mental health. Candles are part of many self-care and meditation routines for their healing properties.

The Science Behind Candle Relaxation

Unlike harsh lights that are meant to mimic bright light to increase energy levels, natural light conditions are designed to transport us to a more calming, peaceful state at all hours of the day.

Similar to sitting around a nighttime campfire, simply looking at a lit candle can be the start of a relaxing experience. 

Courtesy of @cassgerman

Mesmerized by its warm and soft glow, the open flame of a candle helps soothe those in its company. This ambient light has a meditative effect and proven to increase self-awareness.

When we look at the dim light of a candle, our brains begin to process how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally. This is what makes incorporating candles into a bathing or self-care routine so effective.

Candles can even help regulate mood with the production of happy hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.

This is caused by how scents and smells are processed in our brains.

According to Chryssa Chalkia, a renowned psychotherapist in London, the smell of candles activates our limbic system that deals with emotions and memory.

Stress Relieving Properties of Aromas

Different scents can elicit different mental effects and help reduce anxiety. These stress-relieving properties stem from aromatherapy, which utilizes essential oils as a therapeutic and natural way to improve well-being.

Instead of artificial fragrance and parabens that do more harm than good, our candles include a combination of premium fragrance and essential oils to help you ease your mind and body.

Try the following scents depending on what aromatherapy property interests you:

  • Peppermint: This scent is proven to improve memory. Given all the uncertainty this past year has thrown us, mint can help manage stress and overcome mental fatigue. The April box includes Avocado + Mint with notes of jasmine, neroli lemon peel.
  • Lavender: The relaxing properties of lavender help ease the mind and body, so it’s great to add to your bedtime routine. It also aids in combating depression, anxiety and headaches. Free of parabens, Lavender Moon | 12 oz is 100% natural and packed with essential oils. 

  • Orange: Citrus notes help boost energy and reduce stress. Brooklyn | 13 oz is inspired by Brooklyn jazz bars and packed with orange blossom.  
  • Lemon, rosemary, geranium and chamomile: These scents help ease anxiety and improve mood. Check out our current March scent, Luna | 4 oz, with scent notes of lavender, lemon and orange. 
  • Vanilla: This classic scent is linked to feeling more happy and joyful. Mist | 4 oz was a 2020 favorite with pear, amber and vanilla.

Other scents that can help promote physical, mental and emotional well-being:

  • Apple scent can help give you a sense of ease during stressful times and even alleviate headaches.
  • Cinnamon has both stress-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps your mind reduce anxiety and depression while helping your body fight off infections.
  • Clary sage, meet the ladies of Vellabox. Ladies, meet clary sage. This scent is great for reducing cortisol, aka the stress hormone.
  • Sandalwood aids in meditation, so it’s a great scent for calming any nerves or pressures.
  • Ylang-ylang helps to improve self-esteem, lower blood pressure and promote relaxation. It can also help you fall asleep faster!

Discovering Your Home Scent

Ever get a whiff of a candle and it takes you back to a certain moment in time or childhood memory? 

You have your brain to thank for that. 

There is a strong connection between scents and memories that affect our emotional wellbeing. Chalkia found that we can be drawn to one scent over another due to the memories associated with them. 

Specific scents can remind us of cheerful, calming and exciting memories. Scents can even make us feel nostalgic.

A candle may have you think about eating a homecooked meal or sitting in the sand by the ocean.

When scents activate the same hormones repeatedly in a positive way, we usually cater to lighting these candles. Moreover, we establish these as part of our home scent. 

Want to discover your home scent and explore other Vellabox flavors to destress? Check out our Candle Shop!