The Many Benefits of Candles - Public Goods Blog

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The Many Benefits of Candles

The Danish concept of hygge, a state of coziness and intimacy, is often created by making your surroundings comforting in small ways.

candle atop of a towel with flowers

As someone who struggles with mental illness, I often found my room to be anxiety inducing, trapped by the whiteness of my IKEA furniture and the walls of my New York City apartment.

During a rainy day with a book and hot tea, I decided to make my life a little more hygge. I slowly made a plan to change the lighting in my room, acquire more large, fluffy blankets and become a candle person.

Candles, while they are not a complete cure for mental illness, can create a relaxing and calming atmosphere in a room. The warm glow of a candle is more soothing to your senses than bright overhead lighting. Research shows that gentle firelight, from candles or fireplaces, can enhance your mood.

I find that candlelight helps reduce my stress, which can make fluctuations in my mental health easier to manage. The coziness that candlelight brings to a room gives it a feeling of home and safety.

While many — like the Danish — prefer unscented candles for a more natural experience, the benefits of aromatherapy cannot be denied. Scents can enhance a candle’s psychological effects.

An aromatherapy candle uses organic essential oils (rather than synthetic fragrances oils, which can be harmful) to fill a room with soothing scents. Burning essential oils has been found to be a good supplementary treatment for depression.

Different scents are said to have different emotional and psychological benefits. Lavender is a popular scent that has calming effects and can help you de-stress. Lemon oil can rejuvenate the mind and body. Eucalyptus can relieve congestion and headaches. Jasmine has an uplifting effect and gives you a boost of energy.

Aromatherapy candles combine the psychologically healing effects of essential oils and the atmospheric benefits of candles. While the aromas of essential oils can act as supplementary therapy for mental illnesses, there is something special about candlelight and its ability to make you instantly feel restful.

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