Burning scented candles has become a huge trend lately. There is a whole industry dedicated to candle making, specifically scented candles. It is also true that many individuals use scented candles, much like the burning of incense, as part of meditation. This is because scented candles release an aroma similar to incense when burned.
The science behind candle burning and relaxation
Research shows that scents and aromas can impact neural activity by encouraging the release of certain hormones while inhibiting the release of others. This supports the idea that certain scents and aromas can invoke certain emotions and can help uplift mood. There is evidence that smells for which people have an individual preference for increase the production of serotonin and dopamine hormones, both of which are associated with regulating mood, helping with relieving stress and improving overall well-being.
The sense of smell is often underestimated for the significance it holds for us. Just like how visual stimuli can invoke happy or sad memories, smells can do the same. You would be surprised that we can develop strong memories surrounding smells. Be it the smell of coffee, chocolate, flowers, fruits, or anything else; there is a smell that elicits positive or nostalgic feelings for a person. Smelling these can transport a person psychologically and improve their mood and state of mind.
Even the light emanating from a candle has a soft look to it, which is soothing for the eyes and contrasts with the harsh artificial lights that we surround ourselves with day and night.
The benefits of soy candles
Soy candles are becoming increasingly popular as compared to paraffin candles. Soy candles are made from hydrogenated plant oil, while paraffin is a by-product of petroleum. Soy candles are just as efficient at dissipating scents as paraffin candles. Usually, they come on containers as they tend to have a lower melting point, but they are much more environmentally friendly.
Soy candles are much safer since the burning of paraffin wax releases much more acetone, acrolyn, and other known carcinogens, which are added in the process of bleaching the paraffin wax. These toxins can be harmful when produced in large quantities. On the other hand, the burning of soy candles produces many low amounts of toxins, making them superior to traditional paraffin candles.
Candles can be burned for the following purposes:
Calming and relieving stress
The soothing aromas produced by the burning of candles help to mitigate stress. Many people with depression use candles, not as a cure but to help deal with some of the symptoms.
Creating an ambiance
The dim, soft light of candles and the hint of scent create a peaceful environment. The scent of a candle can help set the tone for a dinner, a meeting, a meditation session, and even your bath. A fruity scent creates a refreshing ambiance, while a sweet smell is great for a romantic feel. Many food establishments use food-themed candles to encourage patrons' appetite.
Overall, candles improve the mood. They calm the nerves and assist in sleep as well. So next time you want to give a gift to a loved one or even yourself, just buy a good quality soy candle or two.