Do Candles Calm Anxiety?

scentered aromatherapy candles

We are all looking for ways to instil a level of calm into our day-to-day lives, especially if find ourselves getting stressed out easily or even suffering from anxiety. But can candles truly help? In this article, we will be looking at how watching a flickering flame could be the answer, how breathing exercising using a candle could work and why our team recommends candles as the perfect companion when it comes to combating any feelings of anxiety.


Watching a Flickering Candle

There is something about the sheer act of just lighting a candle and watching the flicker. With its gentle glow, it can help soothe your overall mood and calm your mind. The next time you are having a stressful day, try lighting a candle, we would recommend our DE-STRESS range, and watching the flame for a couple of minutes. By just focusing on the candle itself, and breathing in time with the light flickers, you will feel your mind drift away and become empty of any racing thoughts. When doing so, stay a safe distance away from the burning candle, ensuring that any loose hair is tucked away and you are sitting too close to the naked flame. 

As for the environment, try to keep your space quiet whilst you are completing this practice. A peaceful room will allow you to truly focus on this activity and just ‘be’, without having to overthink or feel distracted by outside noise. We know this probably sounds like the most simple of practices, but keeping any anxiety recovery as uncomplicated as possible, means that it will be easier to implement in your day-to-day life


Breathing Exercises 

Next up, are breathing exercises. You can do these whilst looking at a flickering candle flame, as explained above, or just a quiet space of your choosing. The beauty of breathing exercises is that you can do them pretty much anywhere, including in your car on the way to work or in your office chair before a big meeting. Breathing exercises help to calm your nerves, silence your chattering brain and refocus your attention on tasks ahead. The most simplistic of breathing exercises can go a little something like this: 

  1. Firstly, inhale slowly and deeply through your nose only. Whilst doing this, ensure your shoulders are completely relaxed and unclench your jaw.
  2. Then, exhale through your mouth, again slowly. As you blow out oxygen, purse your lips slightly and make sure your jaw is still unclenched and not tensed. 
  3. Finally, repeat this breathing exercise as many times as you need. We recommend doing this until you feel completely in control and anxiety-free. 

If you are planning on doing this exercise with a candle present, we would also recommend timing your breathing with how the flame flickers. This can give you more of a rhythm and also, truly takes your focus away from whatever is causing you stress and anxiety.


Calming Lighting 

Another element of candles is the lighting they offer. No matter what candle you light, whether scent or aromatic oils are included, each one will offer a calm and glowing effect that will light up any room. Try darkening your space, turning off any main lights or lamps, and just solely having the light of a candle present. 

Candles are known to reduce feelings of fear and anxiety, reduce stress and lift your general mood, through their scent. This is based on how our brains actually process smells.  The scent of candles stimulates our limbic system, which is the part of our brains that controls both our memories and emotions. Hormones like serotonin and dopamine are created here and help regulate our mood. On top of this use, the candlelight also produces a calming effect, which makes it an all-around great companion for those of us that suffer from anxiety, depression, or general low mood from daily stressors.