Comparing the effects of aromatherapy and mindfulness meditation on university students’ stress levelsEbru Özdemir Nath, Gökçe Nur Küçükarslan
Background and Aims: Aromatherapy is the combination of aroma and therapy and literally means treatment with fragrance. Massage, inhalation, compresses, and baths are the most common applications of aromatherapy. According to several studies, inhalation of essential oils greatly reduces anxiety and tension. On the other hand, the last 30 years has seen an increase in the popularity of mindfulness meditation for reducing the risk of depressive relapse while also lowering stress and anxiety levels. The aim of this study is to compare the effects of aromatherapy and mindfulness practices on university students’ stress levels.
Methods: A total of 78 Altınbaş University students participated in this study, which uses the Beck Depression Inventory-II and Perceived Stress Scale to collect data. Five experimental groups were created in which aromatherapy and mindfulness meditation studies were applied, with a control group also used in an experimental investigation that includes pretest and posttest assessments. Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) G.Manetti ex Carrière (CA) and Cananga odorata (Lam.) Hook.f. & Thomson (CO) essential oils were used in the aromatherapy applications.
Results: As a result, this study has found the participants’ anxiety levels to decrease, with all intervention groups having lower posttest scores than their pretest levels.
Conclusion: The results of this study show a decrease in post-intervention test scores for all experimental groups compared to the control group, particularly for the groups where aromatherapy and mindfulness meditation were administered together. Aromatherapy and mindfulness emerge as viable therapeutic options for anxiety, with CA and CO essential oils being particularly useful.