There’s nothing like a bit of stress to show your age. The effects of being constantly under pressure, too busy, pulled in all directions by this crazy pace of life can manifest not just emotionally, but also physically, by way of a tired, achy body, a weakened immune system and depleted, under-nourished skin, hair and nails. The good news is, there are steps you can take to relieve everyday pressures, put back what life has taken out – and as a result, look and feel younger. So let’s get started.

1: Have a purpose
They say there are three types of people in this life: those who make things happen, those who have things happen to them, and those wonder what the heck just happened! Central to feeling young, positive and vital is making sure that your life has a clear direction. When you stop to set goals and think about what you really want, you stop being on auto-pilot, and start living a life that’s meaningful, and of your own making. Effective goal setting helps keep us stay focused, motivated, confident and optimistic. What gets measured gets done’ so be specific about your aims, have a plan and record your efforts. (A vision board is a great tool to turn your goals into a visual reminder - learn how to create one here.)

2: Make space
One of the best ways to manage stress (and feel lighter, fresher, younger) is to take control of your schedule, prioritise your to-do list - and see what you can let go. None of us like to say no to others, but it’s essential if you want to create time and space for yourself, for good, stress-relieving contemplation and calm, quiet relaxation.

3. Avoid the quick fix

It's true that good things take time, particularly when it comes to nurturing the body, mind and spirit. Unfortunately we live in a world of instant gratification, and it’s all too easy to turn to unhealthy ways of coping with stress, such as bingeing on junk or comfort food, using pills or drugs to relax, or drinking too much alcohol. Sure, it feels good for awhile, but over the long term this approach takes its toll. Alcohol can dehydrate the skin and deprive it of vital vitamins and nutrients, hence accelerating the ageing process. Other toxic substances such as processed foods can also affect your health, wellbeing and appearance. We suggest replacing these habits with new, healthier practices such as meditation, mindfulness and endorphin-releasing exercise. Speaking of which…

4. Get your body moving
Feeling fit is a huge part of feeling younger. And any form of exercise can help ease pressure and anxiety as it encourages the brain to release feel-good chemicals and gives your body a chance to practice dealing with stress. If the gym’s not for you then take a walk around the block, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or do some gentle exercises while at the desk or in front of the TV (head rolls or shoulder shrugs). Swimming is also a wonderful way to counteract stress - as well as being a great form of exercise, it gives you that feeling of being enveloped in water, almost like returning to the womb.

5. Have a laugh
Did you know that children laugh about 300 times a day, whereas adults laugh, on average, only about five times each day? Sad but true! Research shows that laughter helps reduce stress hormones, boosts immune function, triggers the release of endorphins and produces a general sense of wellbeing. What’s more - the more we laugh, the better our perspective. Problems tend to fade away and we get a welcome burst of energy. So go on, try it (it’s contagious don't you know).

6. Get enough sleep
If you're having issues with sleep, that’s a sure sign you are under stress. When you're tired, you are less patient and easily agitated, which only serves to amplify the problem. Most adults need 7-9 hours sleep per night. And while tips for relaxation and insomnia abound, the bottom line is that pure essential oils have the edge over traditional natural remedies, due to their superior capacity for absorption and integration. Did you know that scent is the only medicine that can be applied directly to the brain, and our sense of smell works even while we sleep? You can ease yourself into sweet dreams with our beautiful pure blend: Dream Time – a gentle yet potent blend of select active essential oils with natural calming and sedative qualities: more info here.

7. Don’t forget your essentials!
As well as aiding natural sleeping rhythms, pure essential oils can also effectively help towards reducing anxiety and stress, and making you to look and feel younger. They can be diffused, used on pulse points, added to the bath or dropped into a carrier cream or oil – some of them can even be taken internally*. Lavender True (Lavandula angustifolia maillette) is a classic, calming healer, but there are some other wonderful oils that shouldn't be overlooked:

Lemon (Citrus limonum) is like a long, cool lemonade on a hot day and offers positive, uplifting qualities while supporting clear thinking, humour and decisiveness.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is brilliant for lifting the spirits and enhancing positive communication.

Petitgrain Bigarade (Citrus auranthium bigarade) offers relaxing, comforting qualities, eases anxiety and emotional stress.

Therapeutic essential oils are even more effective on the nervous system when they are brought together to work in synergy. Some professional blends that can really help to kick start a more balanced life dynamic are:

Stress Less calms the nervous system and quietens mental traffic. It can be used as a rescue response on pulse points, or to help you rebalance with a bath or room diffusion. Buy Stress Less now and get 20% off (offer available until 30 September 2017). Simply enter the code SL20 at checkout.

Tranquility & Meditation restores natural peace with cleansing, balancing aromas including timeless Sandalwood and Frankincense. Use on pulse points or diffuse into your living space.

Clarity & Confidence inspiring contemplation and focus, this potent mix of oils supports healthy mental activity, clear positive action and naturally calm responses, while also helping to combat negativity.

Medicinal-grade essential oils must be 100% pure. At Absolute Essential we use certified organic or wild grown (sustainable) plants to produce our oils and all extraction processes are strictly controlled to produce the best quality oil with a maximum purity and therapeutic value. See more at Absolute Essential