Why do candles help you to relieve stress?

Most of us know that certain things will make us feel better; meditation for example, or yoga, and there's scientific proof about how activities like this work to calm our nervous systems, settle our mind and release endorphins.

Sometimes though, we simply don't have the energy for any of those things and all we want to do is light a beautiful candle and stretch out on the sofa, in the bath, curled up in bed.

We're sure it makes us feel better but are is it just us indulging our candle obsession?

Well the short answer is, no!

*whips out James Patrick London candle*

Candles are actually proven to soothe us and they work in two ways:

The flame

The light that a candle flame emits is both mesmerising and gentle, also the amazing crackling noise that a wood wick omits is fabulously relaxing.

In the same way that watching a slow, rhythmic image can soothe us (waterfalls for example or watching an animation slowly turn round) so too can the flickering wood wick flame.

It pulls in our focus with it's dancing and myriad of colours and it's softness is captured by your sight and sent straight to your brain for processing. Because of our associations with candlelight, the body begins to relax – helping how we feel emotionally and physically.

The scents

Lighting a scented candle takes this relaxation one step further as it captures not only our sight but also our sense of smell, enveloping us even further in a feeling of calm.

As well as certain scents which are proven to relax us, we also relate smells to feelings; scents that make us feel good and scents that remind us of unpleasant or unhappy times.

Perhaps lighting a candle that smells like the ones your mum used to light brings you back to that feeling of being comforted and looked after, or back to a candlelit dinner on holiday or a spa treatment.

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