Essential Oils For Emotional Health

health care mental health self care tips Sep 11, 2015

Many people know the power and benefit of essential oils for physical health – from digestive support to a well-functioning immune system, essential oils can be used for the whole family to keep the body in balance. However, essential oils also have dramatic impact on emotional states, and there are essential oils for emotional health just as there are those for physical health. This week I am at an essential oil conference where a new range of oils has been released that specifically target emotional issues. I am so excited for this as I know that for myself I have many days where I could use a little calming, or encouraging, or a little extra peace!

So how do oils help with emotions?

Essential oils connect with the olfactory system of the body – that is our sense of smell. Many people think that our sense of smell is confined to our noses, but did you know that there are olfactory receptors all throughout the body, and in all of our organs? It is probably our most powerful sense of all. As an example, I smelled a flower the other day that immediately reminded me of my grandparents house in Australia that we used to visit as children. That smell brought back memories of play, and family, and sunshine … 30-something years ago! Memories and smells can be very closely tied and trigger powerful responses.

Part of the reason for this is the connection between the olfactory system and our limbic system. Our limbic system is a part of the brain that is central to our feelings and emotions. It’s a deep, primitive part of the brain, unlike the higher centers where more of our intellect (thought life) resides. Emotions are very primitive and primordial.

Our emotions are a reflection of both our internal and external environments – both the circumstances of our lives, and our previous experiences that shape how we filter our current circumstances. Our “filters” are created by our history – if we have had prior traumas, if our parents or teachers spoke positivity into our lives, or constantly cut us down, if we have experienced the world as a safe, happy place, or an unsafe, painful place. Those filters influence our perception of our experiences today which can then influence our emotions, moment by moment.

The other reason we need help for our emotional state is that many of us live with a high level of stress. I just heard an analogy that I loved about a bucket. We each have a bucket, and in that bucket go all our responsibilities and tasks. Our work life and job responsibilities, caring for our spouses, taking care of children, financial stress, health issues, etc etc – all go into the bucket. Now while many of those things may be positive, they still contribute to the ‘total load’ that we deal with every day. If our buckets are too full, it doesn’t take as much for it to get full and overflow – a flat tire, an unexpected vet bill, an illness in the family – all those things can tip the balance, and lessen our ability to keep even-keeled emotions.

But this is life and reality for many of us. I think there is a good argument for not filling up one’s bucket too full, so that if one or two extra things jump in, we don’t overflow and lose it. But who I am to talk? I’m the Queen of choosing a full bucket!! (Maybe we’ll talk about that another day!)

In the meantime, there are essential oils and blends to help with our every day stressors. These blends have been carefully formulated, with specific ingredients blended to work synergistically, based on their chemical constituents and actions. Some chemical constituents have more uplifting and stimulating effects, while others are more calming and soothing. Mints and citrus oils tend to be more invigorating, for example, while florals, trees, herbs and grasses are more calming.

There are three new essential oil blends being released that are more uplifting and stimulating –

– Uplifting blend – good for use when feeling down, it provides a cheerful boost of happiness and positivity. It contains citrus oils including wild orange peel, lemon myrtle, clove, star anise, nutmeg, vanilla bean extract, ginger, cinnamon and zdravetz.

– Encouraging blend – for use when you have lost self-confidence or lost faith, or feel mistrustful; this oil helps you to reconnect with your self-confidence, motivation, creativity and courage. It contains peppermint, clementine, coriander, basil, yuzu, melissa, rosemary and vanilla bean.

– Inspiring blend – does life feel dull or boring? Maybe you feel like you’re in a rut. This blend will help you rekindle enjoyment and passion in your life, and reconnect with joy for the blessings in your life. It contains cardamom seed, cinnamon, ginger, clove, sandalwood, jasmine, vanilla bean and damiana.

Then there are three blends that are more calming and soothing –

– Renewing blend – anger and guilt can be a hefty burden to carry, and can definitely hold us back. This blend is designed to help us find forgiveness – of our selves and others. It is a liberating blend to help us find freedom in our lives. It contains spruce, bergamot, juniper berry, myrrh, arborvitae, nootka tree wood, thyme and citronella.

– Comforting blend – sadness, loss, grief and other painful emotions can hang over us like dark storm clouds. This blend helps us to close the door on sadness and find a more hopeful path of emotional healing. It contains frankincense, patchouli, ylang ylang, labdanum, amyris bark, sandalwood, rose and osmanthus.

– Reassuring blend – many of us have anxious moments where we feel afraid and overwhelmed. This blend is a great one for slowing down, taking deep breaths, and getting reconnected and recollected with our peaceful selves. It contains vetiver, lavender, ylang ylang, frankincense, clary sage, marjoram, labdanum and spearmint.

All of these blends are designed to be used aromatically. I have tried them all already – even just unscrewing the bottle top and inhaling the aroma from the bottle shifted my emotional state immediately. Diffusing in a diffuser is be perfect for these oils, but in a pinch, just put a drop into the palm of your hands, rub them together and cup them over your face and inhale. Remember, our olfactory system is directly connected with our limbic system. Use your nose to reach your emotions!!

I know that these oil blends will bless so many people. I know for myself that I might need every one of these oils in any given day!! They will be available in a kit with all six blends in the next couple of weeks, and by the end of this year will be available individually as well. I’m excited for their release, and invite you to contact me if you would like to have these oils in your life too.