02 Feb Let Go of Anxiety with These Essential Oils & Recipes
Bonita Barth | Herbalist & Aromatherapist at The Aromatherapist
State of mind is the one thing that can colour every other aspect of our lives – it directly impacts our health and well-being, as well as that of those around us. How can an essential oil influence our state of mind? The answer is pretty simple: inhaling essential oils has a direct effect on the human brain.
The chemical balance in our brains is changing constantly. Every impression that passes through our mind causes an alteration that mediates emotion. Essential oils provide a very simple and effective way to change the way we feel. The inhalation of certain essential oils signals the brain to exert endorphins that will bring us back into balance. In other words: adding simple, beautiful, natural scent into our daily routines can make us happy.
**Note that the you can directly apply the essential oil products linked here, but this is not true for all essential oil products. Always read package directions and warnings carefully before applying directly to skin.
Stress & Anxiety
Those who suffer from anxiety often feel there’s no way of ‘turning off’ their worried mind. Thoughts race, muscles tighten, breathe shortens and suddenly the tiniest problems seem monumental. There are many essential oils that are believed to subtly increase serotonin and reduce stress hormones. The combination of these essential oils and deep breaths can help us to relax.
- Indian Sandalwood has long been used traditionally to harmonize breathe and heart rate. It is used as a therapy for anxiety, depression and insomnia, as well as a focusing aid in many spiritual rituals. A drop of Indian Sandalwood on wrists and pulse points will help to bring you back into the present moment. As stress brings your body temperature up, the aroma is naturally diffused to instil calm.
- Highland Lavender is the classic choice when you need total relaxation for both body and mind. A hot bath with 10-20 drops of Highland Lavender essential oil can help us to unwind after a stressful day and promote a good night’s sleep.
- Frankincense or Frankincense Hydrosol is the perfect accompaniment to any relaxation ritual, whether it be yoga, meditation, or a glass of wine and a good book! Diffuse Frankincense and Lavender in your environment or spritz with Frankincense Hydrosol and feel everything click back to centre.
- Bergamot is one of the most widely researched essential oils for stress reduction and positive effects on mood. Diffusing Bergamot and Sweet Orange in your work environment helps create a positive, productive atmosphere with a calm tone.
DIY Calming Room Spray Recipe
- 10 drops Indian Sandalwood
- 20 drops Highland Lavender
- 20 drops Bergamot
- 100 ml bottle of Frankincense Hydrosol
Add the essential oils directly to the Hydrosol. Shake well and spritz your home, office, car or yourself.
Depression & Lethargy
We all have those days when our step just doesn’t seem to have much pep. But feelings of sadness, lack of motivation and lethargy can be lightened by an endorphin boost. Exercise, a healthy diet, meditation and having fun all increase endorphin release. So do many essential oils:
- Sweet Orange is the oil for ‘happy’. It’s the perfect scent to diffuse in your home because everyone responds to its cheerful aroma. Place a few drops into your diffuser first thing in the morning and watch your entire day unfold in a happier manner.
- Lemon has all the antidepressant zest and energy you need on a cold and dreary winter morning. My favourite addition to a morning bath is a few drops of Lemon essential oil and a tablespoon of honey – I love a sweet, energizing dip that leaves my mind and skin revitalized, glowing and fresh.
- Highland Rosemary is the best oil for combatting feelings of lethargy and mental dullness. Add a drop of Rosemary to your face cloth first thing in the morning and breath deeply. It will wake you up, clear your head and sinuses, and leave you energized and better able to concentrate.
- Peppermint is one of the best oils for alertness. Add to your morning shampoo to wake up quickly and clear dreary thoughts. Diffuse Peppermint and Rosemary in your work or home environment when you’re finding it difficult to stay attentive.
DIY Morning Rosemary and Honey Mask
Apply this mask to your dampened face first thing in the morning and breath deeply. It tones your skin, clears your head and gives you energy.
Low Self Esteem
Under the multiple layers of clothing and big puffy jackets, we’re still the same beautiful, sensual creatures that we were six months ago, basking in the summer sunshine! The pheromones in many essential oils have the unique ability to bring us back in touch with ourselves, making us feel good and drawing others to us. Creating a personal scent that makes you feel great about yourself is the best way to boost self confidence using essential oils.
- Rose Bulgarian Hydrosol is relaxing, euphoric and centring. Spritzing your face with pure Organic Rose Water is one of the simplest ways to feel good.
- Indian Sandalwood promotes feelings of strength, security and ease. Sandalwood is the ideal base note for a personal scent.
- Frankincense, like Sandalwood, is an oil that’s been used for centuries in spiritual ritual to promote a centred, easeful state. Recent clinical studies validate Frankincense’s ability to deepen breath and reduce stress. The mystical aroma of Frankincense makes it ideal as a heart note in an organic perfume.
- Sweet Orange will lift any blend of essential oils with its fresh, citrusy aroma. It will act as a top note and promote feelings of total contentment.
DIY Organic Body Cologne
- 8 drops Indian Sandalwood
- 10 drops Frankincense
- 1 drop Clove Bud
- 10 drops Sweet Orange
- 100 ml Rose Bulgarian Hydrosol
Add the essential oils directly to the Hydrosol. Shake well.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Many factors influence our state of mind during the short sunlight periods of winter; that’s likely why many other mammals hibernate. For those who suffer from SAD, there’s one plant in particular that acts as a little solar panel, safeguarding itself against sunlight deprivation:
- Peppermint essential oil is sunshine in a bottle! The Peppermint plant stores the sun’s energy to keep itself vital through rainy periods – so it can also provide you with a burst of sunshine during the dark days of winter.
DIY Winter Shower Gel
- 10 drops Peppermint
- 10 drops Highland Lavender
- 10 drops Bergamot
- 100 ml Lovefresh Unscented Hand & Body Wash
Add your essential oils to the unscented body wash and shake well. Reset your mood,
brighten your skin and detoxify your body, all at the same time.
Essential Oil Blends for Mood Control
A blend of essential oils, or a ‘synergy,’ is a very simple and inexpensive way for those new to Aromatherapy to take advantage of the stress relieving properties of a combination of oils:
- Anxiety Rescue is a blend of essential oils put together to help reduce stress
- Lift Depression combines a number of oils to help lift lethargy and bring us up when we’re feeling down
- Comfort combines the uplifting effects of Sweet Orange with the grounding effects of Frankincense to create a beautifully balancing blend for diffusion in your home or office.
The next time your mood is telling you that you need to be comforted, reach for a bottle of essential oils; unlike carbs and chocolate, the comfort foods of organic scent have little downside.
- Book – Molecules of Emotion – Candace Pert