Top Seven Essential Oils For Improved Mood & More
We all know that certain aromas will invoke particular feelings. Like the warm comforting smell of fresh baked cookies making you feel good, scent is a powerful way to affect mood. Using essential oils to affect your mood – whether for relaxation, energizing or other effects – is highly effective and simple to do.
Our olfactory system contains 50 million smell receptors in the nasal cavity and is part of the brain’s limbic system, also known as the “emotional brain”. Smelling a certain scent can create a powerful response almost instantly. Because essential oils evaporate quickly, their molecules are easily inhaled. The inhalation of the naturally occurring synergistic chemicals in essential oils provide triggers to our brain which effect our emotional state.
There are certain essential oils that I go to more frequently than others – for mood elevation, for relaxation, or for focus. Below I’ve listed some of my favorites along with how to use them:
Seven Essential Oils For Improved Mood & More
1 – Bergamot – a very calming essential oil, it can be applied topically, inhaled directly or used in a diffuser. With a sweet citrus scent, Bergamot is helpful for both depression and anxiety, producing calming and uplifting feelings. Note: This oil is sensitive to direct sunlight. If you apply it to your skin, wait 24 hours before exposing that skin to sunlight.
2 – Chamomile – this deep, rich, herbaceous scent is helpful for dispelling anger and irritability, clearing the mind and bringing stability to emotions. Diffuse it or inhale it directly from the bottle. It can be used topically for inflamed skin, to ease arthritis, headaches, sprains and muscle aches.
3 – Geranium – this sweet, fresh, flowery scent helps relieve tension and stress. Can be used topically to relieve acne and oily skin.
4 – Lavender– possibly the most popular essential oil, Lavender can both relax and uplift, depending on what you need at the time. Beneficial for anxiety, depression, irritability, panic attacks and reducing stress. It is relaxing yet keeps you alert at the same time. Lavender can also be used topically for cuts, burns, bug bits and stings.
5 – Sweet Orange – this sweet citrusy essential oil is a powerful anti-depressant. Add a few drops to a a spray bottle with water, shake and spray a room to instantly freshen and brighten the room. This essential oil is also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory which makes it a good for swollen gums – just add a couple of drops to warm salt water and swish in the mouth for relief.
6 – Rosemary – invigorating, stimulating and refreshing, this essential oil is beneficial for memory and concentration. Got a big exam or presentation coming up? Use Rosemary while you study or prepare then use it again the day of your event and your sense memory will kick in and give you an extra boost. Also great for staying alert during long drives. Used topically, Rosemary is good for respiratory issues, arthritis and improving circulation.
7 – Clary Sage – this essential oil helps ease fear and anxiety, as well as grief, exhaustion and burnout. During menopause, clary sage can help reduce hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, irritability, as well as headaches and dizziness. Use topically for PMS symptoms and cramps.
Because essential oils are very potent in their pure form, most essential oils should be blended with a carrier oil, like almond, sesame or jojoba oil, before using topically. For inhaling, essential oils can be sniffed directly from the bottle or you can place a few drops on a tissue or cloth. For help with relaxation and sleep, you can place a few drops on your pillowcase. To diffuse a scent throughout a room, you can use an aromatherapy diffuser or add a few drops to a water spray bottle and spritz whenever you need it.
Essential oils can be blended together in a synergistic way to create even more powerful combinations. I highly recommend the book The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health Beauty a Safe Home Environment for more an in depth resource guide to creating your own blends.
Since essential oils are very powerful, be sure to check for any contraindications before using them, especially if you are pregnant. Also, make sure to use pure essential oils, not synthetic. Buying organic essential oils is the best choice so that you know you’re getting a quality pure essential oil and not a synthetic chemical compound.
How do you like to use essential oils?