Whether you are aware of it or not, scents are experienced long before words.
When you smell an aroma, it elicits an astonishing influence over your thoughts, emotions, moods and memories!
Fragrances can have a powerful effect on your happiness. Aromatherapy, which uses concentrated essences of numerous botanicals, allows one to use the smell of certain plants for therapeutic benefit. Essential oils contain special biologically active substances in a very concentrated form that can provide calming and relaxing benefits in small amounts.
When an essential oil is inhaled, it penetrates into your blood stream via the lungs. This action is thought to be one of the main reasons why essential oils are effective. The fragrances also have an action on the part of your brain (called the limbic system) that controls emotions and memories.
Aromatherapy has numerous reported benefits- from improving the immune system, fending off infection, improving digestion and, of course, boosting mood.
Even if you don’t have a specific diagnosis of anxiety or depression, most of us can admit that we feel mild forms of stress or anxiety on a daily basis. Essential oils are a simple way to help bring relaxation and focus to your day!
When choosing an essential oil, quality is really important! Unfortunately, many oils today have been diluted or mixed with other chemical compounds that do not provide the same benefit. Check to make sure the oil states that it is 100% essential oil. Price is often an indicator of quality- if it’s really cheap it is probably not a high quality oil.
There are a variety of ways that one can use aromatherapy
- Using an essential oil diffuser in your home, office or bedroom
- Placing a few drops of essential oils in a bowl of hot water, this allows the scent to be released into the air
- Applying the oils to your skin. This method is best when you combine the oils with a lotion, or another oil (such as coconut oil) to dilute the essential oil as they can be irritating to some people’s skin when used alone
- Putting a few drops of an essential oil into the bath
- Aromatherapy massage by a professional, in which essential oils are diluted in another oil and massaged into your skin
In this article, we are specifically looking at oils that help to reduce anxiety or depression. Below, are our top 5 choices of essential oils to improve mood. Essential oils all have their own unique aroma, so it is best to smell a few scents at a local health food store, or aromatherapy shop before settling on which one is best for you!
Essential Oils for Anxiety
Bergamot essential oil is made from the pressed rind of a nearly ripe fruit of the bergamot tree, also known as the Citrus bergamia. It takes about 100 bergamot oranges to yield just 3 ounces of oil!! You may recognize this scent as earl gray tea is commonly flavored with this citrusy scent. Bergamot has been known to help relieve anxiety and depression, specifically before going into surgery, however we use this scent on a daily basis to lift our spirits!
Orange oil is commonly used in aromatherapy as a mood lifter. This delightful scent is made from the fruit of a small tree, which has a similar appearance to a shrub. It is thought that this tree first was discovered in China, however today it is grown all over the world, including in North and South America. This scent is fresh and uplifting and is wonderful to use in a diffuser to freshen the smell of any room.
Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh roses?! Rose oil is crafted from rose blooms. One of the most famous flowers in the world, this plant actually hails from the Northern Hemisphere. Interestingly, there are over 100 species of roses! A study conducted in 2009 study of 40 healthy volunteers reveled that applying rose oil to the skin led to a greater relaxation response than a placebo oil. Additionally, the rose oil actually decreased their blood pressure after it was applied to the skin as well. Who would have thought?! Rose oil can be a very relaxing and luxurious addition to a bath.
A well-known aromatherapy scent, lavender oil comes from the lavender plant, a small scrub that bears bright purple flowers. This plant is actually native to Africa and he mountainous Mediterranean regions of the world. Today it is a common plant grown in many North American gardens. Lavender oil is known and has been studied for its relaxing and calming effects. It’s effects have been shown to be helpful for insomnia, depression and anxiety. We keep this oil on our bedside table and use at night to promote a peaceful sleep!
This oil has often been traditionally used in perfumes and cosmetics. Sandalwood essential oil is obtained from steam-distilling chips of wood from the Santalum album tree. The scent of sandalwood is commonly used to help relieve stress and anxiety. This is a lovely scent to use as an alternative to a perfume as it has a pleasing yet calming scent without the addition of other chemicals commonly added to conventional perfumes!
We have other great tips and tricks to help relieve anxiety, including our e-book on how to relieve anxiety in 5 minutes.
Yours in Vitality,