Have you wondered how essential oils are able to impact your mood?
Emotional Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for psychological wellbeing. As you inhale the aroma, molecules in the essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves in your nose directly to the limbic system in the brain.
For those that don’t know what the limbic system is: It’s the part of the brain involved in our behavioral and emotional responses. It’s responsible for processing emotions, such as pleasure, anger or fear, and the behaviors we need for our survival, such as the fight or flight response.
Have you ever smelled fresh baked cookies and immediately recalled a memory of your mother baking? For me, the smell of plumeria will transport me immediately to my childhood. I’ll recall stepping off an airplane in Hawaii and experiencing that beautiful fragrance in the air. That’s our limbic system at work. It has attached emotional significance to those memories.
The limbic system is also connected to the parts of the brain that control heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, stress levels and hormone balance. The various pathways and mechanisms by which essential oils impact the mind and the body are very complex. Simply stated, when we breathe in the molecules in the essential oils, they travel to various parts of the brain – either through the limbic system or the respiratory system – and have the ability to relax, motivate, calm, energize, soothe or uplift us, often in an instant.
Each oil offers its own benefits, or combination of benefits, for our moods and emotions.
How do I know what oil to choose?
If you already own essential oils, experiment with them and observe how you feel, both immediately afterward and 30 minutes later. Put a drop of oil in your hands, or hold the bottle under your nose and inhale slowly and deeply for 60 seconds.
Does inhaling wild orange essential oil make you smile? It’s known as the “happy oil”. Citrus oils in general are energizing, and can help you feel more optimistic.
What about lavender? When inhaling lavender do you notice a calmer feeling or a lessening of the tension in your shoulders? Florals oils provide a more tranquil feeling.
For me, deeply breathing in patchouli will immediately reduce the tightness I often carry in my back and chest. This allows me to breathe more fully.
When experiencing anxious feelings, tree oils like cedarwood and sandalwood tend to soothe me and help me feel more grounded. My niece used to feel anxious heading off to school, but discovered a blend with peppermint helped calm her and make her feel more confidence.
Take some time to determine which oils most positively impact your mood and emotion. Keep them nearby or in easy reach when you need them. The oils only help when we use them!
Emotional Aromatherapy Blends
doTERRA has formulated a collection of six essential oils blends specifically to address our emotions. The Emotional Aromatherapy system includes:
- Cheer – Uplifting blend
- Passion – Inspiring blend
- Forgive – Renewing blend
- Console – Comforting blend
- Peace – Reassuring blend
- Motivate – Encouraging blend
Available individually or as a set, these beautiful blends makes emotional aromatherapy easy and accessible for everyone!