To understand how essential oils can work on emotions, it’s good to first know how the limbic system functions.
The limbic system lies above your olfactory system. The limbic brain encompasses everything related to emotions and affectivity. It enables you to experience emotions. This includes positive feelings like love and affection but also negative ones like sadness and fear. The limbic system also makes sure you remember events so you can repeat them or avoid them. Evolutionarily, we are more inclined to perceive negative things because it ensures our survival. Observing positive things in your life can be trained. Essential oils can help you to be more open to positive experiences.
But how can that be? When you inhale the aroma of an essential oil through your nose, the molecules trigger your olfactory system. From there, signals are sent to the limbic system. This happens within milliseconds! Smell is therefore the fastest way to reach your brain and influence your emotional state.
We can use essential oils for emotional health by creating a sense of calm and well-being or creating a positive environment. Each essential oil has its own unique chemical profile, but most oils can be categorized with either stimulating or calming properties.
10 best essential oils for emotional health
The stimulating, revitalizing aroma of Wild Orange essential oil can provide energy on a stress-filled day. Wild Orange has a refreshing scent that helps inspire feelings of energy, spontaneity, joy and abundance. The next time you want to cheer yourself up, let the bright scent of Wild Orange offer you a pick-me-up during your day.
This blend brings together seven citrus oils to promote a positive mood and create a blissful environment. By combining the uplifting scents of Wild Orange, Lemon , Grapefruit, Mandarin, Bergamot, Tangerine and Clementine, Citrus Bliss helps to lift the mood and promotes a happy attitude.
As part of the doTERRA Emotional Aromatherapy System®, the Cheer Uplifting Blend helps to promote feelings of optimism. When you experience negative emotions that make you feel heavy and glum, the fresh aroma of doTERRA Cheer will help restore a sense of cheerfulness and happiness.
As the name suggests, Elevation is an invigorating essential oil blend designed to boost mood. With a unique blend of essential oils such as Mandarin, Ylang Ylang, Lavender and more, Elevation helps to promote feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem, while it can reduce feelings of stress.
A perfect blend of citrus and mint oils such as Peppermint, Clementine, Basil, Melissa, and more, doTERRA Motivate Encouraging Blend promotes feelings of confidence and courage. This is a powerful oil to counteract emotions such as doubt, pessimism and cynicism in order to be motivated and enthusiastic about life again.
With a fresh, citrus-like aroma, Melissa oil is powerful for calming tension and nerves, promoting feelings of relaxation and uplifting mood. Next time you want to calm your mind and reduce feelings of nervousness grab a bottle of Melissa.*
Many people use lavender oil for emotional health, as it promotes calm feelings and relieves feelings of tension. Some studies suggest that Lavender’s chemical properties make it valuable for reducing depressive feelings.
doTERRA Peace is another favorite oil from the doTERRA Emotional Aromatherapy System, a beautiful blend of calming essential oils like Vetiver, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense and Clary Sage. doTERRA Peace Reassuring Blend promotes feelings of reassurance and contentment, while counteracting anxious emotions.
This grounding oil blend offers relaxation for the entire body while promoting feelings of balance and calm. doTERRA Balance is a go-to oil for those who want to reduce stress, relieve anxious feelings and create a peaceful environment.
When it comes to calming emotions, the mint and herb oils of PastTense Tension Blend can work to ground and offer emotional balance. PastTense helps to reduce stress and anxious feelings because it uses essential oils that are known for their soothing effects on both the mind and body.
Applying essential oils for emotional benefits
When you are ready to use essential oils for your emotional health there are a few ways to effectively experience the potency and power they have to offer. When you’ve found the oil you want to use, try one of these application methods:
1. Use an essential oil diffuser
2. Apply a drop to the palms of the hands and inhale
3. Massage into neck with fractionated coconut oil
4. Rub on the inside of the elbow
5. Rub on the wrists and carry the aroma with you all day
Find what works for YOU
Remember, essential oils work differently for everyone. Because each oil has such a complex chemical makeup, and because aromas interact with the part of our brain that stores our personal memories and experiences, no two people will experience an essential oil in exactly the same way. It is important to remember that an oil that is soothing or stimulating to someone else may not have the same effect on you.
Discover your favorite oils. Smell a few oils with your eyes closed to see which one you really want. By consciously taking in the scent of the oil, it’s easier to discover what really works for you.
Incorporate oils into your daily routine. To take advantage of the calming, uplifting, grounding, stimulating, or comforting effects of essential oils for emotional health, you can use them in your daily activities, such as as part of your skincare routine, with a diffuser in the office or car, during yoga or other activities, and almost any other part of your day that you can think of.
Be consistent. Instead of using essential oils sporadically when you want to change your mood, try using small amounts on a more regular basis. A one-time application does not always guarantee a change in mood.
Also, add other healthy habits to your daily routine. As mentioned, essential oils are just one source for promoting good emotional health. By combining other healthy habits with essential oil use, you can promote better emotional health overall. Think improved sleep quality, a healthy diet, more exercise and sufficient activity outside and in sunlight are an important part for more emotional health.
Dare to ask! When your quest for an emotionally balanced life becomes overwhelming, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reaching out to friends and family and seeking professional help can accelerate your journey to good emotional health.
For more information on essential oils and emotional health, listen to the doTERRA Podcast, “Emotional Health with Essential Oils“, or read the doTERRA eBook, Emotional Benefits of Aromatherapy.. Both in English.