Emotional health and essential oils

Pamela Jenkins

Remember the old Fruit Loops cereal commercial that said, “follow your nose, it always knows?” Since we often learn and recall through association, it is the first thing that came to my mind as I began to research Essential Oils (EO) years ago. Honestly when I first heard about the benefits of EO’s, I was a bit skeptical but that all changed when I began using them for myself! As a psychologist who has studied and taught about the power of human sensation and perception, I understand why the sensation of smell is so connected to our feelings and emotions. Because of this knowledge and my personal experience, I am educating you on the reason why so many people are taking notice of these extremely helpful natural substances.

Think about a specific smell that recalls a special memory from childhood and it will surely put a smile on your face. That is the power of smell! It is one of the fastest ways to boost our moods.

This is how it works with Essential Oils. The aromatic molecules of the EO’s travel through the nose to the Olfactory bulb which is linked to the limbic system (often called the “seat of emotions”). This is where emotions like fear, sadness and anger are activated. There have been studies done with brain images that show the effects of triggered emotion on the amygdala in the limbic system.

Since our emotions affect our health in so many ways, wouldn’t it be great to use something known to support optimal emotional health?

When we have daily stressful experiences like sitting in heavy traffic, we tend to feel uneasy and frustrated. This is just one example among many whereby we can become stressed out throughout our daily lives.

Since I personally have dealt with a lot of emotional stress in my life, I have extensively researched ways in which to relax, reduce stress, heal my adrenal glands and of course, sleep better. I have tried everything from prescription sleep aides to over the counter medication. The things that have helped me the most are vitamins/minerals, herbal supplements, teas and essential oils. The greatest thing about natural remedies like EO’s are that they have no side effects! The biggest reason that people stop using synthetic prescription medication is because of the intolerable side effects!

People are waking up to the fact that the best medicines come in the form of food and natural substance in the earth. Essential oils are distilled oils from actual plants!

Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.  Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity.”

With anxiety and depression on the rise in our society, I personally see the need now more than ever to find ways to promote emotional health. Some of the research is now saying that by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability!

I have personally spent a great amount of my personal time researching and experimenting with some of the best oils to combat anxiety and depression. There are 4 scents that I personally find the most beneficial. I have added them to my blog below…keep reading.

There are many ways to use essential oils to support a positive mood. You can add a few drops of your favorite oil to water and diffuse. All you need is EO, water and a small diffuser! 

​You can use them in every room throughout your home, particularly in your bedroom or office. The living room is also a great central location to diffuse and just relax after a long day at work. I absolutely love the atmosphere and the mood that they create!

Many people use EO’s topically on the skin. I personally mix a drop or two with roughly a Tbsp. of coconut oil (called a carrier oil) and rub it directly on my skin. Most of the time I will put the mixture on my stomach to help with digestion or just to relieve stressful emotion. (I like to use peppermint and ginger oil for digestive support). The stomach is often called the second brain and for good reason. Why do you think we hear people use the phrase “I have a gut feeling?” It is because emotion has a direct relationship with our gut.

Another popular way to use EO’s is to put a drop or two in a tub of warm water, light a candle, have a glass of wine and say “Calgon take me away!” (I just thought I would add a few of your favorite accessories to the mix).

There are several other ways to use them. For example, cleaning, disinfecting, in toiletries like soaps, shampoos, toothpaste and deodorant and personal items like homemade cologne. Now you know why I am so passionate about these natural oils, they are simply amazing! Literally, God’s gift to mankind.

If you have never used EO’s for emotional support and you don’t know where to start, I recommend the following Essential Oils (Bergamot, Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Ylang Ylang). I have found them to be the best single oils for helping to alleviate anxiety. Another favorite of mine is Lemongrass, the smell immediately soothes the mind.  If you do the research, you will find that these oils are commonly used in therapeutic blends as well. I encourage you to give EO's a try. When choosing a good quality EO, always look for reputable companies with organic and therapeutic grade on the label.