It’s a rare person who’s emotional life is as calm as a flat sea. We all have occasional storminess, paddle through the odd wave and brace for the intermittent emotional breeze. But some people seem to command their emotional lives with greater control, stability and balance. It’s an admirable mastery that not everyone seems to have. Some people know how to captain their daily lives with a generally positive mood, and are able to use that stability to build trust at work, enjoy solid relationships at home and focus on long-term goals. How do they do it?
Moodiness can be hard to deal with in personal relationships, on the job, and when you are trying to maintain focus. It’s true that you can’t entirely control how you feel or how you relate to the people around you on a daily basis – but neither are most people completely at the mercy of the whims of their emotions. You can, to some degree, influence how you feel. One of the biggest reasons people seek out essential oil aromatherapy, in fact, is for better emotional control.
How Does it Work?
Boosting mood and mental energy are well-established benefits of essential oil aromatherapy. Essential oils can help you to create healthy daily habits that benefit your mood and outlook. Smell has the power to trigger mood and emotion like no other sense. The olfactory bulb is an areas of the brain closely associated with memory and feeling. The sweet scents of essential oils can call up memories and powerful emotional responses almost instantaneously with such intricate detail that the experience can have a powerful effect on our brain.
Because scents tap into our brain’s memories and moods, it becomes possible for us to use this system for our own benefit … finding aromas that trigger energy, creativity, happiness or peace, and diffusing them via essential oils when we need the lift in our environment. The smells that work for you will be as unique as your life experience. Two people can have completely different perceptions of the same smell. You might love the nutty, spicy kick of clove essential oil, associating it with a warm mug of spiced cider at Christmas with cousins. Or, you might hate it because of some bad Indian food you once had. The best way to discover which scents trigger positive emotions and moods is to try a variety of oils and blends in your diffuser, taking note of which ones work in a positive way for you.
As powerful and useful as they are, essential oils can’t fix everything. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, living in an unsustainable way, are chronically sleep deprived or have an unhealthy lifestyle, essential oils are not a long-term solution. Find healthy patterns and get outside help for long-term mood challenges. But for occasional moodiness and help overcoming circumstantial emotional dips, aromatherapy can help.
What are the Best Essential Oils for a Better Mood?
The best essential oils to use for better mood will depend on your personal experience and preferences. For some people, the tangy brightness of citrus is the perfect energizing way to get them back on their emotional feet. For others, the calm strength of woods or herbs is what they need to feel emotionally responsive and connected. The best way to find out which essential oils work best to build your emotional foundation is to give them a spin. As a starting point, here are popular essential oils that many people find useful to boost the mood. Or, try a blend specifically designed for the mood with a balanced mix of several essential oils to create a synergistic effect.
Peppermint Essential Oil has a sweet and spicy aroma to clear stagnant or irrational thoughts.
Lavender Essential Oil has a gentle and calming scent that relaxes and reduces feelings of stress.
Frankincense Essential Oil has a woody and warm smell that breaks down circular thinking and focuses the mind.
Orange Essential Oil has a sweet citrus aroma that fills your space with cheer and relaxation.
Lime Essential Oil has a fresh, bright, citrusy scent to boost cheerful feeling and enhance joyful experiences.
Grapefruit Essential Oil has a tangy, citrusy aroma that rejuvenates and energizes the mind, body, and soul.
Patchouli Essential Oil has an herbal and lightly floral aroma that calms and balances the mood.
Spearmint Essential Oil is a sweet and mild mint that lifts the mood from irritability and tension.
How to Use Essential Oils for the Mood
You know your own brain the best, so you may already have essential oil practices that work to interrupt negative patterns and boost your mood. If you are new to essential oils and need a few ideas, give these mindfulness techniques a try:
Stop Rumination in its Tracks
Rumination is that negative, circular thinking that your brain sometimes resorts to when you are feeling low. The best way to interrupt a bad rumination cycle is not to reason through it … it’s to jump entirely out of the loop. If you find yourself ruminating in a negative way, change your environment. Go to a new place, or change the position of your body. Use an essential oil roll-on and breathe deeply to engage the brain in aromatherapy benefits and to remind yourself of your current surroundings Try and stay mentally present. Talking through your concerns can help, but make sure you pick someone who won’t simply ruminate along with you.
Monthly Lows and Winter Blues
Many people find that monthly and seasonal cycles are the most difficult for emotional stability. If you ride the hormone rollercoaster from month to month, or seem to get down when sunshine is in short supply, try using a citrus oil blend to get through the bumps. When you need the boost, apply it and massage gently in to your gut, feet, wrists and hands. Cup your hands over your mouth and breathe deeply to absorb more beneficial constituents.
Daily Stress and Anxiety
Slowing down and practicing mindfulness allows us to relate to our thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they arise. This practice is about learning to approach and acknowledge whatever is happening in the present moment, setting aside judgment and just being with whatever is there, rather than avoiding it or needing to fix it. Incorporate essential oils into your daily meditation for deeper aromatherapy benefits. Simply apply the oils to feet and wrists before you begin to create an ambiance of relaxation and focus. If sadness, stress or anxiety is there, instead of trying to fix it or figure it out, we might just acknowledge the sadness, let it be, and get a better understanding of what we need in the moment.
If you tend to be a moody person, don't expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice, eventually your habits will contain less negativity and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you. When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you're better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.