Which Essential Oil Do You Need for Your Mood & Emotions? (Plus Seven Negative Moods: Which Essential Oils are Best?)
Oh! My! Gosh! That guy just cut me off! I had to swerve hard in order to avoid an accident! OOPS! Couldn't help it! Those words of road rage sprang from my mouth as the extreme heat of adrenaline and anger flushed my face and body. My shoulders hunched upward, and I. Just. Felt. MAD. It was even hard to breathe!
Has something like this ever happened to you? Those horrible angry, tense, anxious feelings, my friends, are some of our negative emotions. And did you know you can handle those negative emotions that actually affect your physical body as well as your mind by using essential oils?
Scents are very closely linked to our emotional state. Because of this, essential oils are absolutely useful for helping us maintain emotional balance in our daily lives---even during extreme stress.
FTC Disclosure: The text links are mainly to products found on Amazon, and there are additional affiliate links scattered throughout this article. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are very special chemical compounds that come from the leaves, stems, bark, and/or flowers of plants. They may be distilled or cold pressed, but they are much different than an herbal infusion or tincture.
These volatile oils carry the scent of the plant, too, so besides the actions the chemical compounds in the essential oils can have on our physical body, the molecules that carry scent to our brains affect our emotional state as well.
You might be interested in reading about how to make an infused herbal oil or what is an herbal tincture in these articles. These are very different processes than what it takes to create an essential oil, and they are often confused. If someone tells you they make their own essential oils, I would practice some healthy skepticism. It may be they are infusing herbs in another solvent instead.
How Do Essential Oils Work on Emotions?
When essential oils are diffused into the air or even rubbed onto our skin, the molecules end up not only in our bodies, which affect a variety of different systems (respiratory, cardiac, muscular, etc.), but also our brain and nervous system.
When we inhale the molecules of essential oils, our olfactory organs (through our nose) are affected immediately. A message is sent to the limbic system in our brain from the olfactory system almost instantaneously, and since the limbic system happens to be the brain center of our emotions, our feelings and body are affected right away. The limbic system of our brain is the area that can affect our blood pressure, heart rate, memories, stress levels, emotions, and even our hormones! (Higley & Higley, 1998)
Even though different scents can absolutely affect individuals very differently, there are essential oils that are used consistently to help with different emotional states because they tend to work well with consistency across many individuals.
Here are some common emotions and the essential oils that have been proven over time to help these moods---within even seconds!
1) For Sadness
Sadness is one of those feelings that on a continuum can range from severe depression to just having a bad day and feeling a little blue.
Clary Sage is one of the best essential oils for feelings of sadness. It's actually been tested in studies for treating depression. Although I wouldn't say it will cure depression, it can help improve sad feelings and provide some relief from grief. Clary Sage may also help boost confidence and hopefulness.
2) For Feeling Unfocused or Scattered
This one is a big one for me! I have so much to do and often feel overwhelmed with it all. Do you feel this way? Or, perhaps you might have a bit of attention deficit because of too many distractions? This doesn't just happen with a full blown disorder...it can happen if you are studying for a big test and feel anxiety or are being pulled in a million directions like so many of us are these days.
Basil essential oil is GREAT for feelings of distraction. It increases concentration and focus, and if you are studying for a test....it's wonderful. Some people don't care for the scent of Basil essential oil (it's quite strong), and if this is the case for you, then substituting with Rosemary or Peppermint (or a nice combination of the two or all three) helps a lot!
I like to diffuse this Brain Aid from Plant Therapy when I'm getting work done on the computer (like right now) because it helps my mind not wander to other things or get sucked into social media-land. It contains basil and lemon among other excellent essential oils for the mind. (That link is to their Starter Kit, but you can do an easy search for the Brain Aid. I love this blend!)
3) For Tiredness
Some essential oils can actually invigorate your body AND your mind, helping relieve tiredness and fatigue---especially mental fatigue.
I like to use Orange essential oil because it helps wake up the mind and the senses. If I'm about to work out, and I need to be energized, then rubbing a drop of Peppermint essential oil and another of Frankincense essential oil on the bottoms of my feet help me get going too.
Have you ever wondered why rubbing essential oils on the soles of your feet works? Click through to the article and find out why!
4) For Forgetfulness
Many people tend to get forgetful when they are experiencing stressful events, or when they just have too much to do (hand raised)! Well, Rosemary essential oil has been used for centuries to help with brain function, including memory. The ancient Greeks even wore garlands of it around their necks.
I love using Plant Therapy's Brain Aid! I've been using it for about two weeks, and it's making a difference for me!
5) For Anger and/or Tension
Road rage anyone? Or did someone do something that went against all of your expectations, and you just feel mad? Are you feeling disrespected about something someone did? Angry feelings are almost always coming from a place of fear and is just. Plain. Negative. And sometimes anger can be really difficult to control....and perhaps you shouldn't be controlling it anyway. There is a reason it's there!
I'm no psychiatrist or counselor, however, I do know that anger is an emotion that can be managed and channeled. Essential oils can help!
Anger is multi-faceted. Sometimes it bursts out suddenly. Sometimes it simmers and festers. If anger remains unexpressed and undealt with, it can turn into full-blown depression so it's important to handle it.
Essential oils that are great to use for the sudden rage type of anger include Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Petitgrain, Roman Chamomile, and Bergamot. All of these are calming essential oils. You can use them alone or in combination with others for a great blend.
Plant Therapy has a great blend called Tension Relief for adults, and a Kidsafe blend called Tension Tamer, too. Sometimes purchasing a good blend is better than trying to create your own! (That link is to the Plant Therapy website, Starter Kit, so just search for Tension Relief or the Kidsafe blend. when you get there.)
6) For Lack of Motivation
For those times when I have things to do...but just don't want to get started, I love diffusing Spruce essential oil. It's grounding and assists with the anxiety that comes with procrastination.
Other essential oils that are helpful, either by themselves or in combination are the citrus essential oils (lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit) and lavender. The citrus essential oils are uplifting and create feelings of positivity, while the lavender calms and soothes any anxiety.
7) For Worry or Anxious Feelings
Chamomile is just an awesome essential oil for soothing and calming the spirit. It improves harmony and balance, while decreasing anxiety with its mild sedative nature.
Bergamot is another essential oil that is wonderful for when you are feeling a little stressed out. It's been proven to help relieve tension and anxiety with its uplifting components.
And finally....Lavender is terrific for relaxing the mind and helping soothe tense feelings.
Final Thoughts on Essential Oils and Their Affect on Negative Moods
I used to be skeptical about the effectiveness of essential oils for healing and helping with negative emotions. However, after using them for many years and actually seeing the benefits and effectiveness for myself, I am a true believer.
There are blends I use every single day, for one reason or another, and yes, they do work. It's fun to experiment with creating your own blends, or even just starting out with single essential oils. Essential oils are great to use with children, too---you just have to have some knowledge.
What if you don't have the knowledge yet? You need to purchase your essential oils from trustworthy companies.
Where Should You Buy Essential Oils?
Well, this is a hard question, because there are SO many essential oil companies out there, and the competition between them is steep. Some are really great, and some are really horrible. Prices range from SUPER expensive to incredibly cheap. I've personally used essential oils from over 25 different companies over the years, and there is ABSOLUTELY a difference in quality and therefore how well they work.
Although the large MLM essential oil companies have great products, they are VERY expensive, and I personally got kind of tired of paying those high prices, even though I knew the quality of the essential oils was good.
I knew there had to be companies out there with high quality standards at a fraction of the cost! So, I began a search for companies that met these requirements: 1) Not an MLM, 2) Use third party testing on their essential oils, 3) Education available, 4) Organic options (a plus), 5) Line of essential oil blends or singles that are labeled safe for children....with directions.
I found TWO! Starwest Botanicals, Plant Therapy, Organic Aromas, and Rocky Mountain Oils are all companies I feel great about purchasing and using products from, even with my own grand children. They have excellent quality standards, offer a blog for education, and have Kid Safe lines of essential oils. Perfect! You can find out more about how to choose an essential oil company that is right for you here.
If you are just getting started with essential oils, I suggest purchasing a starter kit if you can. These will contain your basic essential oils and possibly the more commonly used blends and are a wonderful way to start experiencing the benefits of essential oils for yourself and family!
The important thing is to choose a GOOD company. I do NOT recommend purchasing essential oils from the larger stores, although it's tempting because large name brands now sell essential oils. I am very leery about these, and in fact, most are adulterated with fillers and chemicals. At least look at the ingredients!
Well, that's all I have to say about that, right now. If you have any questions, or know of another great essential oil company I don't know about, please share with us in the comments!
You might also be interested in these articles that share fun ways to use essential oils in your home: Which Essential Oil Diffuser is Best?, How to Make a Cleaning Spray, How to Make an Aromatherapy Spray, and if you search on the website for INSANE, you'll find my specific articles on single essential oils like Frankincense, Tea Tree, Rosemary, and LOTS more!
Hugs & Self-Reliance,
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***For making soap, I love the essential oils at Starwest Botanicals the best because they provide quantity options with a lower price point.