What is a bad mood really?
It is a cocktail of emotions … Chemically speaking, a rush of emotions and feelings that are released from the brain and sent out into our body.
As creatures of habit, unfortunately, we’re slightly addicted to the family cocktail of emotions—whatever they are: irritation, sadness, anger, disappointment or frustration.
Despite this habit, we can “hack” into our operating system and change the code!
We know certain smells or aromas take us right back to a moment in our personal history, reminding us of people, places, experiences. Along with that comes the emotions and energy linked with that memory.
As soon as the aroma reaches our nose, it immediately connects with the olfactory bulbs inside the nasal cavity. These bulbs are actually part of our brain, and they send messages directly to the most primitive part of our brain; the limbic system (the emotional brain). The house of memories and emotions, and where hormones, behaviour responses, mood management, food, and sex drive are influenced.
Can you see how powerful an aroma could be?
Let’s influence and manage proactively our emotions and stress by hacking into our limbic brain with the essential oils that work for each of us. For our own cocktail.
Our sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than any other senses. The olfactory bulb is the only place in the body where the central nervous system is exposed to the environment. Hence our brain is designed to use aroma to heal and soothe itself, shifting our perspective and changing your vibe.
As an example, when we Inhale the aromatic compounds of Lavender, the Limbic brain releases the endorphin called serotonin which has a relaxing effect on the body.
For times of distress, many essential oils have distinct antidepressant properties and this is probably one of the areas where aromatherapy is most valuable in present day society, offering a safe, natural and non-addictive alternative to the millions of tablets prescribed annually for depression and anxiety.
We are all different and when we go to the doctors sometimes the first medication does not work 100% and we have to come back for a change. Here is the same, you start using essential oils and according to how your body and mind react you have to fine tune the blends. In the meantime, there is no side effects.
So, what can you lose? And you need small amounts to feel the change so you’re also saving money.
How can we use essential oils to proactively manage mood and emotions?
When it comes to altering mood, to explain it in simple words, there are three possible approaches. If you suffer from depression, you will want a “pick-me-up”. If you suffer from anxiety, you will want a “calming” blend. If you suffer from a combination of both, you need a balancing or “feel collected” blend.
Lavender, Ylang Ylang (supports sadness), Vetiver (boosts sleep), Roman Chamomile (releases anger), Sandalwood (tackles fears).
PTSD and trauma: Spikenard (one of the best sedative).
Ylang ylang for panic attacks.
Balancing essential oils:
For hyperactivity: Vetiver and Patchouli.
When you feel immobilised by your thinking and your feelings: Helichrysum.
If we want to instil hope: Bergamot, Frankincense and Ylang Ylang.
To support emotional pain, nervousness, panic, stress, depression and anxiety: Palo Santo essential oil. It has a fresh lemon forest aroma.
Stimulating essential oils:
These oils reduce stress, increase memory and mental awareness, and helps to cultivate those positive feelings, We could all use some of that in our lives:
For studying and clarity of thoughts: Peppermint, Vetiver (so versatile that promotes concentration during the day, and sleep for night), Coriander, Lemon and Lavender.
Postpartum depression: Lemon, Lavender, Frankincense, Clary Sage and Ylang Ylang (among the safest oils) to protect breastfeeding.
Physical aches and pains can end up in depression if the months go by and the pain is still there. In this case, the physical ailment triggers feelings or emotions of depression or frustration.
Grief: this emotion is held in the lungs: Rose, Geranium, Patchouli and Laurel Leaf will pick you up and help with the healing process.
Transition times and changes bring those uneasy feelings and mixed emotions. Like career changes, children leaving for Uni, menopause, and this unease sensation of when and how are we going to get out of the current Lockdown situation.
Cypress is useful in times of transitions, and can be blended with specific oils to help go through major life transitions or to boost joy and self-esteem
As an important note, Lavender can do all three: stimulate, balance and relax. It’s a good starting point for people or families incorporating essential oils for the first time.
We mentioned above that the Limbic brain also influences food drive:
👉Diffusing Grapefruit reduces appetite and curbs cravings.
👉Loss of appetite: diffuse Black Pepper or Bergamot half an hour before mealtimes.
👉Exercise: moderate exercise 3 times a week can reduce depression and improve sleep. Peppermint increases energy and aerobic performance.
Remember: Our brain is designed to use aroma to heal and soothe itself, shifting our perspective and changing our vibe.