Less Stress, More Joy this Holiday Season
For most people, the aroma of clove and cinnamon is uplifting and relaxing; oftentimes it reminds people of the holidays, family and joy. It’s usually present around Thanksgiving and Christmas along with the earthy scent of pine, usually from live pine trees brought into the home for decorating. Although most people are excited, happy and giving during the holiday season, they are also stressed. And for some, this time of year can be depressing or upsetting.
The sense of smell is the strongest sense in our body. Studies have shown that smell is the fastest way to affect mood. Aromatic molecules have direct access to the limbic are, or emotional seat, of the brain.
When diffused, certain essential oils can be stimulating while other oils can be calming or soothing. Diffusing can also purify the air unpleasant odors, while also providing emotional and physical benefits. For example, diffusing lavender oil can help children and adults relax and fall asleep better. Diffusing peppermint can be uplifting, as well as increase alertness, invigorate the lungs and boost memory.
Applying essential oils topically is very common and beneficial. The more pure the essential oil the more powerful the results. Many essential oils available (over the counter or online) are not pure. They contain fillers or other elements that dilute and alter the purity, therefore diminishing the efficacy of the oil. The grade of oil you use will determine its chemistry, potency and efficacy. For an oil to have a strong potency, the plant it originates from must be grown in the right environment, i.e.; soil, temperature and climate. Proper care must be taken during harvest when sourcing the plants to ensure their potency, purity and consistency.
When it comes to managing your mood, essential oils can help restore your emotional balance and improve your overall attitude in any situation.
Calm or Balance
If you are Worried: Diffuse (or apply topically) Cedarwood, to relax the mind and body, or Geranium to calm nerves. Feeling Angry: Arborvitae-diffuse at night or rub on forehead, shoulders or chest. Patchouli: rub on temples or apply to the bottoms of feet to calm emotions. Or put a few drops of Ylang Ylang with Epsom salt into a bath for relaxation. Feeling Stressed: Apply Frankincense to the bottoms of feet to relax and balance mood, or Roman Chamomile- Add 1-2 drops to herbal teas to relax and balance mood swings. Vetiver can be diffused or applied topically for calming (or mix with other relaxing oils: Lavender, Serenity, Balance) to calm stress. If you’re feeling Restless/Lack Concentration; diffuse or apply topically Rosemary to help reduce tension, stress and fatigue. Use a few drops of Lavender to bath water to soak away stress. Nervous? Clary Sage applied to the feet or pulse points can balance hormones and Bergamot can be diffused in the classroom, at work, or home, or applied to pulse points.
To Elevate and Energize: Lighten Up.
Tired/Unmotivated? Rub Grapefruit, Lemon, or Lime (essential oils) under your nose to sharpen focus while studying or reading. You can also apply to pulse points or diffuse. Apply Peppermint to the palms of your hands and inhale deeply for a quick pick-me-up. Wild Orange is great for energizing the mind and body. And during high stress levels, put a drop of each: Wild Orange, Peppermint and Frankincense in your palm and inhale deeply.
Sad/Discouraged? Sandalwood applied to the neck at bedtime for restful sleep or during meditation.
Feeling Blue? Myrrh can be diffused or applied topically to promote awareness and uplift your mood.
There are hundreds of essential oils which offer a plethora of health benefits, physically and emotionally. Find some that are your favorites to use for mood uplifting effects; it could be earthy scents, citrus aromas or a blend and take control of your health, naturally.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition, please consult your primary care provider before using these products. They are based on personal usage, testimonies and some scientific studies by independent third party labs.