EMOTIONS…We all have them, some of us are in tune with them, others have a hard time dealing with them..but one thing is for sure, there is SO much support we can get from using these amazing and powerful plants.
So, how do exactly essential oils affect our emotions?
As some of you might know, our sense of smell is unique compared to our other senses (taste, sight and hearing) because the olfactory system bypasses parts of the brain that other types of sensory information often can’t.
One of Dr. Josh Axe’s articles about the Limbic System, explained that because of this, smells can often cause immediate and strong emotional reactions based on memories and can bring us back to past events within milliseconds, making us feel a certain way based on past events, whether or not we realise why we’re suddenly feeling that.
I remember not long ago walking past a restaurant. It had the same smell as a restaurant I was working at when I first moved to Australia and I got vivid memories of the people that worked there, the environment…I found it so fascinating!!
So, how does this work? Essential Oils when inhaled, trigger the limbic system in the brain, which is the part of the brain where emotions are stored. The limbic system also has various other functions in the body, it for example regulates heart rate, blood pressure, hormones and so on but for today we are only going to focus on emotions.
Within the limbic system is something called the amygdala, which is where we PROCESS our emotions. As mentioned SMELL is the ONLY one of the five senses that activates the limbic system. That is one reason why aromatherapy, or smelling and breathing in oils, is so incredibly powerful. We can diffuse or breathe in oils to open up our amygdala and process our emotions in a healthy way. So COOL, right?
Let’s break it down even more and let’s talk about cells!! Our cells, just like our brain, have a memory. The nucleus, which lives inside the cell, is the thinker. It tells the cell what to do (and it’s where DNA is produced).
According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, “research shows that DNA actually changes shape according to our thoughts”. As you think those negative thoughts about the future, the week ahead, what a person might say or do and so on – that toxic thinking will change your brain wiring in a negative direction and throw your mind and body into stress.
Okay, so information must go through the cell and into the nucleus. How does the information pass through? Through what’s called “receptor sites”. *Negative or fear-based emotions damage the receptor sites on our cells*. Just like: chemical toxins, smoking, GMOs block those reception sites, so do our fear-based emotions. What does this have to do with oils??
Essential oils are made up of different constituents: monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and phenols.
What do phenols do?? They clean and repair receptor sites!! Meaning that the damage that our fear-based emotions have caused can be cleaned and repaired by using essential oils.
Use your oils, breathe them in, and they work on your amygdala and affect every single cell in your body within 20 minutes. To clean those receptor sites, look for oils high in phenols – some great ones include: Clove, Basil, Cinnamon Bark, Oregano, Anise, Peppermint.
Now, what do sesquiterpenes do? They bring oxygen into the brain. This helps our amygdala (remember that this is the emotion processing centre of our brain) to work as it should.
So, when it comes to using oils for your emotional health, what should we look for? Oils high in sesquiterpenes. Some great options are: Cedarwood, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Black Pepper, Patchouli, Myrrh, Ginger, Frankincense, Lavender.
How did I personally start supporting my emotions with oils?
I started with the Premium Starter Kit Essential Oils! Each oil is incredibly versatile. Your bottle of lavender, for example, is not just good for ONE thing. There are so many uses and purposes for it. Let’s go through a few of them.
Starting with COPAIBA:
Copaiba is one of the main ingredients in the Stress Away Essential Oil and it is a great oil to help with emotional balance as it provides support to our nervous system.
Put 2 drop on your palms, cup your hands together and slowly breathe in the oil for a few seconds and until you feel your heart rate slowing down.
- It has a sweet, warm honey-like scent
- May help relax muscles
- May help nervous irritability
DIY “Relaxation” roller:
- Using a 10ml rollerball put 10 drops each of Copaiba, Lavender and Stress Away
- Fill the rest with a carrier oil
- Apply on your wrists, behind your ears and and the back on your neck.
At first, the thought of an oil blend designed for digestive discomfort may not come to mind when talking about oils and emotions. But for those who’s emotional stress plays a big part in stomach discomfort this would be a great oil for you to look into!
Have you ever heard the saying that our stomach is our second brain?
There is such a strong link between our brain and gut, let’s just say they are in constant communication with each other!
When we are stressed, our gut health also suffers. AND when our gut health is not in good shape, our emotions suffer!!
Did you know that 90% of the body’s serotonin – our HAPPY HORMONE – is made in the digestive tract??
So let’s keep our gut healthy and our emotions will in turn thank us!!
Put a couple of drops on your tummy together with a couple of drops of carrier oil (a carrier oil is a fatty oil such as coconut oil, grape-seed, olive oil) and rub on your stomach for a few seconds, sit back and relax.
Frankincense is commonly referred to as “The King of Oils”!!
It supports our Limbic, Nervous and Endocrine system (the endocrine system is responsible for keeping our hormones balanced ladies!!!).
You can use Frankincense topically, aromatically and internally!! Sometimes I like to “treat” myself with a drop of frankincense in my water – because of the AMAZING health benefits this oil has.
I can hardly think of anything I DON’T use lavender for! ?
To be honest I never loved the smell of lavender BUT I love what lavender does to me.
One of the best uses is definitely to aid a better night’s sleep – I must say Lavender and Cedarwood Essential Oils together put me in a deep, rejuvenating sleep most nights.
(On a side note, Cedarwood is a relatively inexpensive oil – $19 AUD – however, it is an incredible oil for sleep support – Why? Cedarwood stimulates our pineal gland in the brain to produce melatonin, our sleep hormone. I highly recommend you add this Essential Oils to your order!
Lemon Essential oil is very uplifting. Studies have shown that just inhaling lemon essential oil can help with feelings of sadness.
Diffuse Lemon and Peppermint while you are getting ready to start your day. This combination is truly re-invigorating.
DYI “Stress Support” Recipe:
Using a 10ml rolleball bottle add 20 drops each of Lemon and Copaiba and 10 drops each of Lavender and Cedarwood – fill the rest with a carrier oil and bathe yourself in it when feeling stressed out 😉
(You can also diffuse this combination, 2 drops of each oil).
This is one everyone’s favourite Essential Oil 🙂
Stress Away is a blend of Vanilla, Copaiba, Lavender and Cedarwood essential oils making this blend also GREAT to catch up on some restful sleep.
+ May be helpful in combatting emotional stress
+ May be helpful in combating nervousness
+ May help promote relaxation
+ May promote calming feelings
Tip: You can use this Essential Oil as a perfume. It smells really nice. (Quick side note, if you have any type of hormonal imbalance stay away from fragrances especially directly on the skin. Essential oils are definitely a great way to smell nice while keeping our hormones happy).
To finish off this post, I want to remind you of the importance to take a quiet moment for YOURSELF every day If possible.
Our lives are fast paced and it definitely takes a toll on us.
It is truly amazing what a positive impact this will have on your day.
We cannot control stressful situation but we CAN control the way we respond to them.
Remember that being consistent, is a HUGE KEY to benefit from these beautiful oils.
The oils we have talked about are 6 of the 11 oils included in the premium starter kit.
You can grab your kit here. Once you sign up, I will provide you with all the information you need to get started with using your wellness Kit.
You will also get a Welcome email from me – Chat to you soon 😉