ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HOPE, HEALING, AND HAPPINESS
During turbulent times, the ability to adapt to constant change is vital. Coping with transitions and a shift in routines can be inherently stressful, leading to issues such as the zapping of energy, frenzied thoughts, confusion, low mood, restlessness, and sometimes feelings of loneliness or isolation.
Adopting a constructive mindset and healthy coping strategies, although not easy, can be an important factor in sparking hope and beginning a journey towards positive emotional healing. Pure essential oils can provide a powerful complementary tool to help the mind and body adjust to the sensations of overwhelm, fear, boredom, lethargy, sadness, and hopelessness commonly experienced during a crisis. Combined with other therapeutic and self-care techniques such as meditation, exercise, journaling, calling loved ones, and talking to a licensed therapist, these potent plant oils can offer a soothing, relaxing, and uplifting respite from day-to-day worries and anxieties.
Essential oils have been used historically for hundreds of years to support overall mental health and mood. Whether they are inhaled or used topically, essential oil compounds are known to influence the chemistry of the body and brain via the activation of the olfactory receptors located in the nose or through skin absorption.
For instance, smelling an essential oil can stimulate the limbic system, a set of complex yet interconnected structures in the brain that help regulate our emotional experiences, including our stress levels and motivational drive. This can result in a change in the body’s neurochemistry. For example, the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin can ultimately enhance the mood while reducing anxiety. Not all essential oils are capable of doing this, and individual differences between people can also affect the way they respond to specific essential oils.
In aromatherapy, inhalation and diffusion is a technique frequently used to encourage a positive mood or spirit. This method of administration is ideal to promote a peaceful environmental ambiance that reduces stress, calms the nerves, and relieves tiredness. Simply inhaling an essential oil straight from its bottle can be a straightforward yet effective measure. Using electric or portable aromatherapy diffusers are also popularly used to observe results. Essential oils in the bath is a second strategy known to calm down anxiety and foster a sense of inner peace, self-love, and relaxation. To use oils safely and effectively in the bath, mix 10 drops of essential oil with 10 drops of Polysorbate 20 before adding to bathwater.
Topical administration using massage blends and roll-ons, following appropriate dilution with a carrier oil, are also recommended by aromatherapy practitioners to melt away any headaches, stress, and mental or muscular tension while improving low moods and diminishing feelings of restlessness or agitation.
ESSENTIAL OILS TO USE DURING UNCERTAIN TIMES OR A CRISIS
The list below contains a selection of essential oils reputed to affect the mind and enhance one’s overall mood and psychological function during difficult times or a crisis. In addition to these, Lavender, Ylang-Ylang, Bergamot, and Rose essential oils can also be useful in supporting general mental well-being. These oils can be used on their own or in a blend to harness their synergistic properties. Blending suggestions are included, along with a list of essential oil blends that have been specially designed to provide a sense of comfort and reassurance when diffused or applied topically.
- Rose Geranium Essential Oil
- Helichrysum Essential Oil
- Frankincense Essential Oil
- Neroli Essential Oil
- Patchouli Essential Oil
- Basil Sweet Essential Oil
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Clove Bud Essential Oil
- Vetiver Essential Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Grapefruit Essential Oil
Read on to discover each essential oil’s unique scent profile, uses in aromatherapy, and how their benefits can be applied to help with recovery, emotional balance, loneliness, lethargy, and motivation.
Essential Oils For Recovery
Rose Geranium Essential Oil’s sweet, earthy, citrusy aroma with beautiful rosy-floral notes as its backdrop can have an immediate uplifting effect that stirs feelings of hope, happiness, and confidence in the future. Historically, Rose Geranium was believed to have the power to repel malicious spirits if planted around one’s home. For some, this charmingly-scented oil can have a mild sedative effect, while for others it can pique their energy levels.
Blends well with: Bay, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Geranium, Ho Wood, Lavender, Melissa, Neroli, Palma Rosa, Rose, Rosewood, and Sandalwood.
Helichrysum Essential Oil carries a refreshing herbaceous aroma that is pleasantly sweet and strong but not overwhelming. Its alluring, soothing scent fosters a feeling of calmness and repair, and its healing properties have been shown to specifically aid in mental recovery. When combined with Basil and Mint Oils and inhaled, for example, it can help alleviate mental fatigue, cope with physical or emotional stress, and enhance one’s feelings of alertness and creativity.
Blends well with Chamomile, Lavender, Clary Sage, Rose, Clove Bud, and any Citrus Essential Oil.
Essential Oils For Emotional Balance
Frankincense Essential Oil exudes a divinely warming, woodsy, spicy aroma that is intensely and powerfully grounding. Frankincense has been used for centuries in sacred and religious rituals as it was believed to strengthen one’s spirituality while warding off negative forces; in aromatherapy, its calming scent is used to pacify feelings of fear and anxiety that can cloud one’s sense of judgment and optimism. Its oil is particularly useful in improving mental resilience and self-acceptance when one is feeling especially poorly.
Blends well With Basil, Bergamot, Cardamom, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Cinnamon Bark, Clary Sage, Coriander, Geranium, Myrrh, and Vanilla.
Neroli Essential Oil’s exotic aroma and positive effects on mental health are well-known. Its crisp and penetrating citrus-like fragrance is cherished in perfumery and is also believed to help individuals grieve and soothe their emotional responses to tragic events. Neroli oil can also help calm those who experience rising anxiety or frantic thoughts just before sleep.
Blends well with Citrus Essential Oils, Jasmine, Rose, and Sandalwood.
Essential Oils For Loneliness
Patchouli Essential Oil carries a strong and lingering musky scent that can be enveloped in very light fruity, grassy, or sugary aromatic tones. Patchouli (Light) exudes a slightly less intense scent that can be more pleasing for those who find Patchouli (Dark) too overpowering. A fearless fragrance in itself, Patchouli oil is heralded for its aphrodisiac qualities and ability to improve depressive moods that can be accompanied by feelings of loneliness and despair.
Blends well with Bergamot, Cassia, Cedarwood, Myrrh, Opoponax, Orange, Rose, and Sandalwood.
Basil Sweet Essential Oil has a fresh, radiating, herbaceous aroma that also exhibits a hint of floral sweetness. Some may find its stimulating fragrance useful in tempering negative feelings resulting from detachment, homesickness, or isolation. In aromatherapy, Basil Sweet is thought to encourage emotion regulation and mental resilience, easing potential feelings of depression or mental weakness. Indeed, ancient Jewish customs featured the herb to provide those fasting with mental stamina.
Blends well with Bergamot, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Lime, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lemon, Neroli, and Rosemary.
Essential Oils For Fatigue & Lethargy
Peppermint Essential Oil’s energizing and comforting fragrance is reputed to boost levels of concentration and mental focus. When applied topically, it also has beneficial effects on tired or sore muscles while supporting circulation if accompanied by gentle massage therapy. Peppermint essential oil’s piercing mint-like scent is especially invigorating to the senses when diffused. It can center perception to foster better mindfulness of the present moment, which can slip during moments of exhaustion.
Blends well with Basil, Bergamot, Cajeput, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Marjoram, Niaouli, Pine, Rosemary, Spearmint and Thyme.
Clove Bud Essential Oil’s characteristically spicy aroma is wonderfully healing for both mental and physical lethargy. When diffused, Clove essential oil immediately energizes the mind and enlivens the spirit. It is especially reputed in aromatherapy for its invigorating and neuroprotective qualities that can help fight against exhaustion or mental fogginess.
Blends well with: Other Spice Essential Oils including Cinnamon Bark, Nutmeg, Citronella, Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Rose.
Vetiver Essential Oil has a potent earthy fragrance that is faintly reminiscent of Patchouli. In aromatherapy, this grassy oil is used to remedy mental lethargy while offering a sense of profound calmness and relaxation.
Blends well with: Cedarwood, Chamomile, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lemongrass, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Vanilla, and Ylang-Ylang.
Essential Oils For Extra Motivation
Lemon Essential Oil, like most other Citrus essential oils, can have a powerful stimulating effect on the senses. Indeed, some believe that it can also have a similar effect on the body, boosting its metabolic activities and encouraging weight loss. Diffusing Lemon oil can improve alertness, helping the mind to avoid distractions, eliminate procrastination, and make better decisions. At the same time, its strong, tart fragrance is also known to induce a happy and positive mood.
It blends well with Bergamot, Lime, Orange, and Mandarin.
Grapefruit Essential Oil exudes a fresh, sharp, and cheerful citrusy scent that can act as an instant mood brightener while rousing up one’s mental strength, drive, and desires. A versatile essential oil with varying uses, it is also prized in holistic and alternative therapies to help improve one’s energy levels while suppressing negative emotions and tendencies such as idleness. Some will perceive Grapefruit Pink Oil to be slightly sweeter in its aroma relative to the more bitter Grapefruit White Oil.
Blends well with: Other Citrus Essential Oils, Rosemary, Cypress, Lavender, Geranium, Cardamom, and generally most Spice Essential Oils.
ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS FOR HOPE, HAPPINESS, & HEALING
The following recipes can be used in a diffuser or vaporizer or applied topically.
To diffuse, add the specified essential oils into a 2 mL glass bottle, then roll the bottle between your palms to help blend all oils together. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, add the appropriate number of drops to your diffuser and inhale. Modify the recipes as needed depending on your preferences and the size of your diffuser.
To use topically, a 2-3% dilution is recommended with a carrier oil of your choice or a 1% dilution with a lotion base.
Sunrise Essential Oil Blend For Positive Energy
|Lemon Essential Oil||3 drops|
|Grapefruit Pink Essential Oil||2 drops|
|Basil Sweet Essential Oil||2 drops|
Grounding Essential Oil Blend For Inner Strength & Peace
|Patchouli Essential Oil||2 drops|
|Vetiver Essential Oil||1 drop|
|Lavender Essential Oil||2 drops|
|Bergamot Essential Oil||2 drops|
|Ylang Ylang Essential Oil||2 drops|
Silent Bloom Essential Oil Blend For Gratitude
|Rose Geranium Essential Oil||2 drops|
|Neroli Essential Oil||2 drops|
|Grapefruit Essential Oil||2 drops|
Self-Esteem Essential Oil Blend For Enhanced Focus and Confidence
|Peppermint Essential Oil||3 drops|
|Lemon Essential Oil||3 drops|
|Lavender Essential Oil||3 drops|
|Basil Sweet Essential Oil||1 drop|
Make Your Own Blend
Mental Clarity Synergy Blend: consists of Grapefruit, Bergamot, Basil, and Lemon essential oils. Useful for better focus, concentration, and productivity.
Tranquil Synergy Blend: consists of Lavender, Mandarin, Geranium, Marjoram Sweet, Frankincense, Palmarosa, and Ylang Ylang essential oils. It helps promote a peaceful, comforting ambiance.
Vitality Synergy Blend: consists of Lavender, Lemongrass, Mandarin, Patchouli, Geranium Egypt, Ylang Ylang, and Juniper Berry essential oils. Like Mental Clarity, this synergy blend is useful for better focus, concentration, and productivity.
Relax Synergy Blend: consists of Blood Orange, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Patchouli, and Ylang Ylang essential oils. It helps promote a deeply relaxing ambiance for reduced anxiety and better sleep.
Head Ease Synergy Blend: consists of Peppermint, Basil Sweet, Rosemary, Chamomile, Wintergreen, Frankincense, Lavender, and Marjoram Sweet essential oils. Useful to alleviate mental tension, headaches, and migraines.
USING ESSENTIAL OILS SAFELY
It is important to enjoy the benefits of essential oils while using them safely and responsibly. This includes never using them undiluted, performing a skin patch test before use, being knowledgeable about the sun’s effects after use, and sourcing them from an ethical brand known for quality and purity.
External use only
Essential oils are for external use only. Essential oils must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using these oils for therapeutic purposes.
Pregnancy and other health conditions
Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use essential oils without the medical advice of a physician.
Those with the following health conditions are especially recommended to consult the advice of a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders or allergies, hormone-related ailments, or epilepsy.
Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation before use.
Children and safety
These oils should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of seven.
How to conduct a skin patch test
Before using any essential oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the essential oil in 4 drops of carrier oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of non-sensitive skin.
Essential oil side effects
Potential side effects of essential oils include redness, rash, hives, burning, bleeding disorders, decreased speed of healing, low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, convulsions, and rapid heartbeat. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the products and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional before use.