Essential oils for emotional support

Emotions are part of our everyday life and who we are . Emotions are like social glue and serve so many functions in our life. Emotions  are also critical to our health – mental as well as physical.
Emotions can either be positive or negative and most of the time we don’t need support with the positive emotions like joy or excitement BUT with the negative emotions we need a bit more support. There is nothing better than a big bear hug from a loved one when we are sad or grieving.
Now can we use essential oils for emotional support ?
Well, let’s have a look…

Different emotions

In a recent study done by Alan S. Cowen and Dacher Keltner from the University of California, Berkeley they have identified 27 different and distinct emotions.

  • Admiration
  • Adoration
  • Aesthetic Appreciation
  • Amusement
  • Anxiety
  • Awe
  • Awkwardness
  • Boredom
  • Calmness
  • Confusion
  • Craving
  • Disgust
  • Empathetic pain
  • Entrancement
  • Envy
  • Excitement
  • Fear
  • Horror
  • Interest
  • Joy
  • Nostalgia
  • Romance
  • Sadness
  • Satisfaction
  • Sexual desire
  • Sympathy
  • Triumph

 

Oh that smell reminds me of something

 

Our sense of smell is one of our first senses to develop and can have an influence over our emotions.  At the same time a particular smell can stir up an emotional memory in an instant.

How does this work?

When we smell something it goes through our olfactory receptors which then send the sent to the olfactory bulb. From there it is send to two areas of the brain – the frontal lobe and the limbic system. Well, our limbic system is related to memory and our emotions.

So smell has an emotional component and it has a direct link to our memory. This also can affect how we feel then.

My mom passed away 4 years ago and whenever I miss her and gets a bit sad I make myself a cup of Rooibos tea. She used to make that for me as child  but only for special times.

Well, the first sniff when I lift that cup of tea takes me straight back to my childhood in Namibia at Mom’s kitchen table.

Our sense of smell - Aromatherapy

 

Can essential oils support us emotionally?

 

Certain essential oils can be very beneficial in dealing or coping with certain emotions. You can help balance your emotional well being by supporting your body with essential oils. I have taken the most common emotions into account for this.

 

You can diffuse a couple of drops in a diffuser or apply diluted oils ( 3 drops of oil per tablespoon of carrier oil) on your temples or back of your neck.

Use any of the oils in the extensive list below to look after yourself and your emotions. I do believe that you need to use oil that is pleasant to you since you will smell this to address your emotions. It will be counterproductive to use oil that you have an adverse reaction to or dislike the smell to calm you down for instance. It might frustrate you more when you can’t stand the smell.

Sadness or grief

Bergamot essential oil

Cedarwood

Cypress essential oil

Frankincense essential oil

Geranium essential oil

Jasmine essential oil

Lavender essential oil

Neroli essential oil

Patchouli essential oil

Roman Chamomile essential oil

Rose oil

Sandalwood essential oil

Ylang – ylang essential oil

 

Fear

Basil essential oil

Bergamot essential oil

Cedarwood essential oil

Clary Sage essential oil

Cypress essential oil

Frankincense essential oil

Sandalwood essential oil

Cedarwood essential oil

Jasmine essential oil

Lavender essential oil

Lemon essential oil

Neroli essential oil

Orange essential oil

Rose essential oi

Rosemary essential oil

Vetiver essential oil

Ylang- ylang essential oil

 

Frustration

 

Bergamot essential oil

German Chamomile essential oil

Grapefruit essential oil

Lavender essential oil

Orange essential oil

Peppermint essential oil

Roman Chamomile essential oil

Rose essential oil

 

 

Anger

 

Bergamot essential oil

Cedarwood essential oil

Chamomile essential oil

Clary Sage essential oil

Ginger essential oil

Hyssop essential oil

Lavender essential oil

Lemongrass essential oil

Neroli essential oil

Orange essential oil

Patchouli essential oil

Rose essential oil

Vetiver essential oil

 

 

 

Anxiety

 

Bergamot essential oil

Cedarwood essential oil

Frankincense essential oil

Jasmine essential oil

Lavender essential oil

Patchouli essential oil

Roman chamomile essential oil

Rose essential oil

Sandalwood essential oil

Vetiver essential oil

Ylang –ylang essential oil

 

 

Worry

 

Chamomile essential oil

Clary Sage essential oil

Frankincense essential oil

Grapefruit essential oil

Jasmine essential oil

Lemon essential oil

Lime essential oil

Patchouli essential oil

Rose essential oil

Sandalwood essential oil

Vetiver essential oil

 

 

Different ways to use essential oils

  • You can diffuse a couple of drops in a diffuser
  • Apply diluted oils ( 3 drops of oil per tablespoon of carrier oil) on your temples or back of your neck or even the soles of your feet.
  • Inhale the oil straight from the bottle

 

Negative emotions have a negative impact on your body

 

In Ancient Chinese medicine they approach the body as all connected and connect certain emotions with certain organs. Well the idea is really not that foreign to the Western world because we do that too to a certain extend. Love is connected with the heart, worry with the stomach where it feels like a knot in your tummy when you are stressed or worried. So our negative emotions can weaken these organs

New research into the vagus nerve is confirming this. If you are not familiar with the vagus nerve or has heard of it , well that is fine because the research is on the vagus nerve is quite new.  The vagus nerve connects all the organs and when we experience an emotion that send a signal via the vagus nerve to the organs which in turn trigger a response.

 

Negative emotions may weaken your body

 

What can we do with all these negative emotions?

Psychotherapists recommend that you do the following when you experience negative emotions such as anger, sadness, worry, grief or fear:

  • be aware of the emotion
  • if you can name it – you can tame it
  • acknowledge to yourself the emotion that you are feeling
  • don’t hide away from the emotion
  • don’t blame anybody else for that emotion, it is your emotion and you are the one experiencing it

This is a great mindfulness technique to allow you to feel the emotion before you act on it and it is a great way to show some kindness to yourself.

 

Take care of you so that you can take care of those you love.

Share and Enjoy !

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12 Comments


  1. Wow, I never knew there were so many scents that target various emotions. I do know some smells will take me by surprise and remind me of something or someone in the past. I was going down the list and with everything going on and so many emotions, how would you possible narrow it down to the right essential oil? Especially for a beginner? I’d be interested in learning more about that.

    Reply

    1. Good question Annie,
      I know the list of essential oils that I put under every category of emotion is long but you certainly don’t need all of them. Even one oil will do. Less is more really. What smell you prefer might not be the one that I like for instance I don’t like the smell of Orange essential oil so I would rather prefer Lemon or Lime, that is personal.
      Most of the time for a beginner you start of with Lavender – if you like that smell.
      Elize

      Reply

  2. I had to comment on this article because I felt like I was in a science class. You did a good job explaining everything, specifically the part about smells and it jogging your memory. I personally experienced that. Thank you again!

    Reply

    1. Hi Thomas,
      Oh my kids would be so impressed with your comment. They are all science geeks but I need the layman’s version. Our sense of smell is also the quickest of all our senses.
      Elize

      Reply

  3. Hi, nice theme. I have always liked aromatherapy, I have tried various essential oils. And I continue to use them for sinuosity, cold, to relax. But also as an antibacterial. And even at this moment I turned on the diffuser with lavender. ? Good. Keep it up.

    Reply

    1. Thanks Georgi,
      Once hooked on the benefits it just becomes your go to for everyday life.
      Elize

      Reply

  4. I am a huge fan of using essential oils because they work for me so well, and I do recommend anyone with autoimmune diseases to give these a try for their symptoms. I used to be high-anxiety all the time before starting to use essential oils and between a simple diet change and adding some essential oils my anxiety is much calmer to the point I am in control of my anxiety instead of the other way around.

    Jeff

    Reply

    1. Hi Jeff,
      Glad that you find essential oils super helpful. So many people struggle with anxiety especially now during COVID19 and it is good to know that there is something out there that can help and support us.
      ELize

      Reply

  5. I take wheat germ oil in capsule form as a dietary supplement – does this substance have any properties if used as an essential oil?

    Reply

    1. Hi Simon,

      Wheat germ oil contains essential nutrients such as Vit E but however is not classified as an essential oil as such. Wheatgerm is a great supplement and quite beneficial for you. Wheatgerm oil can be used as a carrier oil for essential oil to dilute the oils, however that would be an expensive carrier oil to use.

      Reply

  6. Thank you for this very informative post!

    I have used essential oils occasionally, but haphazardly – I didn’t really pay attention to how specific oils could help relieve certain moods. I will be referring back to your article as I aim to use essential oils more purposefully.

    Also – “if you can name it, you can tame it” — such a great reminder. I need and really appreciate this! Thanks again!

    Reply

    1. Absolutely Kris, essential oils are more than just smelling good oils. As a matter of fact some of them like Vetiver is quite nasty in my opinion but that is the beauty of it. You can use another oil that you prefer that has similar chemical properties.
      If you can name it, you can tame it not only works for us to just acknowledge our own emotions but it is wonderful with other people and especially children. As humans we all just want to be acknowledge.

      Reply

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