Exploring Aromatherapy for Emotional Wellbeing
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Essential oils have a major effect in heightened emotional states such as grief and sadness. They have a strong connection to our emotional wellbeing.

The olfactory system includes anything in our body that affects our sense of smell. During inhalation the olfactory system can detect molecules, identify millions of odorants and remember them. When inhalation takes place, these tiny molecules passes through the membranes and into the blood stream. The trigger signal is sent to the limbic system and the amygdale in the brain. This part of the brain stores and releases emotional trauma. The only way to stimulate this gland is with the sense of smell. This is also known as the emotional brain and can sometimes trigger emotions such as rage, fear, happiness etc causing physiological and psychological effects.

Essential oils don’t just support the limbic system but also the hypothalamus, the hormonal centre of the brain. They enter the blood stream and support whatever body systems are out of balance. The hypothalamus plays an important role in regulating the bodies systems when in stress. Essential oils have a major effect therefore in heightened emotional states such as grief and sadness.

Past memories can be associated with particular aromas and may have a positive of negative effect. Rose oil is known for helping in times of grief. If you had a loving grandmother who often smelled of roses, your reaction when smelling rose may differ than if you had an abusive grandmother. If your grandmother died, the past associations would have an impact every time you smelled roses. Do not use oils if they create negative feelings or if you simply do not like the smell.

Tip

Pick a favourite oil, and every time you do a relaxing activity like meditation, or reading a book, diffuse the oil or practice inhalation from the bottle. If you do this repeatedly, that scent will be associated with that activity and its calm restful atmosphere. This is known as anchoring the aroma. Then when you need to regain that calm, smell the oil and you will be instantly transported to that state of mind.

Below is a list of essential oils commonly known to help with emotional states. When using any oil, it is important to follow all safety guidelines relating to the particular oil.

Anger/Mood Swings Uplifting Low Mood Exhaustion Fear
Clary sage Geranium Bergamot Basic Bergamot
Frankincense Grapefruit Clary Sage Bergamot Clary Sage
Geranium Lemon Frankincense Black Pepper Frankincense
Grapefruit Mandarin Geranium Clary Sage Neroli
Jasmine May Chang Hyssop Eucalyptus R Chamomille
Lemon Ravensara Melissa Geranium Sandalwood
Mandarin Rose Neroli Ginger Vetiver
Petitigrain S Orange R Chamomille Lemon
Roman Chamomile Rose Patchouli
Rose S Orange Rosemary
Sweet Orange Ylang Ylang Vetiver