Managing Anxiety, Depression, and Emotions with Essential Oils

Anxiety, depression, and emotional imbalance are common and serious conditions that most people experience at some point in their lives. Rather than deny the reality that it could happen to you (or that it is already happening), we want to equip you with some information to help you out! We have also added in some diffuser blends to get you on the road to better mental health today!

We have designed these amazing mini tear pads to help you—and those around you—simply learn about a wide range of conditions and ways that essential oils can help. They also make great tools to help in your teaching endeavors as class handouts. Keep reading to learn more about these conditions and the information these tear pads can offer you!

Anxiety:

Anxiety is the body’s way of preparing itself to deal with a threat or to deal with future stressful events. While this response is normal and happens as part of the body’s natural response to stress, this response can also happen at inappropriate times, or too frequently, as in the case of anxiety disorders. Anxiety can include both physical and mental symptoms such as fear, nervousness, nausea, sweating, increased blood pressure and heart rate, feelings of apprehension or dread, difficulty concentrating, irritability, restlessness, panic attacks, and many others.

Anxiety is the most prevalent mental health condition and a contributing factor in many chronic diseases. An anxiety disorder can develop when the body’s “fight or flight” response is activated frequently or for a prolonged period of time. This tear pad discusses the essential oils that aid in the calming and relaxing the mind and how these oils should be applied for optimum results.

Depression:

Depression is a disorder marked by excessive sadness, energy loss, feelings of worthlessness, irritability, sudden weight loss or gain, trouble sleeping, and loss of interest in activities normally enjoyed. These symptoms can continue for weeks or months if not treated and can destroy an individual’s quality of life.

Essential oils can play a big part in your fight with depression by uplifting your mood and relaxing your mind. Oils also help aid your physiological symptoms by helping you sleep better, boosting your energy, and even assisting proper digestion. All these symptoms play a part in your ability to recover from depression. This tear pad explains the effect that oils have on the mind and body and how they can help you specifically overcome this condition.

Emotions:

To put it simply, emotions are the way we currently feel. These feelings come in response to what we see, smell, hear, feel, taste, think, or have experienced and can affect our future thoughts and behavior. While much is still being discovered about the complex psychological and physiological processes involved in emotions, researchers have discovered that emotions involve many different systems in the body, including the brain, the sensory system, the endocrine/hormonal system, the autonomic nervous system, the immune system, and the release or inhibition of neurotransmitters (such as dopamine) in the brain. Recent research has also begun to uncover compelling evidence that various essential oils and their components have the ability to affect each one of these systems, making the use of essential oils an intriguing tool for helping to balance emotions in the human body.

The specific oils you use will affect you differently, so it is important to know which ones are right for you. This tear pad gives information on how your emotions are specifically affected by the oils, and which oils work best with specific emotions, along with ideas for how to blend the oils and apply them for maximum effect.

Everyone has the right to feel mentally healthy, and that’s why you should too! With these tools, you can more confidently step onto the road to mental health recovery and feel more like yourself again. Let us know if there are any other conditions you would like to learn more about so that we can continue to help you embrace life happily!

Click here to learn more about these new mini tear pads!

Source:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition.

Just Add Oils to a New You!—Part 2

As mentioned in the the first part of this article, “Just Add Oils to a New You!—Part 1,” we took a poll to see what your biggest health challenges are. We discussed ways to use essential oils for helping you stay motivated and while exercising in the first part and are ready to discuss the other health challenges below.

Losing Weight

About 17.5% of those who took the poll said they struggle with losing weight; so if you’re one of those people, just know you are not alone! One problem with struggling to lose weight is that it can be due to a large number of factors—diet (eating the wrong foods or wrong amounts), lack of exercise (or doing the wrong types of exercise), too much stress, lack of sleep, insufficient water consumption, food intolerances, low metabolism, abnormal thyroid function, insulin levels, hormone imbalance, poor gut health, and toxic buildup in the body can all contribute to excess weight or trouble losing it. Losing weight often happens when you are able to change your lifestyle for the better (rather than going on a fad diet or any get-slim-quick plan). This is tough to do, and the struggle is real. The best advice we have is to start small—pick 1 or 2 things you can do differently, and try to make them a habit over a month. Once they become a habit, pick 1 or 2 more things to adjust in your lifestyle.

Often, the biggest help in losing weight is to increase your metabolism. Here are a few tips for increasing your metabolism:

  • Eat enough food. The amount of food you eat should be enough to keep you satisfied. Be careful not to eat so much that you feel full or so little that you are left hungry. Pay attention to how you feel while you are eating, and stop when you feel satisfied. It’s okay to save your food for later when you need a snack or simply throw it away (the starving kid in a third-world country really isn’t benefited if you don’t waste your food!).
  • Focus on mornings. The first thing you should do in the morning is drink 1–2 glasses of water. This helps your body wake up and get moving. You should also make sure to eat a good, healthy breakfast—don’t skip this meal! Your body has been fasting all night long and needs energy to keep your metabolism up, so don’t deprive yourself.
  • Eat the right foods. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to make sure you include foods with fiber, protein, iron, and nutrients found in vegetables and fruits in your diet every day. See the Eating Healthy section below for more ideas.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body needs water to flush out toxins as well as to keep your organs doing their proper functions. See the Drinking Water section below.
  • Use essential oils. Some essential oils that can help boost metabolism include clove, Grounding Blend, oregano, grapefruit, Metabolic Blend, and lemon. You can diffuse any of these oils throughout the day, or add grapefruit, lemon, or Metabolic Blend to your drinking water. If adding oils to your water, make sure to use a glass or metal cup or water bottle.

Eating Healthy

About 13% of our pollers said they struggle with eating healthy. If you’re not in the habit of making good diet choices, making a change like this can be a big process. If you are concerned about your diet, make a list of your top 3 things you want to change the most. Then make a goal that helps put you on that path. Start small (like eating a healthy breakfast) and try to make progress over the course of a month, and then add something else to it (like prepping healthy snacks once a week).

Also, try experimenting with cooking with essential oils! It’s fun to do and may help inspire you to cook healthier dishes. Take a look at our Essential Oil Cooking Recipes and our tips to help you adapt your favorite recipes (Cooking with Essential Oils – FAQs and Tips).

Here is some advice from one of our readers:

“I find that eating healthy, well balanced meals can be something that people struggle with when starting. The call of comfort foods can be very strong, and the will to ignore can be too much at times. By growing our food and only buying organic goods, we are already halfway there. Being part of the whole cycle of food production helps us to respect food and in turn respect what it does for our bodies. Having a really healthy start to the day can help to keep you on track as you have a nice feeling of well being. Try a glass of hot water and lemon to start the day and help your liver to wake up. Next treat yourself to a lovely big bowl of porridge topped with fresh fruit, seeds, and honey. This will keep you feeling content until lunchtime at least.” —Wen Morton

Drinking Water

About 13% of readers said drinking enough water is a challenge for them. So how much water should you be drinking? To figure this out, simply take your weight (in pounds), and divide it by 2. The number you get is the minimum number of ounces of water you should drink per day. To aid in weight loss, however, your body will benefit from more than the bare minimum. Multiply your weight by 2/3 (or .67) to get the amount of water you should consume if weight loss is one of your aims. So, for example, if you weigh 200 lbs., then you should be drinking a minimum of 100 oz. (and ideally 134 oz.) of water each day.

Here are a few of our tips for reaching your minimum water intake every day:

  • In the morning, fill up a large jug or several water bottles with the amount of water you need to drink during the day. You can write on the bottles a line with the time stating when the water should be at that level (for instance, having a line for 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 6:00 PM). Or you can designate blocks of times for individual water bottles (such as morning, afternoon, and evening water bottles). Even if you only have 1 water bottle, just know how many times you need to empty it during the day to reach your goal.
  • Set reminders on your phone to drink water. Sometimes we just forget and need a little reminder!
  • Keep a glass of water in the bathroom, and set a goal to drink a glass every time you use the bathroom.
  • Flavor your water. If part of your problem is that water tastes bland to you, try adding something to liven it up a little. Here’s what one of our readers says:

    “I put lemon or lime in my water. It tastes better and has added health benefits!” —Abbie

    You can use fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, or essential oils for healthy water flavorings. Here are some of our favorite flavor combinations:

    • Strawberry Lemon: Fresh strawberry slices with a drop of lemon essential oil.
    • Apple Cinnamon: Apple slices with a toothpick of cinnamon essential oil.
    • Cucumber Lime: Cucumber slices with a drop of lime essential oil.
    • Lemon Rosemary: A sprig of rosemary with a drop of lemon essential oil.
    • Citrus Twist: A mix of citrus fruits or citrus essential oils.
    • Cinnamon Orange: A stick of cinnamon with a drop of orange essential oil, orange slices with a toothpick of cinnamon essential oil, or a drop of Protective Blend.

    Remember to use a glass or metal water bottle if you’re using essential oils in your water, and always shake before drinking.

Overcoming Depression

Almost 10% of our respondents find depression to be their biggest health challenge. This is a sobering topic and particularly difficult to overcome. According to Modern Essentials, “While much is still being discovered about the complex psychological and physiological processes involved in emotions, researchers have discovered that emotions involve many different systems in the body, including the brain, the sensory system, the endocrine/hormonal system, the autonomic nervous system, the immune system, and the release or inhibition of neurotransmitters (such as dopamine) in the the brain. Recent research has also begun to uncover compelling evidence that various essential oils and their components have the ability to affect each one of these systems, making the use of essential oils an intriguing tool for helping to balance emotions in the human body” (8th Edition, p. 267).
Some essential oils that may help with depression include lemon, frankincense, Encouraging Blend, Uplifting Blend, Focus Blend, Comforting Blend, lavender, bergamot, petitgrain, Joyful Blend, Grounding Blend, Reassuring Blend, and Invigorating Blend. Try diffusing one or more of these essential oils (a diffuser necklace works particularly well for keeping the scent next to you) or rubbing some on your neck and wrists as perfume (a roll-on bottle is really helpful for this).

“Find something every day to be grateful for.” —Dawndee Blickenstaff

Here are a few posts we have written about this subject:

Breaking Addictions

About 6% of our pollers are trying to break an addiction of some kind. As you work on overcoming your addictions, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. Modern Essentials suggests diffusing grapefruit oil using an aromatherapy diffuser to help calm and soothe withdrawal symptoms.
Here are a few articles we’ve recently published about this subject:
How to Use Complementary Therapies within Your Addiction Treatment
Essential Oils and the Road to Addiction Recovery

Sleeping

About 5% of our pollers said they struggle with getting enough sleep. Many essential oils are known for their calming abilities and can help a person relax before going to bed. Some of these essential oils include lavender, Restful Blend, spikenard, Roman chamomile, and marjoram. Try mixing 5–10 drops essential oil with 1/4 cup (50 g) of epsom salt, and add to a warm bath before bedtime. You can also try making a linen spray with 5–10 drops essential oil and 1 oz. (25 ml) of water in a small spray bottle. Spray on pillows and sheets before tucking in for the night.
Here are some other posts we’ve written on the subject:
See Modern Essentials: Essential Oils for Sleep
Essential Oils for a Better Night’s Sleep

Whatever your health challenge is, don’t give up! If needed, keep your goals small and simple, but continue making progress to a healthier lifestyle. You are given these challenges for a reason, and through the process of overcoming your challenges, you are shaping your character and becoming an example to others around you. Keep trying, and eventually your efforts will turn into results.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition.

Check out “Just Add Oils to a New You!—Part 1” to read about our essential oil (and general) tips for staying motivated and exercising.

Winter Blues Diffuser Blend

Here is a great diffuser blend you can use to help with depression and nervous anxiety (it may even be beneficial for those who are lonely or experience “winter blues”):

Becoming Essentially Happy in the Face of Depression

Today’s post was written by a member of our AromaTools™ team based on her personal experiences.

Depression is something I never understood until I lived with someone who had it. I am a generally positive and optimistic person. My son has always been a “glass-half-empty” kind of guy. He would always come up with the pessimistic point of view. I have always known that we are polar opposites and just figured this was part of the difference in our personalities. As a teen though, his “pessimism” became concerning as he grew more and more despondent and withdrawn. My husband and I became increasingly worried about him as he further withdrew and talked about not wanting to live. He agreed to see our family physician. We thought our physician might refer us to a psychiatrist or therapist; instead, he encouraged me to take our son straight to the emergency room and get him admitted if I wanted to save his life. And so began my journey of coming to understand depression as best an outsider could. I’ve always believed you could choose your attitude––and to an extent that is true––but people who suffer from depression don’t always get to choose their attitude. Depression is a real thing. It is debilitating, and it hurts the individual who has it as well as those around them.

While working with my son, I have tried to learn more about depression and how I can be a better support. When I saw the new book Essentially Happy by Rebecca Linder Hintze with Stephanie Gunning, I thought that it would be a great resource for me.

This book aligns well with what our therapists and doctors have been telling us and also gave me additional information on how to better incorporate essential oils and better nutrition into the care of my son. In this book, Rebecca Hintze outlines 3 simple answers from Mother Nature for overcoming depression.

1. Happy Nutrition

2. Happy Lifestyle

3. Happy Relationships

The book gives a variety a great natural ideas for overcoming and working with depression. In each section, she goes deeper into how “happy” nutrition, lifestyle, and relationships can improve your life. She shares a variety of holistic remedies, including essential oils for helping various mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. She also includes a section on the emotional impact of essential oils. Her goal in this book is to “suggest tools and techniques to sustain and improve your mood no matter where you fall on the scale of happiness and depression.”

We already have seen first-hand how some of the ideas in this book can be beneficial. Our family doctor tells us that the most important medicine is what we put on the end of our fork. Hintze’s suggestions for “happy nutrition” support that idea, and she shares several ideas that could help decrease depression based on what you eat.

One of the ideas she talks about in the section on “happy lifestyle” is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a concept my son’s therapists have taught us to help us be more aware of how we are feeling and what we are thinking as well as being present in the moment. It has taken a lot of effort to try to be truly mindful as we navigate our new normal; but I find that when I take the time to be mindful, I am more at peace in the storm that surrounds me.

The last section of her book addresses “happy relationships.” Depression can put a real strain on relationships, but we need each other, and we need to not give up on those around us––whether we are the one struggling with depression or a loved one trying to support someone with depression. Our relationships are what matter the most. They are worth fighting for, and learning how to change our attitudes and perceptions to allow healing to begin is crucial for those relationships to grow. I have seen positive change in our family when I am willing to step back and try to be more open to a different way of thinking.

By improving our nutrition, lifestyle, and relationships, we each can be “Essentially Happy” and work towards overcoming the crippling effects of depression and living a happier life. If you or someone you know suffers from depression, this book may be a great resource for you as well.