Having sound mental health can be very crucial to maintaining a quality life. It includes our emotional, social, and psychological wellbeing, and can have an effect on how we think, act, and feel. Your mental health also determines how you make choices, relate to other people, form relationships, and handle stress.
There are various factors that can have a negative impact on our mental health, including:
Biological Factors: when your brain chemistry or genes cause an imbalance in your mind.
Hereditary Factors: when a family history of mental health issues increases your risk of developing it.
Personal Experiences: when various events in your life – such as trauma or abuse – put you at risk of mental health issues.
Mental health issues can have an impact on your mood, thinking patterns, feelings, behaviours, and temperament. However, there are ways through which you can improve it. In fact, by following proper treatment, some people even make a complete recovery.
Can Essential Oils Help Improve Mental Health?
While mental health issues are technically mood disorders, they can manifest themselves through both emotional and physical symptoms. In extreme conditions, some types of mental disorders can also be life-threatening. Therefore, it is essential to treat these issues in a timely manner before the symptoms get worse.
Although essential oils shouldn’t be treated as a cure-all for all mental health issues, they can be used as a complementary treatment for certain mental health disorders.
A holistic treatment method known as aromatherapy has been used to treat physical and emotional ailments since ancient times. This treatment includes adding essential oil to a diffuser and inhaling the scent as the person relaxes.
The research surrounding the benefits of aromatherapy is still limited. Yet, the practice possesses enough benefits for people to continue it for centuries now.
Even though there isn’t any proof that essential oils can treat anxiety or depression on their own, several studies have observed that many oils have effectively minimized its symptoms.
Following are some of the essential oils that can be most beneficial for mental wellbeing.
Lavender Essential Oil
One of the most commonly used oils in aromatherapy, the lavender essential oil, has a relaxing effect on the nerves. Its soft and pleasant smell helps create a sense of calm. The scent of lavender can also act as a sedative. Therefore, keeping a diffuser with lavender oil by the bedside can be very beneficial for people who trouble falling asleep.
A research study published in 2012 indicated that lavender is believed to calm anxiety and relieve depression because it impacts the limbic system – the part of the brain that controls emotions. Another study found that participants who added lavender essential oil to their bedtime routine reported a better quality of sleep and more energy during the day.
Jasmine Essential Oil
Have you ever walked by a jasmine plant at night and suddenly felt calm, relaxed and surprisingly energized? That is exactly what this essential oil does. What makes jasmine essential oil stand out from other essential oils commonly used to calm anxiety and depression is that it doesn’t have a sedative effect. Therefore, you can momentarily relieve yourself from stress without feeling sleepy in the middle of the day. The gorgeous floral scent of jasmine essential oil can instantly put you in a better mood. A 2013 study showed that inhaling jasmine essential promotes a sense of romance and wellbeing.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile tea isn’t the only way you can benefit from this miraculous herb. In fact, chamomile is often used in the treatment of various physical symptoms associated with inflammation. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help restore balance to aggravated bodily systems.
Therefore, the use of chamomile essential oil is recommended when anxiety and depression are causing physical symptoms, such as digestive issues, as it can promote relaxation while also alleviating the inflammation in the gut. The intoxicating scent of chamomile essential oil also has a sedative effect, which can help create a sense of peace and tranquillity. Some research has shown that chamomile can benefit people with mild generalized anxiety disorder.
Grapefruit Essential Oil
In contrast to the other essential oils, grapefruit essential oil has an uplifting effect that can help you feel more awake and energized. This, along with other citrus fruit essential oils such as orange, tangerine, and lemon, should be kept at your desks or work station to maintain a state of mind that promotes productivity.
It is also recommended for people recovering from alcohol or drug addictions as it may help fight cravings. When grapefruit essential oil is added to an addiction treatment program, the chances of success are generally higher.
How to Use Essential Oils?
There are various ways you can add essential oils to your daily routine.
The no-hassle method of benefitting from essential oils is to inhale them directly from the bottle. Just taking a few whiffs can have a positive impact on your mindset.
Add the essential oil to a room diffuser and place it near your bedside or work station, depending on your purpose to use the essential oil.
You can add a few drops of essential oil to a carrier oil (almond, olive, coconut), and massage it onto your skin for a calming, spa-like treatment.
The important part is that you inhale the scent of these essential oils. As long as that purpose is achieved, you can use it in any way you like.