Benefits of Essential Oils for Mental Health
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a mental disorder that is beyond anyone’s control as much as depression is. Common symptoms are negative thoughts, helplessness, and soreness of the muscles. Breathing difficulties and sudden pounding of the heart and pulse are also signs of anxiety. Phobias, panic attacks, and OCD are all types of anxiety disorders.
While depression is more known as a mental disorder, more people are affected by anxiety than we know. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), more than 6.8 million adults in the US are affected by General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder affects more than 6 million adults, Social Anxiety Disorder affects more than 15 million adults, while more than 19 million adults are affected by phobias of almost all imaginable kinds. Aside from this, we also deal with childhood anxiety disorders. The evils of childhood anxiety can have more far-fetching effects than adult-onset anxiety and can greatly affect the adulthood of the child who is left undiagnosed and untreated.
What is Depression?
Did you know that depression affects more than 264 million around the world? In the US alone, even children as young as 3 years old have been diagnosed with depression based on 2018 data. We used to believe that depression hits only during the teenage to adult stages. Yet a loss of a loved one or even a pet can trigger depression in very young children. We’ve seen too many homes broken by depression, either from the strain of coping with it emotionally or financially. It can lead to a vast number of physical illness or can be aggravated by these illnesses. Two out of three suicides in the US had been caused by depression, most of them untreated or misdiagnosed. These statistics spanned years but have been growing even with the passing years.
People with symptoms of depression are more anxious about almost anything and the simplest misfortune can cause hopelessness. They also get easily frustrated, resulting in irritability and anger. They tend to be more lethargic with barely enough energy to keep up with their daily activities. They also have trouble sleeping and may display less concentration than normal. Sudden weight gain or weight loss can also be symptoms of depression. If you are someone having the 2 or more of these symptoms, it's important to talk to someone you can trust, especially if you start talking about death or suicide or are isolating yourself regularly from others. There are many types of depression so getting the right medical advice and intervention is the best way to manage and cure depression.
Even with the grim picture that depression paints every year, fortunately, there is something we can do. Even if you do not have depressive thoughts, you can always feel down on something major about your life - grief over death, loss of a loved one, a broken relationship, even career change. You are not alone, though.
Essential Oils for Symptoms of Depression
Let me tell you a not-so-secret secret about essential oils. Here at Essential Rose, our products are made from only the best quality essential oils known to help you in many ways to relieve stress and help you combat anxiety and depression.
Aromatherapy had been shown to work well with controlling or managing the symptoms of depression. However, use it with other management regimes, like medication and counseling. There are different methods of aromatherapy you can take advantage of. Inhaling the chemicals from the essential oils helps to activate the limbic system which is responsible for controlling the behaviors and emotions, enhancing memory, and improving the mood of the user.
For a steady release of essential oils in your room, using a diffuser will be a great help. You can turn the diffuser off when you have gotten enough aroma you need. The inhaled chemicals from the aroma of the essential oils work with the brain to stimulate relaxing hormones.
You can enjoy the aroma of your essential oils with just a drop of it in a spray bottle with water. Spray a few bursts in your room and get that aroma boost. However, you have to do it again after some time since it’s not as steady-release as a diffuser.
Another way to make use of essential oils for aromatherapy is to get a massage. Massage oils mixed with a few drops of essential oil can be a good way to get the most from the aroma of the essential oils. It is known that massaging allows the chemicals in the essential oils to be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream.
Adding a few drops of essential oil to your bath water is the perfect way to relax. It has the same effects as a massage and smelling the aroma of the essential oils also helps you unwind.
Using essential oils in perfumes can be tricky but you can have your go-to mood enhancer right in your purse. Just a small dab can get you smelling fresh and relaxed at the same time. It also helps that some essential oils used in perfumes also repel bugs and insects.
Skin and Hair Products
Skin products that use essential oils can be anything, from an exfoliant to a moisturizer and to a cosmetic product such as a lip balm. Hair products such as shampoo and conditioners can also be mixed with some essential oils to improve the effectivity of aromatherapy.
Good Essential Oils to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Here are some essential oils that are perfect to use for aromatherapy using the different methods listed above. Using perfumes with essential oils is also known to give you a relaxing feeling.
Lavender has been long known to relieve anxiety and stress, improve mood, allows you to relax. The chemicals (linalool and linalyl acetate, among others) in the lavender essential oil improve restlessness, insomnia, and mood agitation. The heart rate has also been observed to lower after inhalation of lavender oil as well as relaxes dementia patients that show signs of agitation. It has also been proven to relieve insomnia that is common in people suffering from depression. Lavender oil can also be used in diffusers, massage oils, and skin products.
The natural chemicals in ylang-ylang oil increase the cognitive functions of the brain and improve attention. It also promotes relaxation by working as a natural sedative. Aside from this, it has been known to increase the body's libido. A healthy sex life can do wonders for the mental health of a person. Feeling good about yourself is also a step towards healing. Ylang-ylang oil can be used for baths, massages, or added in potpourri. It also works well with other essential oils such as sandalwood, jasmine, and bergamot.
Used in aromatherapy, ginger oil can be used to provide relief against stress, feelings of sadness, anxiety, lethargy, dizziness, and fatigue. Used in drinks, it can improve your digestion, ease the discomfort of your stomach and bowel, and improves your appetite. It also lowers blood pressure and boosts immunity.
Like lavender, bergamot contains linalyl acetate and linalool, and limonene also found in oranges and lemons. These chemicals, along with other chemicals in bergamot all work together to help fight against depression. Used in aromatherapy, bergamot oil can uplift the mood and stimulate the brain to produce relaxing hormones. It is a known sedative and helps you get a good night’s sleep. It can also be used as a natural perfume and an air freshener, and can relieve lethargy, and nervousness.
Used for the hair, it can stimulate the production of hormones that reduce pain to relieves headaches, muscle aches, and sprain. It can also be used in making face cream or lotion.
Lack of sleep and worrying results in low cortisol levels leading to morning anxiety but having chamomile tea in the morning can help ease these issues. If left unmanaged, anxiety may eventually lead to depression. For aromatherapy, chamomile essential oil can be used as a diffuser oil, in room sprays or as a massage oil. However, when using chamomile for aromatherapy, do it in a ventilated room. It is not recommended for pregnant, women breastfeeding , children or pets.
The floral and citrusy aroma rose geranium essential oil provides a sedative effect that gives you a chance to relax, improve emotional stability and optimism. It also provides relief against fatigue, anxiety, restlessness, tension, and grief. It gives your body a refreshing effect.
Used as a massage oil, it stimulates circulation to give you relief from menstruation, menopausal symptoms, and varicose veins. It also provides pain from physical injuries and soreness.
Sweet oranges have a pleasant, citrusy scent that’s relaxing and uplifting. No wonder it is a favorite scent for making car fresheners and diffusers. Inhaling orange essential oils gives you relief from anxiety, sadness, anger, frustration, and other negative moods associated with depression. It creates a sedative effect, increasing libido, motivation, and creativity. It also detoxifies the body, allowing you to enjoy sleep while balancing the hormones.
Added to massage oils, it also increases blood flow to provide relief from dysmenorrhea, headaches, inflammation, and all sorts of soreness. It also promotes skin clarity, radiance, and smoothness of the skin by removing harmful bacteria and enhance collagen production.
Jasmine essential oil is known as a good aromatherapy oil to give relief against depression by increasing blood oxygen and breathing and heart rate. Jasmine oil improves mood by improving brain activity to feel more energetic. It is also known to have calming effects. Jasmine tea can promote relaxation and improve symptoms of insomnia, rapid heart rate, and irritability.
Having almost the same citrus aroma as oranges and lemons, it also provides relief against depression, anxiety, and stress. When used in diffusers or sprayers, it helps the brain to produce more serotonin and reduce cortisol levels. It also helps alleviate mood and provides relief against pain and hypertension.
Before you go
Knowing that essential oils can help provide relief against stress, anxiety, and depression, acting on these mental problems itself is another. It is always the best option to seek medical attention before adding aromatherapy to your anxiety and depression management regimen. Before using any aromatherapy or natural remedy options, seek medical advice.
Our Essential Rose Products are very effective and are known to help in relieving symptoms associated with depression. Try the Sacred Mood Mist or Brighten Mood Mist which contains the essential oils found in this list. Practice positive thinking. The way you think can mean a lot to your mental health.