You’ve heard all about how your friend uses essential oils for emotional support, but do they really work? Let’s dig in and find out!
I’ve been using essential oils for the better part of a decade now, and I’m not going to lie. When I was first introduced and started buying them, emotions and health were the last things I thought about.
I was deep into learning about green cleaning, in an effort to cut toxic cleaners from my house, and all I cared about was that essential oils smelled good.
Sure, I knew Tea Tree and lemon were good for cleaning, but that’s literally all I cared about.
It wasn’t until years later, after I’d had my second child, that I discovered the emotional benefits of essential oils. I started suffering from pretty extreme anxiety, and a friend mentioned some oils that helped calm her down.
As someone who, in general, likes to explore all options before turning to medications, I was intrigued.
I bought some lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus because I liked the smells, and got a diffuser off of Amazon. I liked them a lot, and started noticing that I did see some changes in my mood when I diffused or inhaled oils.
That was what prompted me to start learning more about the world of aromatherapy, and once I did, I was all in.
What are Essential Oils
If you’re coming to this blog brand new to the idea of essential oils, welcome! I remember being in that same position once, and to help you, I wrote this handy little post to get you started.
Check it out to learn about what essential oils are, how they work, and some basic safety guidelines you should always keep in mind. It’s an incredibly helpful beginners resource, if you ask me. Find it here!
This post contains affiliate links. This means I could earn a small commission based on your purchases, at no additional cost to you. To learn more, see my full disclosure here.
Can Essential Oils be Used for Emotional Support?
The short answer? Yes.
But, you don’t know me, and have no reason to trust me. Obviously, you want more than the short answer, right?
The long answer has to do with the limbic system, which is the part of our brain where emotions are stored.
As you know, our bodies rely on our five senses to process everything we experience:
- and smell.
The first four of these senses go right to the logic center of our brains, and then they move on to the emotional center. Your sense of smell is the only one that activates the limbic system and triggers an emotional response first.
For example: if you see a coffee cup, your brain instantly things, “coffee.” You might think about brewing a cup, or wonder if you’ve had too much coffee already today, but overall, your initial reaction is based on logic.
Now, what happens if you wake up to the smell of coffee brewing?
When something passes through your sense of smell, it triggers an emotional response first.
Ever get a whiff of your grandma’s perfume and think of her? Smell something cooking that reminds you of your childhood? We’ve all done it.
And once you understand all of this, you can see exactly how we can use aromatherapy as an emotional tool.
The Best Essential Oils for Emotional Support
Now that we understand how essential oils can be used for emotional support, let’s dive into what we should be using.
I’m sure this is far from an extensive list, but I do think there’s something for everyone here. And keep in mind, as with anything holistic, it might take a few tries to find the exact right combination and products for you. So, consider grabbing a few options off of this list to try.
If you’re looking for a good brand to purchase, my family uses and loves Plant Therapy. Their mission is to have the greatest impact on as many people as possible by offering high quality essential oils along with proper education to their customers. They have on-staff aromatherapists, an extensive Kid Safe line, and product testing available right on their website for everyoneto see. Plus, you don’t have to sign up for a membership to save. If you want to give them a try you can get $5 off your purchase of $50, plus FREE SHIPPING! Just use Code “5OFF” to save.
Now that we’ve covered that, here are my top recommendations on essential oils for emotional support:
Disclaimer: It is totally normal to experience emotional ups and downs, but if you feel that your emotions are getting out of control, I encourage you to seek medical treatment or therapy. For the sake of this blog post, the recommendations you’ll find here are for a normal level of mood swings, and should not replace actual treatment.
Lavender: well known for it’s calming abilities, lavender is usually the first oil most people reach for! Use lavender if you’re feeling stressed, anxious, angry, or depressed.
Cedarwood: this is a grounding oil, great for boosting confidence. Cedarwood is a great oil to use if you’re feeling stressed or anxious.
Frankincense: this oil is very rich in emotional support. It’s incredibly grounding. Use Frankincense to help you feel balanced and calm in any situation.
Orange: an overall “happy” scent, orange is great for uplifting and energizing. Use Orange essential oil to help combat negative emotions and bring in a more positive outlook.
Bergamot: an uplifting and soothing citrus oil, bergamot is the perfect option for when you’re feeling stressed or tense.
Clary Sage: an uplifting oil great for helping combat situational anxiety and depression, Clary Sage is a great option for boosting your mood, relaxing, and opening yourself up to inspiration. It’s also especially comforting during your monthly cycle.
Ylang Ylang: a great emotional support oil, Ylang Ylang is known for it’s uplifting properties. Some say it creates a sense of joy or euphoria. This is an especially helpful oil when dealing with shock or trauma.
Geranium: a stabilizing oil that’s great for mood swings, irritability, and anxiety, Geranium oil can help ground you in the present and open your mind to new ideas.
Peppermint: an energizing oil, Peppermint is known to stimulate and awaken the nerves in the brain. Use Peppermint oil for an energy boost and to enhance alertness and focus.
Roman Chamomile: a deeply calming oil, Roman Chamomile is great for easing general mild anxiety and promoting sleep. Use Roman Chamomile if you need to sooth your nerves, calm down, and feel grounded.
Some extra reading:
Want to learn more about essential oils and emotions? Check out some of these links below from trusted sources:
- Essential Oils for Emotional Support from Aromatics International
- This post from Eden’s Garden includes a super helpful print-out to reference
- This study outlines the effectiveness of aromatherapy for depression
How to Boost Your Mood with Aromatherapy
There are many ways to experience the benefits of aromatherapy. The number one thing to remember when using essential oils for emotional support is that our sense of smell is directly tied to our emotions.
Knowing that, you know that all you need to do is smell the essential oils to get the benefits.
Of course, the most popular way to do that is to diffuse essential oils. You’ll need a diffuser (like this one), but if you ask me, that’s the single best purchase I’ve ever made. Start with just one oil at a time, and once you ready to mix things up, check out this post and this post for some diffuser recipes to try!
But, if you don’t want to use a diffuser yet, try using a piece of diffuser jewelry! Here’s an easy DIY you can make in no time, but you can also use any natural leather or suede jewelry you already have on hand.
I also love using these essential oil inhalers. They’re a great option if you want to use essential oils in public without bothering those around you. (Say, on a plane or a bus, or in a crowded theater or store). You just put a few drops of oil on the inner wick and enjoy it over and over!
And, finally, you can create a roller bottle with your favorite oil to wear as a perfume. They’re incredibly easy to make. You just need roller bottles, a carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil) and about 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil. The video below walks you through the process of making a roller bottle blend, so be sure to watch it and give it a try!
Support Your Emotional Needs with Essential Oils
Can you use essential oils for emotional support? Absolutely. The simple act of smelling your oils activates the part of your brain that stores emotions. That means you can use this list of oils to help support and control your emotions through diffusing, or even just sniffing them.
Want to grab a few of these oils to try? You can shop our favorites right here.
Learn more about aromatherapy and essential oils here:
- Essential Oil Focus Blend Roller Bottle Recipe
- Essential Oils For Kids: Our Family’s Favorites
- Why I Quit Young Living Essential Oils
- Essential Oils Don’t Work! (And What to do About it)
- The Best Essential Oils for Skincare