Use Essential Oils to Improve Your Mood
For centuries, aromatherapists have endorsed how essential oils have the power to affect and influence a person’s mood. Now, modern day research has revealed that it is indeed possible to improve one’s mood and reduce stress by regularly smelling essential oils. There are also proven physical benefits to smelling essential oils, such as treating acne, improving digestion, and alleviating headaches.
So, if you are looking to rebalance your mood by reducing stress and negative emotions, look no further. When used regularly, essential oils have the power to drastically ameliorate one’s mood. For thousands of years, essential oils have safely been used to uplift spirits, promote happiness, and maintain a balanced mood.
Pondering which essential oils could be beneficial for you specifically? Then keep reading.
This might sound weird, but what are essential oils?
Essential oils are the essences extracted from plants through a distillation process that captures the plant’s scent and flavor. In some plants, the oil is taken from dried seeds, peels, or resin. Other oils come from leaves, roots, bark or flowers. In addition to aromatherapy, essential oils have been used throughout history as cosmetics, perfumes and for medicinal purposes. Read below to learn how essential oils from the citrus family can help raise your spirits, maintain a good mood, and promote a happier outlook on life.
Increase Energy with Citrus Essential Oil
If your spirits are down, a sniff of an essential oil from the citrus family will help to boost your disposition. The fruit and oils from the citrus family are yellow or orange in color, just like the sun, which provides the source of energy and nutrition for citrus plants. Citrus essential oils are like stored sunshine in a bottle; they embody warmth, energy, and happiness.
Citrus Essential Oils Improve Mood, Health and Productivity
Generally, citrus oils are used as a main ingredient in mood boosting oil blends. Aromatherapy experts call them the “happy” oils, due to their ability to improve mood and energy when inhaled. Using different combinations of oils, such as pink grapefruit, lemon, orange and bergamot will create varying scent profiles and provide numerous combinations of health benefits. Read on for some of our top tips for using citrus essential oils for an uplifting sensory experience!
What Makes Citrus a “Happy” Oil?
So how do citrus essential oils make one “happy” per se? It has been shown in studies that the aromatic molecules present in citrus oils cross the blood-brain barrier when inhaled, having a direct impact on areas of the brain that control feelings of anxiety and depression. The nerve cells in the nose detect a smell – such as candied and animated bergamot, for example – and send a message through the olfactory nerve to the brain. The brain receives this scent message through an area of the brain called the limbic system, an area that is directly related to emotional well-being, pain and pleasure. The limbic system is also linked to memory and emotional responses, so aromatherapy can be used as a tool to trigger calming memories and positive sentimental responses. For these reasons, citrus aromatherapy is a powerful tool for treating depression.
Specific Citrus Benefits
Each citrus essential oil has its own mood-enhancing benefits. Different citrus essential oils include bergamot, blood orange, citronella, lemongrass, lime, mandarin orange, neroli, pink grapefruit, lemon, orange, and yuzu. All are instant pick-me-ups that include a variety of benefits. Additionally, the whole citrus oil family boasts a range of faint scent variations.
The oil extracted from the peel of the citrus fruit Citrus bergamia is widely used in aromatherapy. It has a pleasant aroma that can help lift our mood and help focus our mind. Earl Grey tea gets its well-known fragrance from bergamot extract.
Research on bergamot oil shows that it specifically promotes relaxation. For instance, a study in 2017 from Phytotherapy Research, discovered that exposure to the smell of bergamot oil for about 15 minutes enhanced participants’ positive feelings while in a waiting room at a doctor’s office.
In another study from 2015, bergamot essential oil was found to improve negative emotions and fatigue, and also lower saliva cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
If you decide to use bergamot oil for stress relief and want to rebalance mood, this oil should be mixed with another carrier oil (such as jojoba oil, coconut oil or argan oil). It may be applied to skin sparingly or combined to a bath. Also, you may inhale the soothing scent by sprinkling one to two drops of oil onto a tissue or cloth, or by using a diffuser.
Citronella oil is used to reduce anxiety by relaxing one’s mind and body. In fact, for hundreds of years, citronella has been used to calm anxiety and panic attacks in Brazilian folk medicine, proving it has been a historically effective relaxation agent.
Not to worry, if you don’t like the strong taste of grapefruit, you don’t have to eat one to reap its psychological and emotional benefits. Just like other mood-boosting essential oils, grapefruit essential oil can help lower stress, depression and anxiety. This oil can also really boost up your mood, energy level, and mental clarity, especially when used first thing in the morning. You will also triumph over whatever emotional shifts you may normally experience daily.
A natural antibacterial agent and stimulant, lemon oil diffused into the air gives one a purifying and exhilarating effect. The crisp, clean scent of lemon essential oil will boost and energize your mind and put a hop in your step. It has an admirably saucy, sharp and invigorating aroma that has been used traditionally as an antiseptic and purifier.
Another oil from the citrus family that is a natural remedy for anxiety is lemongrass. Breathing in the scent of lemongrass oil is thought to promote relaxation and decrease anxiety symptoms.
Regardless of the limited research on the influence of lemongrass essential oil, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2015 found that participants exposed to lemongrass essential oil had a nearly instantaneous reduction in anxiety and emotional tension.
Another citrusy restorative, lime essential oil adds some zest to anti-anxiety blends, with its natural chemical properties that acts as a tonic for those battling chronic stress. Make sure to diffuse several drops of lemon, lime, and blood orange in the morning to start your day off with a fragrant rebalancing mood boost. Lime essential oil is naturally up-lifting and encourages a positive mindset. Try adding a few drops to your bath oil, or to your lotion, since it may dissipate quickly.
The entire family of citrus oils is useful for mood and stress relief because of the d-limonene molecule. While orange essential oil has among the highest levels, lime essential oil should not be overlooked as a d-limonene rich option.
Mandarin essential oil is often used by aromatherapists as an addition to general tonics which help with stress and tension, since it has a charmingly encouraging scent. Also, you can add it to massage blends to help boost circulation and reduce water retention.
Neroli Essential Oil
An aromatherapy remedy with a sweet and spicy aroma, neroli essential oil is often used to calm stress and anxiety as well. Enthusiasts claim that inhaling in the scent of this essential oil can help promote calmness and stop extreme worrying.
Though there is limited research regarding the health effects of neroli essential oil, one study, published in Hepato-gastroenterology, evaluated participants who inhaled either neroli oil or sun flower oil before undergoing a colonoscopy. Participants who had inhaled neroli oil had lower blood pressure and reported fewer anxiety and pain symptoms.
Orange essential oil has a powerful chemical component called limonene, which has been shown to reduce anxiety as well as lower heart rate. For this reason, orange is used topically or inhaled, which can be a highly effective therapy for physiological symptoms of anxiety.
Orange essential oil is one of the most powerful types of citrus essential oils, with the potential to alleviate stress, and help make you feel happier and more energized. They can be a very helpful aid when it comes to taking a healing holistic path, when wanting to treat mental and physical health. Just like lemon essential oil’s properties, orange essential oil’s citrus properties make it emotionally and spiritually uplifting.
Orange has long been observed to have calming effects on the human nervous system. There is now modern-day research to reinforce ancient knowledge. In 2013, a study in Advanced Biomedical Research on 30 children, aged 6-9, about to undergo two dental procedures, reached an appealing conclusion. Each child was given essential oil treatments with orange in one session and no essential oil during their second visit. The researchers discovered that the children had reduced cortisol levels and pulse rates when receiving the essential oils, which led to decreased anxiety. Consecutive research in 2014 on 56 adults had similar findings.
One of the most effective citrus oils used for treating the blues is the racy blood orange. Even though it shares the same name as its sister, the sweet orange, blood orange is often chosen for its more complicated aroma and powerful antidepressant qualities.
Pink Grapefruit oil has an uplifting and relaxing effect on the mind. It encourages positive feelings of positivity and helps relieve stress and calms anxiety. You can thank the aroma for the effects, due to it exhilarating certain hormones which elevate the mind and senses. This floral, citrus oil is a bit bitter but is also bright and invigorating and is great for an at-home spa treatment.
Just the very smell of sweet orange essential oil can inspire you with happy thoughts and bring a smile to your face. It is the most frequently used oil in aromatherapy. It creates a cheerful, carefree disposition, and works effectively as a mood enhancer, which is perfect for people who suffer from depression or constant stress and anxiety. Information published in the Advanced Biomedical Research journal suggests that natural essential oil of sweet orange helps reduce pulse rate and salivary cortisol that is secreted when one is in a state of anxiety.
Tangerine essential oil is commonly used as a relaxing agent. It is also able to soothe and calm your agitated and frayed nerves. It has a sedative effect that can help calm and relieve nervousness and anxiety. You will feel rebalanced after using tangerine essential oil. Your tension and emotional imbalances will fade away. Use of tangerine essential oil is also known to help one maintain a healthy sleeping pattern.
Whenever you feel stuck, overwhelmed or overworked, diffuse some of this essential oil in your room or office for an instant pick-me-up and mood lifter!
Yuzu Essential Oil
Japanese yuzu essential oil is a well-kept secret that has long been used in aromatherapy. It is frequently praised as a natural, organic solution for stress and anxiety relief. It is believed that breathing in this citrus fragrance can restrain sympathetic nervous system activity and, in turn, promotes rebalancing and relaxation.
Just 10 minutes of inhalation with the yuzu scent was found to lessen salivary chromogranin (an indicator of stress and sympathetic nervous system activity) and reduce negative emotional stress, according to a scientific study.
Another study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, showed that inhalation of yuzu essential oil lowed anxiety levels in mothers caring for sick children at a pediatric clinic.
The Citrus Family of Essential Oils is the Way to Go
Sometimes it is healthier to take a holistic approach to dealing with depression, anxiety, and stress. Medications or psychotherapy may not be enough. Sometimes we just need a quick remedy that can help get through one minute to the next. If you need extra support to get yourself through the day, try a citrus essential oil! It can give you a much-needed energy boost, or you can use it as a pick-me-up whenever you need a mental or emotional rebalancing.
Essential oils can be used to promote good moods and happiness, while reducing physical and mental symptoms of anxiety and stress. As clearly shown here, the citrus family of essential oils is the way to go!
Don’t forget that using essential oils for happiness and a pick me up is incredibly helpful as a short-term solution. In the long run, be mindful of your personal goals and expectations for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Stick with your convictions, and you will ultimately achieve the positivity and good vibes you deserve. In the meantime, continue to explore the art and science of aromatherapy with new scents and various combinations of oils in order to make you feel happy, rebalanced, and full of joy!