Today, quite frankly, has sucked. It seems like I’m behind on about a zillion deadlines, yet lost a huge chunk of productive time thanks to traffic, an oil change I forgot I scheduled (in rush hour no less), a trip to the store I put off until the last possible moment, and my cat’s recent discovery that if I don’t open the porch door when he sits and meows at it, he can annoy me into doing so by jumping onto my hands while I’m typing. Oh, and I’m trying to quit coffee. It’s not going well. Luckily, essential oils can play a big role in elevating my mood, especially after days like today.
I’m sitting here hours past my normal work quitting time, irritated (did I mention a bunch of the keys on my laptop don’t work because I spilled tea on it—while I was pulling an all-nighter last week?), and feeling pretty sorry for myself. It’s easy to fall into these bad-mood traps, especially when you have something or someone to blame. But many times it’s also pretty easy to get out of them, using simple tricks like meditation, exercise, paying attention to your breathing, eating better, and practices like aromatherapy.
We love DoTerra essential oils, and they’ve put together this awesome list of oils that can help you manage your moods, whether you’re prone to occasional bouts of the blues, or agitation and anxiety are more your issue (guilty!).
Essential oils are comprised of many different components that are unique to each individual oil. These compounds have the ability to stimulate or affect different areas of the body, including the brain. When essential oils are inhaled, they can affect emotions, stress levels, memory, mood, sleep, and more, due to their ability to stimulate the limbic system.
Read up on the different ways to use essential oils, then pick your favorites from the list below:
10 Best Essential Oils for Mood
Lavender is one of the most versatile oils, which is why we love it so much. In addition to being calming and inducing sleep, it eases depression and anxiety. Lavender’s benefits are also increased when combined with other essential oils, making it ideal to use in mood-lifting blends. The lavender bottle is usually my first stop when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Frankincense can help ground you when you feel anything but. It promotes relaxation and can help with depression. It’s great for tension and stress and can even help deepen and slow down breathing. It’s especially nice when used in blends, helping to round out the scent and provide depth.
3. Wild Orange
If your blues are accompanied by low energy, try refreshing and invigorating wild orange. It’s pretty hard to feel down in the dumps with this essential oil around, and it’s been shown to increase positivity. Its sweet citrusy smell can naturally boost your mood on its own, but it also blends really well with many other oils.
Peppermint essential oil has amazing mood calming powers. Not only does it help soothe digestive upset and headaches, it boosts your energy, clears your mind, and has even been shown to improve cognitive performance. I keep a peppermint essential oil roller ball at my desk, and always keep mint tea in the house—I think of them as my “reset” buttons when I know it’s going to be a long day.
You know that lovely, calming, slightly citrusy scent of Earl Grey tea? That’s bergamot. This essential oil helps improve your mood, soothe anxiety, and promotes the ability to let things go when we’re clinging to bad feelings or situations. It’s great for stress and tension and can even help reduce feelings of fear.
Furthermore, it has an absolutely delightful smell that is sure to perk you up and boost your mood. One study showed that it can even improve positive thinking!
6. Ylang Ylang
If you’re sad, ylang ylang can help take the edge off. It also helps lower your blood pressure, which is especially important if you’re feeling upset or anxious. It’s also one of the more exotic-smelling essential oils, naturally making you feel pampered by its beautiful floral aroma.
Additionally, not only is it helpful for boosting your mood, but it can also help you get “in the mood” as well. As a natural aphrodisiac, it’s a great option to consider to help set the mood.
Lemongrass’ earthier cousin can help if your bad mood is rooted in nervous energy, anxiety or anger. It’s a very grounding essential oil, both in aroma and benefits. Vetiver is a favorite among many essential oil users and with good reason. It can balance out and anchor a blend and it can also help you relax and help promote sleep as well.
If focus, relaxation or sleep are what you’re after, sandalwood is the essential oil for you. It can help calm your nerves, reduce tension, and boost your mood. And like ylang ylang, sandalwood is also an aphrodisiac and can help set the mood for romance. It would be a fantastic addition to a DIY perfume blend as it can help balance out the aroma.
This earthy, uplifting scent can promote concentration, relieve fatigue and even have antidepressant-like effects. Rosemary is known as the “herb of remembrance” and is therefore considered beneficial in boosting memory. It would be especially beneficial when prepping for an important meeting, studying for a test, or any other time when concentration and recall are crucial.
10. Roman Chamomile
You know chamomile for its sleep-inducing powers, but this calming oil also eases depression and sadness, and promotes relaxation. It’s useful for stress and anxiety and is often used in blends for fussy or colicky babies as well. It has a sweet fruity aroma that blends well with other stress-relieving and mood-boosting essential oils.
What are your favorite essential oils for managing your mood?
Photo by Lindsey Johnson, Graphic by Gaby Burger29