Who or what picks you up when you’re feeling down?
Maybe you have a team of people who manage to lift you up. Or perhaps there are certain activities you embrace when life throws you a curve ball. Using essential oils for mental health wellbeing can form part of a holistic approach, but what if you are unsure of how to use them or even which ones to use. Here is my go-to list of essential oils for mental health wellbeing.
What is Mental Health Wellbeing?
Before looking at the benefits of using aromatherapy to naturally support a persons mental health, it may first be useful to identify exactly what Mental health wellbeing is.
The World Health Organisation describe it as a “state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Mind is a leading charity in the UK (and a charity that I used to work for) that provides help and support for anyone suffering. They expand on the World Health Organisation definition by describing mental wellbeing as your mental state – that is, how you are feeling and how well you can cope with day-day life.
Mind recognise good mental wellbeing as being able to
- feel relatively confident in yourself and have positive self-esteem
- feel and express a range of emotions
- build and maintain good relationships with others
- feel engaged with the world around you
- live and work productively
- cope with the stresses of daily life
- adapt and manage in times of change and uncertainty
There are a number of ways that we can help ourselves to improve our mental wellbeing in terms of doing different activities, support groups, relaxation techniques.
The Mind website is a great source of information.
Using aromatherapy for mental health
Aromatherapy encompasses the holistic approach to wellbeing in that it treats the person as a whole rather than targeting the symptoms. Essential oils are often used to soothe and calm emotions that are often associated with mental health issues such as stress. So rather than suppressing the stress with conventional drugs, aromatherapy aims to treat the wellbeing of the person so that the person is then more able to deal with the stress.
There are a number of essential oils that are known for their relaxing, uplifting, balancing and healing properties and these can be used by the majority of people to ease the tensions that day to day life can bring with it.
Mood lifting essential oils
Aromatherapy is often used as a way to enhance our moods. The effects of certain essential oils are thought to have a positive affect on the nervous system leaving a person feeling revitalised.
Coriander is a fresh, sweet and spicy essential oil with floral and citrus notes. It is a supportive oil that can help to balance the mind.
Cypress has a woody yet sweet aroma and is often referred to as a warming and uplifting essential oil. It is a beautiful choice when we are in need of some comfort.
Neroli is extracted from the blossom of the bitter orange tree and is widely used to calm and refresh an anxious mind.
Rose is widely known for it’s beauty as a plant and it does not disappoint with its floral aroma. This refreshing essential oil supports wellbeing with it’s calming and uplifting properties.
Sweet orange is extracted from the peel of the orange and has a refreshing and uplifting aroma that can energise the mind and lift the spirits.
Ylang ylang is an uplifting floral aroma that can nourish our wellbeing through its calming properties.
Essential oils for focus
Lemon has a fresh citrus aroma that is ideal for times when mental fatigue has hit. Its refreshing qualities can prove helpful when the mind needs to be focussed.
Peppermint is a fresh essential oil with a strong menthol aroma. It can refresh the mind making it an uplifting oil ideal for helping the mind to focus.
Rosemary is extracted by steam distillation of the flowering tops of the herb. It has a fresh herbaceous aroma and has been widely reported to help with memory and concentration.
Essential oils for relaxation
Essential oils have been used as an aide for relaxation for hundreds of years. Whether their use is through a relaxing bath or an aromatherapy massage there are some essential oils that are perfectly suited to support and relax the mind and body. Essential oils can be used to promote relaxation which makes them ideal for use throughout the evening before falling asleep.
Chamomile There are two types of chamomile; blue and German. Both types possess relaxing and soothing qualities that can support a calming nightly routine.
Clary sage is a must have oil for women! This oil is a great support to women’s health with it’s relaxing and balancing qualities it is often used to relieve menstrual and menopausal symptoms.
Lavender is perhaps one of the most frequently used essential oils due to it’s ability to support so many emotions. It is a light floral essential oil that can balance and restore our mind and body
Marjoram with warming and relaxing properties this essential oil can promote a good nights sleep.
Petitgrain The calming and anxiety reducing effects of petitgrain suggest that this is an effective oil to support sleep
Developing a nightly routine using essential oils can include relaxing into an aromatherapy bath. For essential oil recipes try these ideas.
Balancing essential oils
There are times when emotions can be all over the place. During these times essential oils can be used to balance and ground our emotions.
Bergamot, a personal favourite and forms the basis of so many diffusing blends. It has a cheerful aroma that can ease anxiety and enhance our wellbeing
Cedarwood has a warm sweet top note that balances and the emotions
Geranium is a floral essential oil with a strong yet sweet aroma. It is a soothing oil that can be used when emotions need some TLC.
Patchouli, an earthy and musky aroma that was very popular during the 60’s era. It can be used as a support during times of stress and nervous exhaustion.
If you are unsure if aromatherapy is safe for you to use this post covers many of the safety questions asked.
Want to start diffusing essential oils, why not try this uplifting blend here.
This year through sales of My Safe Place I have been supporting the charity Young Minds.
My Safe Place, is an aromatherapy perfume, blended with calming and supportive essential oils designed to balance the emotions. Throughout 2018, 10% of the profits from every sale of My Safe Place will be donated to YoungMinds.
Find out more about YoungMinds and the work they do supporting children and young adult’s mental wellbeing here
If you would like to find out more or purchase My Safe Place you can shop here