Winter time can be tough. It’s cold in the UK. We’re stuck inside and the lack of sunshine (and let’s face it, sometimes life) can cause us to feel down. So other than a trip to a sunny destination; are there any natural remedies that can help lift our spirits? What can we do to give ourselves a boost when we’re feeling low? Some essential oils have been scientifically proven to lift your mood. Research shows inhaling their scent can raise our spirits and make us feel better.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils contain the scent of the plant they come from – their essence. They work through the body’s olfactory system (our sense of smell), which is directly linked to our limbic system (the part of the brain that controls our moods and emotions). This is why a scent can bring back happy memories, as well as sad ones too.
It’s been proven that music can trigger our emotions. How many times have you cried to a song because it reminds you of a break up or a difficult time? I genuinely can’t listen (and I don’t mean this in an ironic sense) to ‘Everytime’ by Britney Spears without it transmitting me back to the 00s when I was putting my heart back to pieces.
There’s less research on our reaction to smell. However, in the same way as sound, it can trigger a personal response or revoke a memory. This is why essential oils impact on our mood.
10 best essential oils for lifting your mood
1. Lavender Essential Oil
I’ve always been a bit judgemental towards lavender feeling it was a scent for the older woman… However, I’ve done a complete 180; it’s one of THE most useful essential oils to have in your collection. It’s calming, balancing, and promotes a sense of wellbeing.
2. Orange Essential Oil
All the citrus essential oils have a zesty smell and have a zesty effect on our mood. They’re uplifting and make us feel more positive.
3. Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot is one of my favourite scents. It’s refreshing, uplifting and can help diffuse stress and tension.
4. Frankincense Essential Oil
Helps to balance our emotions and create a sense of inner peace.
5. Cedarwood Essential Oil
Soothes away tension, as well as being calming and relaxing.
6. Lemon Essential Oil
Another zesty scent which invigorates, uplifts our mood and energy levels.
7. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Calming and relaxing. It may also help alleviate anger.
8. Vetiver Essential Oil
Calming, grounding and balancing. Helps with stress and anxiety.
9. Clary Sage Essential Oil
Helps emotional stress, soothing, warming, feeling of self-confidence.
10. Grapefruit Essential Oil
Uplifting, providing relief from mental fatigue and enhances our mood.
How to blend essential oils
Oils from the same family (citrus for example) tend to blend well together.
Spice and citrus blends work well together, such as ginger and lemon, cinnamon and sweet orange.
Woody scents and citrus also blend well. Examples are rosewood and bergamot, cedarwood and lime. Woody scents are said to be grounding and in combination with zesty essential oils will lift your mood.
How to use essential oils
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways. Here are 2 ideas below.
Add 4 drops of lemon essential oil and 4 drops of ylang ylang to a warm bath just before you step in for a quick pick-me-up. Or if you need an extra boost, try adding 4 drops of mandarin with 4 drops of bergamot to the bathtub to feel wonderfully rejuvenated.
Add 6 drops of lemon, 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of bergamot to a burner or diffuser to lift your mood and make your spirits soar.