Fragrance can have a profound effect on your mood and state of mind. Scent molecules are registered by olfactory receptors in your nose, which connect directly to your brain's emotion-controlling limbic system.
Aromatherapy can perk us up when we're feeling down, calm our nerves when we're feeling tense, perhaps before an important meeting or first date, and lift us out of depression.
The zesty citrus scents of lemon, lime and tangerine instil feelings of summer cheerfulness, leaving us refreshed. Chamomile and clary sage can counteract emotional exhaustion.
Exquisite flower oils such as rose, jasmine and ylang ylang impart warm euphoric feelings and dispel deep-seated feelings of anger, gloom and misery. They can all be used in massage, bath oils or as natural perfume.
How to Blend Oils to Enhance Your Mood
If you're feeling dull and listless, use more drops of top note oils in your blend. If your moods are swinging up and down, balance them with a blend based on middle notes. Base note oils are more sedative and will calm deep-seated emotions.
Top Notes (uplifting)
Middle Notes (Balancing)
Base Notes (Calming, Reassuring)
(60% top 30% middle 10% base)
(20% top 60% middle 20% base)
Energise the Mind
(80% top 20% middle)
Create an Uplifting Atmosphere
Surround yourself with subtle aromas by releasing the scents of uplifting essential oils in a vaporiser. Add 6-10 drops of oil to the water bowl and sit back as the fragrance spreads through the room and lifts your spirits.
- The natural light of scented candles also help to relax you, easing tension and anger at the end of a trying day.
- Light, citrus oils evaporate quickly. If you're burning an invigorating blend, mix more than you need so that you can top up the vaporiser during the evening.
After a frustrating day, create a calming but uplifting atmosphere at home with the following vaporiser blend:
- 4 drops geranium
- 3 drops lavender
- 3 drops bergamot
Pulse Point Power
A quick dab of blended oil on your pulse points can instantly boost, or calm, your mood.
- Start by adding 10 drops of your blended oils to 30ml of carrier oil
- A base-note heavy blend, such as containing sandalwood and rose, will help you to deal with sudden pangs of grief after the death of a loved one or pet.
- A balancing blend such as lavender and geranium will help ease your PMS mood swings.
Aromatic bathing is one of the easiest and most pleasurable ways of enhancing your mood. It is particularly beneficial for relaxation, with the warm water and oils acting on the body and mind, releasing feelings of tension, anxiety and agitation.
- Add 5-6 drops of oil to a steaming bathtub and swirl to disperse. Soak for 10-15 minutes, inhaling the steam. Use subdued lighting or candlelight for peaceful meditation.
- Rose and geranium are a good combination for lifting the spirits.
- If you have sensitive skin, place the oils in a nearby basin of hot water. You will still benefit from the scents.
Mood Enhancing Massage
An aromatic massage uses touch and scent, a synergistic combination for lifting the spirits.
Prepare your massage oil by blending 4-6 drops of essential oil with 30ml of a non-greasy carrier, such as grapeseed.
Massage can unlock your mind as well as your body, releasing pent up feelings of nervous tension and emotional frustration, which are often stored in the muscles. If it's you that's giving the massage, don't be surprised if you encounter an intense emotional response from your recipient.
Massages are best applied after a warm bath when the skin's pores are still open. This encourages the oil to be absorbed by the skin, and will have done wonders to relax you in the first place.