It’s pretty safe to say that you will have a hard time overestimating the importance of mood to your general health. Not only do our moods determine our current emotional state and the baseline to which you’re going to return after spikes of good or bad emotions, but many studies have shown that your mood can affect your mental and physical health.
The importance of mood boils down to being able to protect yourself when you’re in a good mood and remedy things when you’re not. There are many options to address this issue and one of the major ones that have received attention in recent years is the use of aromatherapy, especially aromatherapy using essential oils and in conjunction with meditation.
Even without meditation, there’s a lot of intrigue behind the sense of smell and how it can be used to help stimulate powerful emotional responses. Good aromatherapy can potentially do a lot to help improve your mood, but as with any other practices, there are right and wrong ways of doing things. By studying what aromatherapy has to offer and how the right essential oils come into play, you can also take advantage of the mood-boosting ability this practice boasts.
Just How Effective Is Aromatherapy?
In short, aromatherapy is extremely effective for many different reasons. One major study released in 2017 showed that when taking a holistic approach to dealing with depression, many patients in the control group that used various methods of aromatherapy saw noticeable improvements above and beyond those in the group who used other treatments without aromatherapy. This included individuals in both groups who reacted well to treatment and those who struggled to find practices that worked. In both cases, adding aromatherapy seemed to make the battle against depression just a little bit easier than before.1
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This is just one of many different sources that points to a study that mentions some of the effects of aromatherapy when it comes to mood. The fighting of depression alone makes it worthwhile to look at when trying out various practices to push your mood towards the sunshine side of things. However, there are also plenty of reports of the right aromatherapy practices helping with anxiety, stress, and other related issues, as well.2
In other words, there is a growing body of clinical and scientific evidence that is supporting what many thousands of people have been saying all along based on their own experience: aromatherapy using essential oils can have a really positive benefit not only to the temporary emotional state but also to the mood behind it.
If you’re looking not only to be happy but to move that to a more permanent mood of being content, then this is a great practice to start with. If you’ve been trying to meditate, you may find that not only is this the perfect compliment to that practice but it enhances both the practice and the positive effects that you experience as a result.
This is not a new phenomenon, either. Essential oils have been used in one form or another for centuries as a form of therapy and alternative medicine and even in modern times, studies on essential oil use have been going on for decades. The 1998 study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Health on the healing effects of aromatherapy using essential oils proves that.3,4
Beyond even the direct results on stress and anxiety and other influencers of mood, there are also the simple benefits that come from being able to relax, as well as getting a better night’s sleep or the additional benefits that come from pain relief. All of these potential benefits work together to create a positive net mood effect.
So if aromatherapy has the ability to improve your mood, what’s the best practical way for you to utilize that?
What Methods Of Aromatherapy Are Effective?
There are actually a few different methods of using healing oils in an aromatherapy style of healing. While some are more popular than others (and some a bit controversial), that doesn’t necessarily mean one method is better than another. All of these have been used by some individuals with different amounts of success. Keep in mind that although there are some ways that a type of healing oil can appear in multiple ways, in this case, the focus is specifically on aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy Via Diffusion
The most common method of combining the healing potential and positive mood-altering effects of essential oils with aromatherapy is through diffusion. A diffuser is actually very similar to a humidifier in a lot of ways but is much better in breaking down the essential oil to more microscopic levels to make them easier to inhale. This makes it far easier for people to use aromatherapy to heal because they can inhale and interact with the healing properties much more easily.
These are especially good for rooms where you meditate, sleep, or spend a lot of time. This allows you to bring in a constant yet subtle stream of healing from essential oil aromatherapy. It can be used not only for making your mood better but also for helping to strengthen your system against a variety of other ailments. This is because a consistent exposure to the very fine vapor these provide means you are going to be putting yourself in an environment that encourages and supports a better mood, even at a cellular level.
This is an important time to note that this is the same relative method as using aromatherapy via humidifiers, just that while humidifiers are fine for putting moisture into the dry air, they’re not nearly as good for diffusion. They are acceptable if there is nothing else, but they won’t provide the maximum benefits.5
This is a pretty simple option, and although many would argue it isn’t nearly as good as using a diffuser, this is very much a solid option when a diffuser isn’t available. A good room spray can be mixed to work like a variety of other sprays you would use around the house without the release of toxic chemicals that can be found within sprays bought at the store.
The point here is to use a mix that you like and know you are likely to react positively to. Create a mixture in a glass bottle so as to not transfer any toxins from a plastic one, and then spray in a room while you are there or in an area before you sit down to work or relax. There are several recipes to be found online for creating room sprays using essential oils. These sprays may not fully diffuse the essential oil as thoroughly as some of the other options, however, they are another way that you will be able to use essential oils in aromatherapy to get the full mood-boosting benefits that they offer. However, if you are looking for something for your diffuser, try one of MONQ’s bottled blends to experience the full effects of blends made to be enjoyed.
There’s nothing wrong with trying out both methods and seeing which one you prefer and most importantly, which one works for you.
Don’t Be Afraid To Customize Your Scents
If your life involved spending a lot of time in the great outdoors during a happy childhood, or early adulthood, then experiment with spruce and other forest-related scents. If the happiest memories come from homemade desserts cooking during the holidays, make sure to throw in some cinnamon essential oil flavoring and maybe a bit of peppermint. There are so many different scent combinations, finding the best ones that work to help set you to a higher state of mood may take some time, but this is something that is well worth the effort!
Start with the most popular essential oils, ones with a solid reputation over time from having worked well, and try those. Then try mixing them. If you can easily identify some other scents that you really enjoy or might bring back some smiles from good memories then throw them into the mix (literally!) as well and see what you come up with!
Obviously, there’s little question which side of the debate we’re on – because the repeated studies are pretty clear about it. Aromatherapy is an outstanding way to help make you happy and improve your mood. Whether you prefer the natural scents of the forest, the crisp fresh experience of peppermint, or the familiar comforting spice of cinnamon, there’s going to be an oil or blend of oils that is right for you.
Getting into that right frame of mind can be a challenge, for sure, but when you focus on positive emotions like happiness and love, choose the scented oils that can have a strong personal effect on you via aromatherapy, and take care of the other important factors to mood like diet, exercise, meditation, and connecting to nature and you will be rewarded. Your body isn’t looking to punish you just for the heck of it – and you might be surprised how much a few small changes and some really focused aromatherapy can make.
Photo credits: NanakoYamanaka/shutterstock.com, JulyProkopiv/shutterstock.com, MadeleineSteinbach/shutterstock.com