How Essential Oils Can Help Your Mental Health


      With the semester coming to an end, stress is at an all-time high. It is no secret that one must have different ways to relieve this stress in order to stay sane. But, it can be hard to de-stress because of the work that needs to get done. Using essential oils is a way to help improve your mental health while getting things done. Another word for this is aromatherapy. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy defines this as “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.” The most common way people use essential oils is through a diffuser, which can be purchased separately online or in stores. This can be the most effective for some people due to correlation between scent and brain activity. The Essence of Arcadia explains how this works: “Aromatherapy works by delivering molecules from essential oils directly to the limbic system of the brain through the olfactory (smell) system. The limbic system is considered the emotional center of the brain and communicates with the nervous system to affect things such as heartrate and hormone secretion.” This is why it is said to be revitalizing for the mind, body, and soul. There are endless possibilities when choosing what fragrances work right for you. Luckily, there are many different blends that are said to help various moods and mental illnesses.


Depression and Anxiety

       Those with depression know how easily it can drag you down and make it hard to accomplish anything. Depression can cause an overabundance of symptoms such as irritability, loss of appetite, anxiety, loss of sleep, etc.  Anxiety sometimes goes hand-in-hand with depression, as it causes people to feel uneasy or worried for any or no reason. One of the best oils to help relieve these feelings is lavender. Its natural analgesic properties make it the perfect oil to rely on for relaxation, and its flowery scent make the room feel cozy and calm. It tackles both depression and anxiety by sending a calming feeling throughout your body.

     Vanilla essential oil can also be the perfect fit for someone struggling with depression and/or anxiety. According to, “Vanillin hydroxybenzaldehyde, a component of vanilla essential oil, is an effective antidepressant and mood lifter.” The calming impact this oil has on the brain is compared to what anti-depressants do to the brain. This is another oil that smells amazing and has remarkable benefits.

    Bergamot oil is another one that is recommended for depression and anxiety. This citrus smelling oil has properties that have been proven to reduce stress, weariness, muscle tensions, and heart rates. Not only this, but bergamot oil can also activate hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which helps people feel relaxed.  

      Lemon oil is yet another scent that smells fresh and doubles as a stress reliever. Inhaling the scent of lemon oil can create a new and positive mindset while leaving negative thoughts behind. The cleanliness of the smell intensifies alertness and can help you concentrate. It is also said to help those suffering from insomnia, which is another symptom of depression and anxiety.