Aromatherapy for Mental Health — It’s a No-Brainer!
By Caryn Gehlmann
Brain fog, migraines, anxiety, depression… the underlying conditions behind these symptoms can be complex and varied. For many of us, the pandemic has added an additional layer of mental fatigue. The good news is there are steps you can take to be proactive, such as using aromatherapy for mental health and avoiding aromas that do more damage than good! That will be the topic we’ll explore with 3 tips in this month’s “Just for the Smell of It” post.
#1 Aromatherapy is beneficial to mental health WHEN it comes from nature.
Aromatherapy has been proven in study after study to help people cope with mental health challenges. I appreciated this article by the Amen Clinic on, 10 Out of the Box Therapies for Mental Health Issues that are backed by science. Number seven on their list is aromatherapy! The article states, “Certain scents are known to have therapeutic effects, including lavender to help with mood and sleep), ylang ylang for memory and emotional trauma, peppermint and eucalyptus for energy and focus, and jasmine and chamomile to calm anxiety and promote sleep.”
If you want to explore how to use aromatherapy for mental health, here are a few blog posts that can help you get started:
Aromatherapy to Help Manage Work Stress & Anxiety
Winter Blues? Essential Oils for SAD
Can Scent Affect Your Mood and Improve It? Yes!
Essential Oils for Insomnia Soothe Sleepless Nights
Health Benefits of Diaphragmatic Breathing (This is one of my favorite go-to stress busters!)
And I’ve said many times, listen to your nose! Reading articles is a great starting point, but since we’re talking about “aroma-therapy” you need to start smelling and see what your body responds to. Take advantage of e3’s sample policy, if you want to try a few options to see what you find most helpful.
#2 Fragrances can be harmful to mental health WHEN it comes from a lab.
So the fact that scents can make us feel happier means we should start using air fresheners, perfumes, and anything that seems to “smell good” to us? Caution is needed. Synthetic fragrances trigger allergic and asthmatic responses for many, and studies are showing just how hazardous indoor air pollution can be.
In fact, I was initially introduced to essential oils over 30 years ago when I was searching for a chemical-free fragrance, since synthetic perfumes gave me headaches. It turns out I’m not the only one who has experienced negative side-effects to fragrances. I found this article, How perfumers walk the fine line between natural and synthetic, to be a fascinating read on how perfumers are going back to the original technique of making fragrance from flowers rather than synthetics. Did you know synthetics gained popularity in 1921 when it was used to make Chanel No. 5? It isn’t easy but it’s important to make informed choices when it comes to the scents you introduce into your home. If you’re interested in using essential oils, instead of synthetic fragrances, here are a few articles that can help you get started:
How to Make Essential Oil Chemical-Free Fragrance
Guidelines for Choosing Natural Skin Care Products
Hydrosols for Pets — The Safest Aromatherapy Option
Essential Oils That Clean the Air! Purify Naturally
Best Essential Oils for Cleaning Your Home Naturally
#3 Aromatherapy for mental health on the GO.
Most of our e3 community have already experienced the benefits of aromatherapy to their mental health and well-being. But sometimes they’re stumped about how to take those benefits with them. They love using their aromatherapy diffuser at home, but sometimes they’re feeling anxious or stressed at work, in the car commuting, at the grocery store, doctor’s office, etc.
We recently had a question from one of our readers:
“Do you carry car atomizers or a way to diffuse in the car?”
My response: “No, we do not have any car diffusers but a really simple way is to add drops of your essential oil you love on a cotton ball and put two cotton balls under the front seat and the passenger seat and simply change them out weekly.”
It’s really that simple! Other options include pocket-size aromatherapy inhalers, aromatherapy bracelets, and face mask spritzers. You don’t need to wait until you get home and start up your diffuser, try to give yourself an “aromatherapy moment” whenever and wherever you need to!
If you have a question for me on how to optimize your use of aromatherapy for mental health or other health concerns, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you. And to receive more suggestions on aromatherapy and get a 20% off coupon, sign-up for our newsletter.