Have you ever wanted a simple and practical therapy that helps ease your depression and anxiety, even just for an hour? Or maybe you’ve tried talking therapies, and you are looking for some extra oomph to your wellness package? Let me introduce you to aromatherapy to fight depression and anxiety. It works for me.
You may have heard of aromatherapy before, or you might be an avid user of diffusers with aromatherapy oils, but do you regularly use them as part of your self-care therapy? I have learned over the years that an aromatherapy care plan is essential for my wellbeing.
Warning: If you are bipolar, please do not use it when hypomanic, as aromatherapy can increase the intensity of the hypomanic state.
How To Use Aromatherapy To Fight Depression
There are some key differences between using aromatherapy to raise the mood or to calm the mind in the case of anxiety. I will start with the process I use when I am depressed and all the oils I use can be purchased online. I do recommend my favourite suppliers but the essential thing is you go for quality over price.
The cheaper the essential oil, the more likely it is to use a fake oil, meaning the aroma is probably produced with chemicals rather than actual plants. It needs to be organic, so if you can only afford one product, go for the most expensive you can afford. It is better to have one highly effective oil than several useless ones.
The Oils I Suggest for Depression are as follows:
- Any citrus oil
- Jasmine (use only a small amount. It can be overpowering)
- Pine (be careful with this one. Only a tiny amount needed as it can remind you of floor wash)
I tend to buy oils already mixed as, to be honest, I have neither the time to mix my own oils or the inclination, so I tend to buy them already premixed. Sometimes I buy organic beauty oils if I like the sound of the plant combinations.
I like to make sure I have at least half an hour to spare for this therapy as you really do not want to be distracted. You have to let other people you live with that this is vital for your wellbeing and could they give you thirty minutes of peace.
The first thing you need to do is set the scene. Light an unscented candle, pull the curtains and put some soft, gentle noises on, like the sound of the ocean. Or waves lapping against the shore or the sound of a river running over a cobbled river bed. You can normally get these sounds on Youtube but have the sounds in the background, don’t watch the video.
I normally focus on my face, neck and arms. If I want a full body massage, I save up for a spa day and visit a specialised aromatherapist masseur. But with Covid about, I’ve saved enough for two of them.
The oil you used is best in warm hands, and you want to pour a few drops onto your palm and then rub your hands together.
Start applying to your forehead in firm circular movements; as you do this, breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Then move down to your temples, following your cheekbones, then your cheeks. Move-in this circular movement to your jaw bone joint and continue massaging and breathing.
When you have massaged your face like this for a few minutes, move down to your neck with downward strokes and then upward, still breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Then add a few drops of oil to your left palm and rub firmly into your right arm until your hand has no more oil left on it. Repeat on the other arm.
You should already be feeling your mood lift. If you are starting to feel a little tired, blow your candle out and lie back, close your eyes and imagine the flowers or fruit of the oil you have just massaged into your face.
If you feel alive and vibrant, put that energy to good use and do a little dance. I have been known to jump around the room after an excellent massage.
Aromatherapy to fight depression is all about giving yourself so much needed time, and I know aromatherapy works as when I am hypomanic, it sends me more hypo. If it didn’t work, it would not do that.
Aromatherapy to Fight Anxiety
I use aromatherapy to help me when I feel anxious, along with other anxiety tips and tricks; you can read the article on here. However, the key oil to be used is Lavender, you can try others, but I have found this to be the only one that is calming enough to reduce anxious thoughts and calming my body flight or fight response.
Once again, choose a top-quality oil; you don’t want one that smells like soap; it needs to be made with true organic lavender oil. If you want to buy mixed oil, I have also used a lavender and chamomile combination.
When you are anxious, you need a quick hit; there is no time for setting a scene or finding the perfect youtube video. It would help if you acted as soon as anxiety strikes, and the easiest and fastest way I know how is to put several drops of oil into your hands, rub them together, then cup your mouth and nose.
Inhale with your noise and exhale through your mouth.
Carry on doing this until the anxiety in your mind and body shifts, and you begin to feel at ease or less anxious.
I use various suppliers for my oil, and to be honest, it all depends if I have a voucher come through in my emails about which online aromatherapy shop I’ll use. The main reason is that organic essential oil is expensive, and as I’m on a limited budget, a voucher is always handy. These two are my favourites.
[AF] Aurelia Essential Oils is a delight, and you can buy a wide variety of oils and sprays, just about anything you can think of to do with aromatherapy. Make sure you subscribe to their mailing list ready for discounts.
I really hope you choose to add aromatherapy to your self-care plan, as I really do believe in it to lift the spirits and ease anxiety. Please give it a few goes, and let me know how you got on in the comments below.
Peace & Blessings