Mood disorders affect millions of people all around the world. From major depression to anxiety to seasonal affective disorder, there are many ways in which these disorders negatively impact one’s life.
While it is common to see a behavioural and cognitive psychologist and receive medicine from a psychiatrist, there are also less common forms of therapy that can help you tackle the challenges of living with a mood disorder. One of these therapies is aromatherapy.
Identifying a Mood Disorder
Before we go into how aromatherapy can help you, it is important to identify whether or not you need to seek professional help. If you have any of the following symptoms, you may be experiencing the effects of a mood disorder:
Anxiety and panic attacks
Bouts of depression that persist for weeks
Loss of interest in hobbies
Loss of appetite
Reduced social interactions
Insomnia or sleeping for prolonged periods of time
Feelings of fatigue
Mood disorders can be difficult to experience and even overwhelming at times, but don’t lose hope. Therapists and psychologists are well-trained at helping you overcome these hardships. Please talk to your doctor before starting a new treatment plan.
How Aromatherapy Can Help
Aromatherapy is the use of plant-based essential oils to treat conditions of mental or physical unease and improve wellbeing. In combination with behavioural and cognitive therapy, aromatherapy can be used to help reduce one’s feelings of hopelessness or anxiety.
In fact, aromatherapy has been scientifically shown to reduce symptoms in those suffering from unwanted thoughts and feelings. While many antidepressants and antipsychotics have innumerable side effects and are costly, aromatherapy is a natural and affordable method for helping overcome mood disorders.
There are a few ways to use these oils, such as application onto the skin, inhalation of vapour with a humidifier or diffuser, diluting them into a bath, or adding them to massage oils.
Some oils should never be applied directly to the skin, so use caution and always read labels on essential oils. For safety reasons, never ingest any essential oil, as they can be toxic even at low doses.
Five Most Effective Aromatherapy Oils
There are many different essential oils one can use to help with mood. And, because these oils can be blended together to create unique scents, there are thousands of ways in which one can cater to his or her own preferences. Below we’ve listed some of the most effective essential oils to use for mood elevation.
Lavender has a long historical use of being a calming plant, as is evidenced by its use in tea. The scent of lavender can help to ease muscular tension and headaches, and this oil has a soft, warming feeling that can be applied safely to the skin.
Peppermint can be helpful in easing headaches and pains, and is associated with alertness. Peppermint has a strong cooling feeling, almost like ice, and so should be used sparingly on skin, and it is not recommended to use it in a warm bath, because it will create a sudden cooling effect.
Chamomile has been used for centuries to calm the nerves and bring about sleep. Also famous for being drunk as a tea, chamomile may reduce stress by removing discomforts.
As you can see, there are an unbelievable amount of aromatherapy oils and blends you can use to help aid mood disorders. While we have listed a few possibilities, the list is endless. Once you find out what works for you, you can begin to incorporate a special blend of aromatherapy oils into your everyday life to help overcome life’s hardships.