Essential Oils to Alleviate System-Wide Stress Attacks
The latest survey regarding stress in America is a bit worrying. Results indicate that over 80% of participants are experiencing high levels of stress, particularly around finances. Due to the compounded effect of everyday irritations, the holidays upon us, and world events, it’s important to find ways to prevent the detrimental impact these hassles can have on our health.
Stress can wreak havoc on hormonal balance, immune function, and every other system of the body. It lowers our focus, messes with our memory, and hijacks our reasoning and expressive capacity. (R, R, R, R) If stress becomes chronic, it can also perpetuate symptoms in those with brain processing differences and increase the risk for psychiatric disorders in those who currently don’t have them.
Thankfully, we can dampen these negative impacts by using mind-body techniques, laughter, relaxation, lifestyle practices, and self-care. These all have been found to favorably influence epigenetic cellular pathways to “mop up” the biological mess stress can create. Essential oils are one of my favorite modalities within my holistic toolkit to accomplish this. When life gets overwhelming, they provide instantaneous and simultaneous soothing to the brain and body.
In my previous article, I explained how these plant secondary metabolites have an ability to intervene and dial down the stress reaction at the level of the mind. I then highlighted how several of them (clary sage, lavender, and bergamot) and two blends (Stress Relief and Joyful Blends) could help to restore health harmony.
In this article and video, I continue to focus on blends and essential oils for overall wellness, resiliency, and emotional balance.
- A review of four essential oils to enhance physical resiliency.
- Two emotional oil blends to enhance courage and calm the brain.
- A duo of essential oils combinations to ignite belief and spark hope.
These aromatic tools can be used to help you have a more fulfilling and nurturing holiday season and lifestyle.
Let’s dive in…
Four Essential Oils to Enhance Resiliency
Essential oils are so much more than fragrant vapors of chemical constituents that uplift the mood. They also benefit the body’s defense processes and combat the negative impact of stress that can wear us down physically.
Through their multiple properties from a variety of compounds, they are a very potent intervention that can intercede to help mitigate the detrimental impacts of various strains on the mind-body. These include:
- A selective ability to inhibit certain unwanted microbes while still benefiting and supporting our microbiome.
- Acting as antioxidants for healthy cellular function. (R, R)
- Synergistic effects, i.e., when you reach for an oil for one issue, it will likely benefit multiple systems concurrently.
- Addressing the underlying triggers of many diseases, such as combatting excessive inflammation. (R, R, R, R, R)
- Dealing with specific wellness concerns comprehensively, resulting in improving mental and emotional health, attention and focus, and physical balance.
These above wellness-enhancing aspects of essential oils strengthen our overall resiliency. This is especially needed during the holidays.
Below are four examples of nature’s ability to bestow on us various aromatics to support us during challenges.
1. Pine oil
The smell of pine oil brings the scent of the great outdoors to inside our homes. It contains phytoncide molecules which enhance our defense and repair processes, possess stress-relieving properties, and freshen the air.
In Japan, the wellness benefits from the practice of forest bathing (a holistic treatment based on being out in nature) is said to be due to these pinenes released from the pine and fir trees. This has been backed up in several studies that reported improvements in immune markers and levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Application Tip: Diffuse pine oil for a few hours daily. This will benefit your mood and your body’s resilience.
2. Sweet Spice oils
The spice oils of cinnamon bark, clove, orange, ginger, and nutmeg are high in antioxidant power, promote defense and repair, and are antimicrobial.
They are uplifting and cultivate a feeling of comfort. Their aroma also entices abundance based on their link to our past history of the spice trade.
Application Tip: Choose your three favorite spice oils and combine them in a 3:2:1 ratio for a beautiful, richly smelling “holiday blend.” I like to aromatize them in a cold-air, atomizer diffuser. This is to maximize their aroma and enhance their therapeutic properties while keeping their delicate constituents intact.
3. Copaiba Oil
Copaiba oil contains beta-caryophyllene, a terpene (sesquiterpene) that is a dietary cannabinoid. This compound interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), an underappreciated regulator of a variety of biochemical processes and major functions of the body.
Beta-caryophyllene has evidence of binding to one of the cannabinoid receptors in the body that has beneficial emotional effects. One article found that beta-caryophyllene inhalation increased alpha and theta brain waves on an EEG (electroencephalogram), resulting in a more relaxed, happier, and calmer state.
Overall, copaiba oil is calming to the mind, supports the brain and skeletal systems, and can help to bring about healthy balance.
Application Tip: Copaiba is an oil that can be used in many applications. It is good to diffuse, apply topically diluted in a carrier oil, and ingest diluted in a capsule on an as-needed basis.
Safety Note: If you do ingest any essential oil, be sure your oil is of superior quality, your particular brand is labeled safe for ingestion, you use the right dose, and you have experience or have a practitioner to guide you.
4. Thieves Oil
The Thieves oil blend is a mixture of clove, rosemary, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and lemon oils. This combination contains various compounds which can help to cleanse the air and provide antioxidant support (R, R). These oils are also antimicrobial and can support the lungs (e.g., eucalyptus oil is high in 1-8 cineole).
Thieves essential oil blend aids respiratory health and our defense and repair systems. I find it useful to have handy during the change of seasons; although, it seems to always make my list of favorites for any time of year. This is due to its many benefits.
Application Tip: I diffuse this combination regularly for overall body system support and to freshen up rooms, especially in moldy areas.
Learn more about these four resilient oils here.
Two Emotional Blends for Calmness and Courage
As important as our physical resiliency is, focusing on our mental and emotional hardiness is paramount as well. Below are two emotional blends I picked specifically for this time of year.
1. Peaceful Blend
During stressful and anxious times, a human of any age can feel like a frightened child in a big, scary world. I have used this peaceful oil combination successfully in my practice to assist in soothing adults, parents, and kids alike.
This oils mixture includes the uplifting and calming scents of citrus oils, the harmonizing and balancing properties of ylang ylang, and the empowering scent of patchouli oil.
Application Tips: Diffuse this peaceful oil blend throughout the day. You can also apply a drop with your favorite carrier oil to the back of the neck or the bottoms of the feet to end the day with more serenity.*
* Due to the content of citrus oils, be cautious on applying this blend before heading out in the sun. Citrus oils are photosensitive and can turn the skin an uneven tone if applied on the skin prior to direct sunlight.
2. Courageous Blend
This is one of my favorite oils combination to provide a more grounded state of being and to enhance courage. It can be used to ease trepidation and feelings of uncertainty.
I like a mix of various fir oils and/or camphor essential oils as the foundation of this blend. These stability-enhancing scents can bring you back into your body when you feel “out of it” due to a swirling brain.
The ancient spiritual oils, such as frankincense and cedarwood, are welcome additions to support neurological function, brain health, and overall body wellness.
Finally, a floral scent that is uplifting, such as rose geranium oil, can be used to round out this blend.
Application Tips: Diffuse this grounding blend when you are feeling “out of sorts” and fearful. I also like to apply a few drops with a carrier oil to my wrists, rub them together, and inhale.
Oils to Ignite the Power of Belief and Hope
Getting into the right mindset or healing can be a first step to transformation and finding relief from emotional and physical suffering. Below are two of my favorite blends to assist one in a shift in perspective to belief and hope.
One of my favorite oil mixtures to help with achieving a mindset of belief contains a combination of fir, spruce, coriander, bergamot, frankincense, ylang ylang, and geranium.
This blend is intended to encourage feelings of faith, inner strength, and vitality. Each oil has a specific aromatic influence:
- The frankincense, bergamot, and ylang ylang oils enhance mood and have heart-balancing effects.
- Geranium oil offers many hormonal and emotional balancing proprieties.
- The fir and spruce oils provide stress relief and grounding.
Application Tips: The belief blend is wonderful to diffuse during trying times and when one is seeking to support positive beliefs. It can be used aromatically or applied in a carrier oil topically.
The Smell of Hope Essential Oil Blend
One 2017 systematic review stated, “there is evidence that individuals with greater optimism and hope seek to engage in healthier behaviors, regardless of their clinical status, and that this contributes to chronic disease treatment.”
One of my favorite essential oils mixtures to welcome hope contains:
- the physical balancing oil of melissa
- the calming oil of juniper
- the neuroprotective and brain supporting properties of myrrh oil
- the grounding phytoncides of fir trees to support defense and repair and balance the stress response
- Apply this blend to your wrists, diluted in a carrier oil, and inhale to soothe the mind and comfort the spirit.
- Diffuse during times when hope is something that is sought or to reinforce and see the beauty in life.
Having hope and belief that a desired outcome will occur is powerful, so the impact of these oil combinations should not be underestimated.
Summary: Getting to the Heart of Holidays
After all the world has been through, I won’t pretend that it is easy for everyone to feel a sense of upliftment and joy.
Yet, it is my wish that these gifts from nature, along with the additional resources I share, will provide you with a little more peace, calm, courage, and a belief that you, the world, and its people really are worthy of and offer goodness.
This is the message of the holidays.
It is the message of love.
A Note on All the Blends Above….
Creating essential oil blends is a complex process. One must be versed in aromatherapy to accomplish a mixture of complimentary chemical constituents with therapeutic effects. (R) This is why I rely on trusted suppliers that produce quality essential oils and have expertise in essential oils’ chemistry. I suggest that you search out essential oil blends with similar oils as the ones shared from a company you trust.
Naturopathic Medicine and Holistic Resources for Mood, Hormonal, and Digestive Support
Free resources and more education on essential oils and mind-body wellness are available to you here.
An Integrative Mental Health and Stress Resource Guide.
Tools for coping with isolation and separation.
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Disclaimer: This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
Thanks Pixabay and Canva.