‘Tis the Season of Stillness, Contemplation… and Stress
During this season of giving, many come together with family and friends to celebrate the spirit of love and to share in gratitude for their blessings. It is a time of reflection on the past year, an appreciation for overcoming life’s trials, and a celebration of our wins. This time also offers an opportunity to pause in a moment of stillness as we prepare for a fresh start in the new year.
Although there is still a trepidation in the world and to venturing out into society again, along with a shared grief for all our losses, there is also a faith for a better future ahead. Even with all that is going on in the world, many are feeling a renewed sense of hope. In fact, people are expressing they have found a restored awareness of the importance of the gifts and the people in their lives that they once took for granted.
Within this mix of posttraumatic growth and posttraumatic depreciation, we can strive to accept that, although things may not be as exactly as we wish, we can aim to find meaning from the messes of the previous few years. For some, it may also mean that additional support is needed to achieve this resiliency that they desire.
Most people are realizing that, regardless of their current situation, having helpful wellness options in place makes the challenges of life easier. In this post, I’d like to spread a little more hope and gratitude by providing you with a few of my favorite naturopathic modalities.
Specifically, I will highlight how two essential oil blends can help to promote grateful and hope-filled emotions. They can be used to combat the stress and emotional upheaval that this time of year can bring. (R, R, R, R)
For those who are struggling due to isolation and loneliness, you are not alone. I have a special, additional resource for you here.
Now, let’s get started.
Olfaction Fortification for Holiday Stress
Everyone could use a little olfaction enhancement during the holiday season. As beautiful as these times are, they can also be trying and stressful. We all have those gatherings that can stir up “old stuff” or those moments in time when we may feel isolated and upset.
Essential oils are my go-to, easily accessible mind-body balancing modality for these occurrences. This is because the impact of aroma is profound and has an instantaneous effect on our mood. In fact, smell is the only sense that directly links to the brain’s emotional center (the limbic system)! Interestingly, this may be due to a survival instinct based on “sniffing out” what is safe to eat and the significance of recognizing the “scent of fear” of predators and dangers. (R, R, R,R)
Overall, essential oils can support body and brain health as they modulate our psychology and physiology for the better. Having the ability to stay calmer, more stress resilient, and keep our emotions in balance can make this time of year much more enjoyable.
Whether to enhance happiness, soothe the mind, or to gain emotional harmony, the following two blends are aimed to entice a grateful and hope-filled mindset.
An Essential Oil Blend for Feeling Gratitude
Although it’s the season for cheerfulness, there are those struggling from losses, family drama, or just feeling overwhelmed from the extra hassles.
This Gratitude Blend is a lovely mix of the essential oils of:
- Ylang ylang
This synergistic combination of essential oils can enhance gratitude through its aromatic effects of calming the mind, easing tension in the body, and promoting a refreshing and alert state. Furthermore, it awakens our sense of well-being with the addition of conifer tree blends. These scents permeate the spirit of the season and the odors themselves modulate our physiology. Finally, by adding in spiritual oils, high in sesquiterpenes, our brain and neurological system is supported.
This post goes into more details on how these oils, and their constituents, can combine to assist your body-mind to become more thankful. It also provides the science of how emotional essential oils blends really do shift mood and brain biochemistry.
Applications for the Gratitude Blend:
- You can diffuse this blend while you write in your journal, during your holiday cooking, and at gatherings to enhance the feeling of togetherness.
- You can also inhale it straight from the bottle when you are feeling low and having a hard time recalling your blessings.
The Power of Hope
Hope can be a powerful source of healing. Studies in palliative care, chronic disease, and lifestyle have generally been favorable that the more hopeful someone is, the better health outcomes they have. (R, R, R, R, R, R)
Furthermore, 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.”
The Smell of Hope Essential Oil Blend
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
Having hope and belief that a desired outcome will occur is powerful, so this oil combination is really for everyone!
- 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 yet seems fleeting, or to reinforce and see the beauty in life.
A Note on 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.
Getting to the Heart of Hope
After all the world has been through, I won’t pretend that it is easy to feel a sense of upliftment and hope throughout the day. Along with using essential oils, I want to share an additional resource.
I’d also like you to remember to please visit my article on dealing with isolation and loneliness during the holidays if you need support in these areas.
A Resource to Spur More Hope
HeartMath Institute offers several exercises to get one in more heart coherence and balance the heart-brain to support feeling more hopeful. They are specific for the following instances:
- Desiring to feel better
- When discerning choices
- When dealing with impatience
You can find the exercises here.
The philosophy and research of the HeartMath Institute uses an integrative approach. It is based on both the psychophysiology and neurocardiology of the heart (the heart-brain) and its researched-based applications. (R)
In other words, it is the science of how our heart and brain are connected and how to make them more aligned into a peaceful, accepting, and aware state.
Creating New Hope
I can’t think of a better way to end this article than from a direct quote from HeartMath. It summarizes what they stand for and their aim to make the world’s inhabitants live with more intention and joy.
These times are lit with positive opportunity, regardless of how it can appear throughout the planet. Life has presented us with an important time for opening our hearts and being more understanding of each other’s feelings and mistakes, realizing that people are being stretched past their ability to think clearly, which makes them short-fused and hyper-reactive. Generally speaking, people are doing the best they can, depending on the pressures of their personal challenges and situations.
It’s in our power to open our hearts more to each other with compassionate latitude and deeper care in our interactions. As more of us commit to practicing kindness and cooperation, while reducing judgments and separation, this lifts the collective spirit – which strengthens the connection with our heart’s intuition for solutions to personal and collective challenges.
We can do much more than we may think to create more coherent flow in our lives. More of us are realizing that we can’t sit around and just wait for something to get better in order to feel okay. Challenges obviously tax our energy but it’s our free-to-roam mind and emotions that multiply our stress, drain our resilience, and disable our (much needed) reasoning capacity. This leaves us with anxiety, confusion and low energy. However, as we learn to increase deeper care and compassion in our interactions, this will do a lot to reduce and eliminate these predictable outcomes. There are more simple things we can do to reduce our stress and feel significantly better, even if we can’t change or undo some of life’s situations.
My Hope for You
May we embrace the action steps, though sometimes not easy, to move through our fear, trepidation, and toward growth.
Please use all of your self-care tools and essential oils to make your journey in life a little less bumpy and a lot easier on yourself.
You deserve to have a calmer holiday season to allow your mind-body to revitalize and refresh from all that has occurred.
Sending you all blessings.
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.)
According to experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no approved standard of care treatment, cure, or preventative for COVID-19. Supportive measures and containment are in full force as a result. Please see the CDC website and your state’s website for more information and updates. They also state when to contact your physician related to symptoms and travel history, exposures. Please read my more detailed article on this subject here.
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.