Not feeling so upbeat about the New Year? Or has your holiday high taken a decided plummet? Essential oils can help you achieve a happier state of mind. These nontoxic medicines work on a physical, emotional, and some even say spiritual level to heal and balance the body. Here are a few oils that stand out for their ability to boost mood and promote a positive mental outlook.
Improve Energy with Citrus
Any essential oil from the citrus family will raise your spirits with one whiff. First on the list is lemon (Citrus limon). Reach for lemon when a little extra energy is required (and who doesn’t need that after the holiday sparkle has fizzled out?). Upbeat and bright, lemon is veritable sunshine in a bottle.
Next up is one of the most effective citrus oils for treating melancholy—zesty blood orange. Although it shares the same Latin name as sister sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), blood orange is often chosen for its more complex aroma and antidepressant qualities.
Did you know?
Blood orange is one of the most effective citrus oils for treating melancholy.
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia), another citrusy restorative, adds a zip to anti-anxiety blends with natural chemical properties that act as a tonic for those battling chronic stress. Diffuse several drops of lemon, lime, and blood orange in the morning to start the day with an aromatic boost. Since these are top notes, the fragrance may dissipate quickly. So mix a few drops of each into unscented body lotion and apply after your shower to sustain the tart, happy scent just a bit longer.
Relieve Depression with Lemon Balm
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has a lemony aroma with a touch of green, almost as if it’s signaling your spirit to buck up. It’s also an excellent antidepressant. Steep the dried herbs to make lemon balm tea for a soothing afternoon treat. And add a few drops of this rare restorative essential oil to a cotton ball and tuck into your pillowcase before climbing into bed to help still the mind and encourage restful sleep.
Chase Away Bad Moods with Clary Sage
The perfect choice from the herbal family of essential oils is clary sage (Salvia sclarea). The English name—clary—comes from the Latin sclarea, which is derived from clarus, the word for “clear.” And that’s what this earthy, woodsy oil does—clears away stormy moods. Since the aroma can be a bit strong, blend clary sage with a citrus oil to mask the odor while still enjoying its euphoric properties, which will help battle the blues.
Diffuse Negativity with Blue Tansy
Speaking of the blues, diffuse negativity with blue tansy (Tanacetum annuum), an herbal essential oil with slightly sweet floral overtones that, like blood orange, adds substance and depth to any blend. Blue tansy oil gets its unusual cobalt color from one of its components, chamazulene. Be sure to avoid common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), which can be toxic. True blue tansy has completely different chemical properties with valuable aromatherapy benefits.
Raise Your Spirits with Lavender
No list of stress-busting essential oils is complete without lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), the go-to oil for quelling anxiety and calming overwrought emotions. Whether inhaled or applied topically, lavender has a sedating quality that instills a sense of peace. Aromatherapists use lavender to enhance all kinds of blends, but especially those designed to balance mood and lift spirits. Combine a few drops of lavender with blue tansy and diffuse aerially to help melt anxiety and create a mellow atmosphere.
The Perfect Blend for a Happy New Year
If you make only one resolution in 2018, make it to find that one right aromatherapy blend just for you. Start out on the lighter side—the recipes below feature a dilution of 3%, the perfect starting point. You can always add a drop or two more. Experiment to see what you prefer.
Get Happy Mist
For an instant mood lift, create an aromatic mist to use anytime, anywhere. Simply blend oils with distilled water in a 4 oz. glass bottle. Then just close your eyes, spray your space, and breathe deeply.
- 24 drops lemon
- 28 drops blood orange
- 20 drops lime
For bath salts: mix lemon, blood orange, and lime with 1 cup Epsom salts. Makes 2–3 applications.
Reset & Renew Blend
Use the following blend in an aromatherapy diffuser.
- 10 drops blood orange
- 5 drops lemon balm
- 6 drops lavender