What Exactly Is a ‘Mood’?
“I have two moods. One is Roy, rollicking Roy, the wild ride of a mood. And Pam, sediment Pam, who stands on the shore and sobs... Sometimes the tide is in, sometimes it's out” ~ Carrie Fisher
Are you happy? Or are you happy about that sandwich you’re about to make? Here lies the difference between moods and emotions: the former have longevity, lasting hours, days, weeks or longer; the latter are spontaneous responses to a specific situation. Emotions can, of course, lead to moods: that spectacular sandwich will likely put you in a good place for hours to come. But moods can be fickle, and mysterious, and confounding – we have all asked ourselves the existential question, “Why am I feeling like this?” Our bodies’ unconscious responses to internal and external stimuli can sometimes leave us feeling unmoored from our understanding of ourselves and the world. Ever experienced the strange melancholy that sometimes wells up and floods an otherwise joyful moment? What are you, melancholy Pam, and what on Earth do you want?
It’s sometimes healthy to just let a tide of moods wash over us, and let them rise and fall as they may. But a prolonged negative mood can sometimes evolve into a depressive episode, triggering a longer and more painful sadness. While it’s important not to deny our feelings, but rather recognize them and accept them as part of the human experience, we can also take proactive steps to break free of a mood that is threatening to hijack our everyday wellness and productivity. Aromatherapy can meaningfully compliment a healthy lifestyle incorporating exercise, good nutrition, human contact and mindfulness, and help us gently redirect those Pam days back into the surf.
How Aromas Can Give Us a Lift
A new study at Monash University, Australia, has found that certain essential oils, particularly Lavender, create an anxiolytic (or anti-anxiety) response in the brain by producing anti-oxidant effects through interaction with naturally high levels of Vitamin C. The study’s lead author, Professor Louise Bennett, says: “Aromatherapy under particular conditions is reported to consistently enhance emotional health, including lowering anxiety and depression.” This will come as no surprise to aromatherapy devotees around the world, but newbies might be wondering where to start. In addition to Lavender, which essential oils seem to have these properties?
The Mood Lifting ‘Heroes’ of Aromatherapy
Essential oils can be inhaled directly from the bottle, dripped into bathwater, diluted in a carrier massage oil such as jojoba (one drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil), or used in diffusers, as per the recipes below. Just avoid applying undiluted oils directly to the skin, and consult your physician first if you are pregnant or have recently given birth.
5 Essential Oil Recipes for Uplifting Your Mood
You might not be ready for a wild Roy in your life, but do we really want moody old Pam hanging around much longer? Okay then – get some fresh air, chat with a friend, fix that healthy sandwich, and try our five essential oils for making that new mood a wonderful and lasting one!
Lovely, lovely Lavender pairs really well with Sweet Orange and Ylang Ylang essential oils in this uplifting, joyful blend.
Try a combination of Bergamot, Lemon and Lime essential oils with a hint of Basil for a sunny, citrusy boost to a flagging mood.
For a more intense mood boost, pair Rosemary with Frankincense and Jasmine essential oils for a warm and complex olfactory hug.
Make love, not war, and swap the sword and sandals for your sofa and slippers. This floral combination of Roman Chamomile, Patchouli and Clary Sage essential oils will turn aggression into affection before you know it.
Want to feel relaxed, but… not that relaxed? The aphrodisiac qualities of Cardamom, paired with comforting Geranium and warming Ginger essential oils, can put you in the mood for nature’s most life-affirming experience.
Essential Oil Recipes for Pain Relief
Is pain affecting your mood? You can find our ten essential oil recipes for pain relief here.