Three years into her husband’s first term as president and after a somewhat discouraging day in early January, Eleanor Roosevelt shook off her stress and wrote that “with the new day comes new strengths and new thoughts.”
I like to think of the new year this way too—as a gift—a chance to start over with a clean slate, to try something different, and to set new goals. And I especially love using essential oils to provide emotional support and motivation for doing so.
Essential oils are an ideal tool for emotional support. This is because the sense of smell is deeply related to emotions. The olfactory receptors that kick in as soon as we inhale a scent are directly connected to the limbic system, which is considered the brain’s control center for mood and emotions. This means that smells can trigger our emotions. Our other senses—touch, sight, hearing, taste—take a different route to our cerebral cortex, passing through the thalamus rather than the limbic center.
When we attach positive rituals and affirmations to the aroma of specific essential oils, we build connections that can help us recall those affirmations and feelings at a later time when we need emotional support. To get started, try experimenting with your favorite oils and rituals or use some of the blends and tips that follow.
To let go of resentment and painful feelings from the past year:
Apply one of these oils to your chest, breathe in deeply, and repeat this affirmation:
“I choose to let go of the past and make a fresh start of each day this year.”
Bergamot—a member of the citrus family that promotes feelings of confidence and strength. Additional uses: add a drop to a glass of cold water* and enjoy as you start the day; apply to the bottoms of your feet before bedtime to ease away the worries of the day.
Lavender—an oil that has been in use for centuries to heal and soothe. Additional uses: to ease tension, add a drop to your favorite herbal tea* then diffuse at bedtime.
Wild orange—pressed from the fruit’s rind, this oil has amazing purifying and stimulating qualities due to the high presence of monoterpenes in its makeup. Additional uses: blend 2 drops wild orange with 2 drops peppermint oil and rub into your neck and shoulders for motivation throughout the day.
Eucalyptus—high in compounds that help clear a foggy brain, this oil is ideal for a relaxing massage or for diffusing during your morning shower.
Lime—another member of the citrus family, this oil promotes joy and helps release feelings of sadness and discouragement. Additional uses: To promote joy in everyday tasks, add 10 to 20 drops lime to homemade cleaners and use to disinfect surfaces throughout your house. Pair with geranium and diffuse to inspire joy.
Rosemary—a member of the mint family, with a long history of culinary use. Additional uses: apply daily to the scalp to reduce dryness and promote hair growth. Add a few drops* to a veggie cap and take orally each day to reduce nervous tension. Diffuse before a difficult task or test to improve mood and memory.
Frankincense—often considered the king of essential oils, this oil can soothe the skin, fight depression, relieve headaches, and reduce stress, among other things. Additional uses: Combine 2 drops frankincense with 2 drops wild orange and rub on your temples and the back of the neck to reduce tension. Combine frankincense with Douglas fir and grapefruit and then diffuse to promote calm and peaceful feelings in your home.
To build confidence as you move forward and try new things:
Blend 3 drops Roman Chamomile, 2 drops bergamot, and 2 drops wild orange with 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil and apply to your wrists and the back of the neck.
Take several deep breaths to inhale the citrusy, floral aroma and then repeat this affirmation:
“When my intentions are clear, I can accomplish anything. Success is in my blood. Life is beautiful. I am building a great future.”
To encourage happiness in all your pursuits:
Make one of these four joyful blends, diffuse, and repeat this affirmation:
“I create positive energy and share that energy with those around me. I am happy, helpful, and full of wonder”
Joyful Blend One—2 drops peppermint with 2 drops wild orange
Joyful Bend Two—4 drops lemongrass with 1 drop each of clove, juniper berry, rosemary, and Siberian fir
Joyful Blend Three—3 drops peppermint, 2 drops cedarwood, and 1 drop frankincense
Joyful Blend Four—3 drops bergamot with 3 drops tangerine
To stick to your goals in the new year:
Make one of these four motivational blends, diffuse, and repeat this affirmation (alternatively, rub a blend on your wrists and neck before your daily yoga or meditation session):
“I am motivated, energized, and alive. I follow through with my intentions and achieve my goals”
Motivational Blend One—1 drop each bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime, and wild orange
Motivational Blend Two—3 drops lemon, 3 drops peppermint, and 2 drops frankincense
Motivational Blend Three—2 drops each frankincense, lime, peppermint, and wild orange
Motivational Blend Four—8 drops rosemary, 6 drops basil, 5 drops peppermint, 3 drops lime, and 2 drops ginger
Good luck in all your pursuits this year! I know success is right around the corner. And, in the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson, remember that “hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘it will be happier.’”
*only ingest essential oils that are pure and certified therapeutic grade, such as those available from doTerra.
PS. Managing our emotions can be hard, but is vital for our progress in life. Learn more how you can manage your emotions using essential oils with our Emotions and Essential Oils online course!
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