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The Power of Emotions

And essential oil use on the body

· Essential Oils

I can sometimes get in my routine and forget about how grateful I am to have my essential oils as tools to support me. I was reminded this week of how much I need these oils during the times when I'm struggling to keep myself together.

My mother passed away 4 years ago on April 7, 2015 when I was 22 years old. It was a day too painful to describe, as anyone who has lost a close loved one can relate to. I reflect back on having her here, having her come in my room to snuggle before bed, her comforting hugs, her soothing voice, her laugh, her words of wisdom, and having her unconditional love here always supporting me. I think about what life would be like today if she was still around. This time of year for the last 4 years has been difficult on my emotional wellbeing, which for me has also manifested into physical symptoms.

Did you know that your emotions affect every organ and system in your body?

We are so used to paying attention to our physical symptoms and responding to them, that we sometimes ignore or repress our emotional symptoms, not realizing that they are interconnected and often even caused by something going on with us emotionally. Oftentimes we don’t even allow ourselves to “feel” because we are afraid to admit that we are human and that we have weaknesses.

Essential oils have the ability to shift your outlook within minutes of use to:

  • Uplift emotions
  • Balance the mind
  • Bring clarity
  • Reduce anxious feelings
  • Combat stress 
  • Support emotional trauma
Have you ever smelled something that takes you back to a memory from childhood or connects you to a person? Such as the smell of a certain meal cooking reminding you of your grandmother's house, or the smell of a particular laundry detergent that brings you back to giving someone a hug.
I remember in the first few months after my mom's passing, just taking any and every piece of clothing I had of hers and bringing it to my face to deeply inhale, trying to hold on to her scent. Our sense of smell is so powerful. This is because smell is the only one of our five physical senses that is directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain:  our emotional control center. Anxiety, depression, fear, frustration, anger, and joy all originate from this region of the brain. Essential oils work on our emotions because certain fragrance can evoke memories and emotional responses before we are even consciously aware of it.

For those of you who are more about the science and less about the feels, here's some fun facts about the effects oils have on our body systems:

“When we inhale the fragrance of an essential oil, the odor molecules travel up the nose where they’re registered by the nerves of the olfactory membranes in the nose lining. The odor molecules stimulate this lining of nerve cells and trigger electrical impulses to the olfactory bulb in the brain. The olfactory bulb then transmits the impulses to the amygdala — where emotional memories are stored — and to other parts of the limbic system of the brain. Because the limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance, essential oils can have profound physiological and psychological effects. Olfactory responses to odors induce the brain to stimulate the release of hormones and neurochemicals that in turn alter the body’s physiology and behavior.” — — Essential Oil Desk Reference, 4th Edition

I am grateful for the memories I have with mom, and I wouldn't trade my journey for anything because I know it has led me to become the person I'm meant to be, but sometimes, like this week, I need to just sit and inhale my oils, coming from a place of gratitude and reminding myself of how blessed I was for the years I got with her raising me.

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