You’re in the middle of your day and someone throws a curveball at you. Maybe it was a 1:1 confrontation, an unwanted text, email or phone call, but it instantly affects your mood and energy. Instantly you feel tension build in your shoulders, your heart starts beating faster, your breathing gets shallow, and your mind starts racing. It’s amazing how one minute we can be calm, collected and in our groove, and a moment later, an external trigger can change all that. For some, they can recover quickly and brush it off. While for others, it can ruin your entire day, mood and interactions with your family, friends and loved ones. Not fun.
So how can we get back on track in two minutes? Essential oils, breathing, and mindfulness!
What is an essential oil? It’s an organic aromatic compound oil found in the seeds, bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree. For the last 5,000 years, these oils have been used to calm anxiety, assist in digestion, and improve mood. In only 1-4 drops, these oils can have some pretty powerful effects on your health.
Pause for a moment and think of how you feel when you’re peeling an orange. I love adding oranges to my morning smoothie because of its aromatic effects alone! The scent instantly turns the corners of your mouth up into a subtle smile and your mood improves. What a beautiful little trick to improve your morning.
Essential Oils can work miracles on your mood– even ANXIETY and STRESS!
When anxiety or stress strikes, take two minutes to ground your emotions again with the following exercise that can be practiced anywhere:
Sit up tall, straightening your back; hands relaxed on your legs, feet planted on the floor
Close your eyes to minimize distractions and turn your thoughts inward to check in.
Breathe slowly through your nose and into your diaphragm for 30 seconds or so.
Diaphragm Breathing Technique: Put your hand on your belly and when you breathe in and expand (push it out) your belly. Then, on the exhale, contract (pull it back in) your belly. This type of breathing is deep and calming. Most of the time we are breathing too fast and shallow creating our own mini anxiety attacks all day long because our brain thinks it should be worried or panicked. Call it mini hyperventilations all day long. Breathe deeply to regain instant calm.
Grab your essential oil (keep one in your purse or desk for easy convenience) and pour 1-3 drops into the palms of your hands and rub together
Holding your palms up to your nose, without touching your face, breathe in and out through your nose– remember to breathe into your diaphragm
Breathe this way for at least two minutes — you can keep your hands up near your face or start to pull them away once you feel calm. Now, you’re ready to carry on.
Top Essential Oils for Calming Anxiety:
Bergamot Oil: citrus scent
Lavender Oil: floral scent
Clary Sage Oil: earthy scent
Ylang Ylang: floral scent
Choose the scent that you like best! It’s ESSENTIAL that you enjoy the scent or this exercise won’t be effective.
Essential Oils are good for more than just calming anxiety, they are also great for healing the body.
Basic Essential Oils to have on standby in your “medicine cabinet”:
Lavender: Helps with relaxation, improves mood and heals burns and cuts
Frankincense: Builds immunity, reduces inflammation, heals age spots, supports brain and may help fight cancer
Lemon: Great to use in homemade cleaning products and cleanses the body
Tea Tree: natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, reduces bad odors and can help stimulate the immune system
Peppermint: Supports digestion, improves focus, boosts energy, fever reducer, headache and muscle pain relief
Essential Oils can be used three different ways:
Topically: Apply directly to your skin or add to your favorite lotion — be careful as each person has different tolerances to these oils based on individual skin sensitivity. Test a small area first.
Aromatically: Place a desired amount of drops (3-5) into a diffuser filled with cold water. The scent will either calm or stimulate your senses improving your mood. It can even purify the air and reduce odors without the harmful effects of artificial air fresheners.
Internally: Certain essential oils can be ingested. Use essential oils to enhance your water, your meals or your daily supplement regiment.
I’ve boiled water in a small pot with cinnamon and orange gaining the aromatic benefits, then pouring the water as “tea” into my cup when I’m battling a cold.
Adding Essential Oils to your daily routine is a form of self-care and is ESSENTIAL to your overall wellness. Don’t let that one external trigger ruin your day. As Brian Tracy says, “nobody makes you angry (anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, etc), you choose anger as a response.” Let’s be mindful of our reactions to life’s curveballs. It is not the circumstance that affects our mood, its how we choose to perceive the circumstance. This is a skill that takes time to master. So in the meantime, try using essential oils to help calm your anxiety and stress. Give it a try and let us know in the comments below! Happy Breathing!