Got The Winter Blues? Essential Oils Can Help
Are you feeling sad? I mean really SAD, as in Seasonal Affective Disorder? Queensland may be known as the Sunshine State but it's still home to people who suffer from this medically recognised form of depression.
Even if this doesn't describe you, as the days get shorter, causing shifts in the body’s biological clock, you could fall victim to the 'winter blues'. Every year around one million Australian adults suffer depression, and more than two million suffer from anxiety.
Self Help Techniques
Symptoms can include lethargy, loss of sex drive, mood changes, eating disorders and sleep problems. For some, professional help is the only answer but there are some self-help techniques you can use, including essential oils.
We know that essential oils can be used for many purposes but, with so many to choose from, which ones are best for improving your mood? Some are proven to reduce stress and improve sleep; others can relieve psychological and physical symptoms associated with depression. One thing we do know is that around 43% of people use some form of alternative therapy to reduce stress and anxiety.
In clinical trials, certain essential oils have been proven to elevate mood. They work in several ways but one of the most beneficial is the smell. When we register a smell the information goes straight to our brain, acting as an emotional trigger. Whilst some smells might remind us of certain times and places, the scent of certain essential oils trigger feelings of calm.
Here are your top four essential oils for depression and mood swings:
This is definitely an essential oil that works through smell. The scent is enormously uplifting and can create feelings of joy, happiness and energy. Mixed with lavender oil, bergamot has been shown to lower blood pressure and pulse rate, and boost relaxation and alertness.
Add a few drops of Bergamot Essential Oil to your diffuser, or gently massage the oil into your feet. Alternatively, rub a few drops together in your hands, cup them over your nose and mouth and breathe in and out slowly for five minutes.
Naturally, we have included lavender essential oil in this list. Lavender is probably the most useful oil to keep in your home, as it offers so many beneficial uses. It has long been used to help with depression and mood swings. In one study on PTSD, the use of Lavender Essential Oil was shown to help decrease depression by over 32%. Extremely calming, it will also reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
Rub a little lavender oil behind your ears or add a few drops to your diffuser, especially at bedtime.
This extraordinary oil has mild sedative qualities which make it ideal for treating depression. It has been shown to have immediate and powerful effects on mood and even release negative emotions, such as anger, jealousy and low self-esteem.
One of the best oils for treating stress, Roman Chamomile Essential Oil is very soothing and calming. That's why it's used in so many aromatherapy products and candles. It's also very beneficial for treating PMS, muscle cramps and inflammation.
Add a few drops to your diffuser to really benefit from the healing qualities of this amazing oil.
If you are suffering from serious depression please talk to your doctor, a loved one or phone Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.