Holistic Health

The Best Essential Oils for Emotions

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Using aromatherapy for anxiety has become very popular because our sense of smell triggers powerful emotional responses. We process billions of pieces of information through our sense of smell through the area of our brain called the limbic region. When the scent of an essential oil is inhaled, molecules enter the nasal cavities and set off a series of biological responses in the limbic system of the brain. These biological processes are stimulants that regulate stress responses, such as heart rate, breathing patterns, production of hormones and even your blood pressure.

No wonder essential oils are such a powerful tool in supporting emotional regulation.


Although clinical use of aromatherapy goes back thousands of years, within the past decade, there’s been a renewed interest in clinical studies looking at the benefits of essential oils. “There continues to be strong interest in researching the effects of essential oils, and growing interest among health systems to incorporate them into medical care,” says Nancy Rodgers, an instructor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

When evaluating the effectiveness of essential oils, research is promising, especially when it comes to anxiety. 2 key studies showed significant support for the use of aromatherapy for anxiety.

  • One British study separated 32 individuals with anxiety and depression into two groups – one group received massages with aromatherapy using essential oils diluted with carrier oil compared with a second group who received massages using carrier oil alone. Individuals in both groups were examined during regular sessions with the study team and completed an anxiety-depression questionnaire. After three months of therapy, the researchers found a significant difference in results from the responses of study participants receiving massages with essential oils.

  • A 2020 research paper looked at 25 studies evaluating the use of aromatherapy in those with a varying anxiety producing situations. The overall results showed that inhalation and massage aromatherapy resulted in a significant improvement in reducing anxiety levels no matter the reason for anxiety.

  • In a r2014 study by the American College of Healthcare Sciences, 58 hospice patients were given hand massages once a day for one week with an essential oil blend. The essential oil blend consisted of essential oils in equal ratios of bergamot, frankincense and lavender. All patients who received the aromatherapy hand massage reported less pain and depression, concluding that aromatherapy massage with this essential oil blend is more effective for pain and depression management than massage alone. Essential Oils

The beauty of essential oils is that they are nature’s medicine, extracted from flowers, leaves, bark, roots and sometimes even the whole tree or plant. It’s important that you are using pure essential oils, which means oils that have not been diluted with chemicals, solvents or additives with the purpose of only being used for scent.

1.2 million people worldwide suffer from anxiety and women are twice as likely as men to suffer from it. That makes having natural remedies even that much more important. Pure essential oils can provide much needed relief when used as a natural remedy for anxiety, grief, stress or the inability to control your emotions.



Lavender is the darling of the essential oil world and the most widely used. Considered the most common essential oil, lavender is known to have a calming, relaxing effect on the mind and body. There is a reason why it’s used in so many spas across the world. It’s considered a nervous system restorative and helps with sleep, irritability, stress, anxiousness and nervous tension.

Hospitals are using lavender to help calm patients prior to surgery, manage anxiety and even support chemotherapy patients. There have been a number of clinical trials involving the inhalation of lavender essential oil that indicate a reduction in stress and anxiety.

One study that utilized an oral lavender essential oil via capsules found that heart rate variation significantly increased compared to the placebo while watching an anxiety-provoking film. This suggested that lavender had an anxiety relieving effect. Further research demonstrates lavender lowers anxiety in patients undergoing heart surgery and in people visiting the dentist. There are thousands of studies of lavender in a clinical setting and is one of the most studies and understood essential oils.


Bergamot is a citrus often found in earl grey tea and has a sweet aroma. Bergamot oil is known for its calming properties and is often used with chronic sadness as it has energetic and uplifting properties; however, it can also help with insomnia and induces relaxation and relieves irritability.

A study conducted in 2011 showed that applying a blend of essential oils that included bergamot helps in the treatment of depression or anxiety. The blended essential oil consisted of lavender and bergamot oils and compared with the placebo, it reduced blood pressure and pulse rate, and participants in the blended essential oil group rated themselves as “more calm” and “more relaxed” than the control group.

Bergamot is generally safe, but it is photosensitizing, meaning it can increase the risk of sunburn and rash. It is best to avoid use within 12 hours of sun exposure.


Roman chamomile has a calming scent and is known to decrease irritability, over-thinking, excessive worry and anxiety. An explorative study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine on the antidepressant activity in chamomile found that the oil “may provide clinically meaningful antidepressant activity that occurs in addition to its previously observed anxiolytic activity.”

Another study published by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggests that chamomile taken internally has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety.


Frankincense is known as the Holy oil, used in biblical times and given as a gift to baby Jesus. It has significant healing properties, but when used aromatically, it helps deepen meditation and quiet the mind.

Mixed with bergamot and lavender oils in a 1:1 ratio in an aroma hand massage, frankincense was found to have a positive effect on pain and depression in hospice patients with terminal cancer in a Keimyung University study in Korea.


Vetiver oil has a tranquil, grounding energy and is often used for those with attention deficit disorders to help calm the brain and focus. Vetiver is a thick oil with a sweet, woody, earthy, aroma. It is known in India as the oil of tranquility and has been shown to decreases jitteriness and hypersensitivity and is also useful for panic.

A study published in Natural Product Research examining the anxiety-like behavior in rats concluded that vetiver oil may be useful in lowering anxiety effects, though more research is needed to confirm this finding.


In addition to these singles, there are essential oil blends that contain these oils and are blended specifically for emotional balancing and when used together they each perform their own special functions to set you up for a “great day”… emotionally speaking.


The Great Day Protocol is designed to help you feel empowered, optimistic, and confident as you begin your day. Getting your mindset right first thing in the morning will help you align with your goals, set your intentions, and put your best foot forward. You can utilize these oils separately or all together utilizing the protocol.

STEP 1: Start with Valor essential oil. Valor increases feelings of courage and confidence. It’s often called “liquid courage.”

  • Place one drop in your palms and rub them together.

  • Cup your hands over your nose and mouth and take three deep breaths.

  • Rub the oil onto your wrists, and hold wrists together for a few more breaths.

STEP 2: Next is Harmony. We’ll use this one to calm our minds and focus on the day ahead.

  • Place one drop in your palms and rub them together.

  • Cup your hands over your nose and mouth and take three deep breaths.

  • Apply the oil to your solar plexus, or the area of your torso just below your sternum and above your belly button. Hold for a few more breaths.

STEP 3: Our third oil is Joy. This one, like the others, pretty much does what its name says. Joy promotes happiness and positivity and stimulates the parts of your brain that house those feelings.

  • Place one drop in your palms and rub them together.

  • Cup your hands over your nose and mouth and take three deep breaths.

  • Apply the oil over your heart. Hold for a few more breaths.

STEP 4: Finally, you’ll complete the Great Day Protocol with White Angelica. Think of this one as a protector, and as you’re applying it, meditate on boundaries and protecting your energy as you walk through your day.

  • Place one drop in your palms and rub them together.

  • Cup your hands over your nose and mouth and take three deep breaths.

  • Put another drop or two in your hands, rub them together, and apply the oil to the crown of your head, your shoulders, arms, and all the way down to your feet. Think of it like putting on a whole-body shield.


Quality matters when you want results. I only use Young Living Oils because they are 100% pure oils that come from quality seeds, filtered water, have only the highest level of therapeutic constituents and are tested from everything from heavy metals to lead to pesticides. Want to try a sampler of essential oils for emotions at at discount to see what could work for you? You can purchase a sampler bundle of Frankincense, Lavender, Bergamot, Vetiver and Valor  here.

Want to try the great day protocol? Shop and save on the Great Day Protocol here.

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