True Story: You Can Lessen Anxiety in One Minute With This Hack


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Negative emotions are a healthy part of the human experience (and in the current state of our country, we are growing more and more accustomed to them). However, no one wants to live in a permanently bummed-out state. So it's smart to arm yourself with tools for dealing with anxiety, anger, sadness, and other less-than-stellar moods in an organic way. Not all of us can afford bi-weekly psychotherapy. But luckily, there is a quicker, cheaper (and less verbal) way to reach emotional wellness. Enter: Aromatherapy.

Most of us are vaguely aware of the benefits of essential oils, but if you don't know exactly how to wield them, they can be a bit mysterious. First, let's discuss exactly what essential oils are and what they can do for your mood.

"Essential oils are the concentrated essences of plants, flowers, and resins… [and they are] able to interact with our bodies and minds in a synergistic way," explains essential oils aficionado Susan Griffin-Black, co-founder of EO Products. "When we breathe in an essential oil, we’re bringing the transformative power of nature into our bodies and minds." The idea that a scent can alter your emotional state sounds like gobbledygook, but mainstream science does offer evidence for it. "Your olfactory nerves are actually in your sinuses… they're extensions of the olfactory part of the brain," explains Hope Gillerman, founder of wellness brand H. Gillerman Organics. "When you breathe in an essential oil, you are not just enjoying the scent, you are actually ingesting the quickly evaporating microparticles into the part of your brain that controls our emotions." So used the right way, essential oils can physiologically improve your well-being—and fast.

Want to know how to use essential oils to remedy every negative mood in seconds? Just keep scrolling.


(Image credit: A Beautiful Mess)

Four Essential Oil Hacks:

One of the biggest pluses of using essential oils to improve your mood is that they work instantly. "To get the optimal result from an essential oil combine it with a few others into a synergistic blend," Gillerman advises. Just make sure to dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil, like jojoba, so they don't irritate your skin or smell too strongly. (A good rule of thumb is to combine between one and five drops of each with 10 milliliters of a fatty, odorless oil.)

Before we get into specific scent recommendations, here are a few techniques for how to use your essential oil blends:

1. Inhalations

"Inhaling an essential oil is the quickest way to adjust your mood or negative emotional reactions," says Gillerman. Simply sit in a comfortable position with your shoulders and legs relaxed. Then put two or three drops of your blend in the palms of your hands, and cup them over your face to inhale. Or, place the drops on a tissue, and wave it back and forth under your nostrils. "Do this five times or until you feel more relaxed," Gillerman instructs.

2. Topical application

"You can inhale essential oils all day by applying them topically near your nose," Gillerman says. Try dabbing them on your collarbones: As the oils evaporate, you'll slowly inhale them off your skin. Or, to speed up the effects, place your oils on the "hot points" of your body, like the neck, chest, and shoulders.

3. In-shower aromatherapy

Turn your shower into a mini aromatherapy spa by placing a couple drops of your blend onto the shower floor. "The hot water helps turn the essential oils into a steamy world of relaxation," says Griffin-Black. "It's a wonderful way to start the day."

4. Diffusers

To enjoy the positive effects of essential oils all day long, invest in an essential oil diffuser (like this diffuser-humidifier hybrid, $36). Or, you can make one of your own at home. "Diffusers are a great way to get the benefits of essential oils," says Griffin-Black. "Just add a few drops to your diffuser, and fill any room with mood-enhancing benefits of essential oils." 

An Essential Oil Blendfor Every Mood:

If you're sad:

If you're stressed:

If you're exhausted:

If you're angry:

If you're wired:

If you're distracted:

If you're jet-lagged:


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.

Amanda Montell
Features Editor
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