Essential Oils for Depression: Improve Mood, Focus & State of Mind
According to The World Health Organization more than 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression on a daily basis. This is a staggering fact but it should come as know surprise. Watching just ten minutes of the news is enough to send even the average person down into the proverbial pit of despair. Poverty stricken countries and those with on-going war suffer the highest amounts of depression, much of this undoubtedly stems from a great deal of hopelessness. Other countries such as those known for working large amounts of hours and little vacation days also have a very high amount of depression. Japan is one of these countries. In fact, the Japanese people work so much they even have a word for it – Karoshi which basically translates to “over-working oneself to the point of death”. Needless to say, depression is quite high in Japan.
Symptoms of Depression
- Trouble concentrating – You Feel yourself having a difficult time staying focused on a particular task or your mind just wanders to random thoughts, often negative ones.
- Feeling Agitated – Quick to become angry at even the smallest things.
- Trouble Sleeping & Insomnia – Regularly deal with only a couple hours of sleep per night or even several days of no sleep.
- Pain – Stress is taxing on the body and depression and stress are often symbiotic.
- Feeling Hopeless – Lost and maybe a lack of of direction.
Essential Oils for Depression
- Clary Sage – This Essential Oil works to eliminate tension and feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Jasmine – Lovely aroma that helps you to feel more refreshed and optimistic towards the day.
- Lemon, Orange, and Lime – Citrus is a natural feel good aroma which brings the body into a state of well-being, focus and alertness. A couple drops of one of these oils in a diffuser will set you on the path to brighter days.
- Peppermint – Peppermint is more than just mints, tea or chewing gum. It’s a fantastic aroma that helps provide your brain with an incredible sense of focus. It also works marvelous as a treatment for headaches and migraines. If you are feeling distracted, anxious or fearful try diffusing a few drops of this oil.
- Rosemary – If you’re feeling especially dreary and fatigued this oil can lift the spirits.
- Lavender – I love the smell of Lavender. It always reminds me of a warm summer day.
- Geranium – Rose like essential oil for pain and anxiety and helps bring the mind into a sense of harmony.
Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Stress and Depression
Clean up Your Diet
Our bodies are what we eat and the chemicals that we consume play a large part in our mental state. One of the simplest things that someone can do to begin feeling better is to switch up their diet by including foods that naturally create a more happy state of mind. Here is a list of foods that you should add to your diet:
Eat More of These:
- Walnuts – Keeps the brain healthy due to the Omega-3 fatty acids
- Chocolate – Enough said.
- Apricots – Contain healthy amounts of Vitamin C, E, and A. They also contain good amounts of Iron and Potassium.
- Shitake Mushrooms – Aids the body to maintain good intestinal/gut health which helps the body to manufacture serotonin.
- Fish – The Omega 3 in fish is especially beneficial to the brains function (Think Tuna & Salmon).
Stay Away From These:
- Caffeine – Can increase anxiety.
- Alcohol – Depressant, don’t go here. Instead try drinking Kombucha, it contains a very small amount of alcohol and will help relax the body.
- High Sodium Foods – Makes you feel blotted and fatigued. Also increases blood pressure which can lead to Anxiety.
Get Some Exercise
Don’t think that you have to over do it here. I am not saying to go out and signup for Crossfit. Take it slow and easy. Start out by taking a 15 minute walk several times a day. The Fresh air, trees and a change of scenery is often enough to give someone a boost of happiness. A little Heart-Pumping exercise can go a long way. When you workout your body not only sweats out toxic chemicals but it also produces endorphins that naturally help to create a higher state of euphoria.
Yoga – Get Your Zen On
There is a reason so many people choose to make Yoga a daily part of their everyday life, it works. Studies have shown that those that practice Yoga regularly are less stressed, sleep better and deal with lower levels of anxiety. In a study completed in Germany in 2005, two dozen women each who experienced high levels of depression were told to take two 90 minute Yoga sessions per week. Within 3 months all noted a 50% reduction in the amount of depression. This was compared against a group that did not undergo any physical exercise.
Take A Little L-Theanine
L-Theanine when coupled with caffeine have been shown to reduce stress and to promote focus and clarity. In Study completed in Japan. Patients were given 200mg of L-Theanine before completing a arithmetic problem in order to see if the patient experienced less stress while completing the problem. The results were positive.
Get More Vitamin B-12
Being deficient in Vitamin B-12 can be a major factor in one feeling a sense of depression. B-12 is what helps the brain to create Serotonin and dopamine both of which help you to feel happier. Although you could eat foods that are rich in Vitamin B-12 many people still have a hard time getting the recommended daily amount. I recommend to simply add in a B-12 Supplement.
The brain contains receptors specifically for Vitamin D. Studies have shown that people who are deficient in Vitamin D are more prone to experience the symptoms of despondency. If you find yourself feeling this way make sure that your are getting enough foods that contain Vitamin D or start taking a Supplement.
Final NoteDepression is a very serious disease, if you feel that you are experiencing strong symptoms please consult the help of a medical professional. Although Essential Oils can go a long way to help you feel better and maybe even cure your depression all together is best to seek the advice of a certified medical doctor.