emotional support + the brain
Updated: Oct 2, 2020
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT + THE BRAIN
When we go to fill up the diffuser, we know that our essential oils are releasing healing compounds into the air - but what’s the deal with emotions? How are oils going to impact our feelings or mood? To understand this, we need to take a look at the brain and how it processes emotion.
In the brain, under the cerebral cortex (the outer layer), there is a collection of structures called the limbic system. This regulates our body temperature, hunger, thirst, sleep, pleasure, and controls the release of hormones in the body - based on emotional stimuli.
The limbic system also takes our experiences and forms memories, especially where strong emotion was attached to the event.
The amygdala, part of this system, is where trauma is stored from accidents, abuse, or shock. It evaluates our experiences, determining whether we should be in fight or flight to deal with potential threats. This part of the brain learns about rewards and punishments and programs them into our nervous system, which can be good or bad. We can learn harmful things that program our body to associate pretty much anything with danger or harm, meaning we will be wired for fear and stress. Researchers have discovered that the sense of smell is the *only* sense with a direct line of communication to this area of the brain.
When we inhale something as potent as our essential oils, we are able to send messages of help quickly and effectively to this emotional center of our brain.
“Because the limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance, essential oils can have profound physiological and psychological effects… Olfactory responses to odors induce the brain to stimulate the release of hormones and neurochemicals that in turn alter the body’s physiology and behavior.”
-Essential Oil Desk Reference, 4th Edition
So when we fill up the diffuser, we are making a phone call straight to our emotions and the physical effects of stressful emotions. We’re telling them, “Hey. I brought in some help.”
Here are some things that can happen when we make that phone call and offer a pure, therapeutic lifeline to interrupt the stress //
Parts of the body that have been in overtime get to take a break! Emotional responses or habits that we are conditioned to are affected Negative emotions may resurface to be processed and released so the brain doesn’t have to work around them anymore Physical changes can occur as the body reassigns workers and starts to heal from the compromise of stress. This balancing act is sometimes uncomfortable at first.
As you can see, essential oils are clearly designed to be compatible with our brain and in fact are unique in their ability to help us deal with emotion!
Jennifer Olmstead Speulstra, a crossline friend, has a wealth of knowledge on supporting a little one with special needs. This is AMAZING information that she shared on fear & worry.
"Fear and worry are often underlying causes for difficult behavior. The limbic system of our brain, is the home of our emotions. It directly influences the hypothalamus, which if you research it, practically controls everything in our system. When fear and worry sit in our brain, including fears that have no basis, it wreaks havoc on many of our systems. This constant attack on our brain and body, can be traumatic.
Studies at New York University proved the amygdala gland [which is an almond shaped gland in the limbic part of the brain that plays a key role in processing emotions] does not respond to sound or sight or touch, but ONLY releases emotional trauma through the sense of smell.” This fascinates me and proves to me WHY essential oils work so wonderfully in this area!
Essential oils which are beneficial for helping with FEAR AND WORRISOME THOUGHTS are //
STRESS AWAY LAVENDER JOY FRANKINCENSE ORANGE VALOR
other emotional support favs //
PEPPERMINT PEACE + CALMING WHITE ANGELICA CEDARWOOD
These are perfect things to grab on your Essential Rewards order to snag more FREE oils-- and ship with your free shipping via YLGO+!!!
Tell me, which is your fav emotional support oil??!