Happiness is something personal. Happiness is also a chain of chemical reactions that happen inside our bodies. These reactions can be stimulated in many ways, and one of them is Aromatherapy. Essential oils for happiness can trigger the release of feel-good neurotransmitters.
In this article, you’ll find more details about:
- Brain molecules that can put you in a natural happy mood.
- The way essential oils benefit your mood, with their mechanism of action.
- Some of the best essential oils that can make you feel happy or alert. Or put you in a creative mood, and so on. With pros and cons, because it’s mighty important to be safe while enjoying Aromatherapy.
- Mood lifting essential oil blends. Try one for love, concentration, self-confidence, more energy and focus, and so on. You’ll be able to choose from a generous list of recipes.
The Connection between Neurotransmitters and Aromatherapy (Scientifically Proven)
Humans are very well adapted to natural environments and social interaction. Today’s modern age is more of a stressful factor. Whether we like it or not, it forces a certain lifestyle upon us.
And in the midst of all this busy and fast life, it’s more important than ever to learn how to relax again. It’s important to learn to enjoy our spare time to the fullest.
When a visit to the park is not possible, your best option is Aromatherapy. It uses volatile essential oils, extracted from plants. They have a great beneficial impact on our minds and health, just like a forest would. I will tell you more about their benefits soon.
Biologically and psychologically speaking, setting goals is good for us. Goals can keep our emotional health in balance. They make us feel happy when we achieve them.
From an aromatic point of view, you could set goals in finding different scents you like. Or you can set the goal of making your own signature perfume.
There is much about Aromatherapy that could stir your imagination and creativity. It can make a nice little project to keep you relaxed and pleasantly occupied for a long time.
Here’s a list of positive moods. Feel free to add to it whatever else makes you feel good.
Fortunately, using essential oils for happiness and mood can help with all of the above. Before getting to the oils though, let’s see how they can help us. First, I will tell you more about the neurotransmitters that Aromatherapy can affect.
Brain Molecules and Neurotransmitters that Induce Happy Feelings
Modern life has disrupted the balance of neurochemicals that we’ve had evolving for millions of years.
The human body produces hundreds of neurochemicals. These neurochemicals act like neurotransmitters to communicate with nerves and neurons. The results of this communication are certain chemicals or substances. These chemicals then induce good mood and happy feelings.
There are several very popular neurotransmitters that can induce a good mood. Fortunately, science shows a connection between them and essential oils for happiness.
So, instead of readjusting this imbalance with pills, you could try Aromatherapy.
Essential oils haven’t been researched quite as in-depth as we’d like to. The few that have though, showed clear proof that they can stimulate the production of dopamine and norepinephrine. At the same time, they can also maintain them at high enough levels for a long while.
Dopamine and norepinephrine are two of the most important mood enhancers. There’s a high chance that essential oils can stimulate other feel-good neurotransmitters. But I’ve only found proof about the two.
Dopamine – is released into the body and transmitted to the brain, like when a goal has been achieved. It affects mood, motivation and pleasure. In other words, when dopamine is released, the brain registers it as a very enjoyable moment. That boosts your mood instantly. Dopamine also controls movement and a very low level may lead to Parkinson’s disease.
Norepinephrine – is another brain molecule that affects mood and movement. It is also known as noradrenaline. A low level of norepinephrine (and/or serotonin) leads to depression. This chemical is fundamental in our social relationships. It also regulates cognition and motivation.
With this introduction, you will be able to see why they are connected with essential oils.
How Essential Oils Work toward Making You Feel Happier
Can essential oils make you feel happy? They could make you feel happy because they can stimulate the right brain molecules.
These plant extracts are very concentrated. Each chemotype of aromatic oil has a different and complex chemical profile. Their composition affects the way they smell, absorb into the tissue and their effects on the body.
They are volatile, which means they evaporate into the air. Their tiny molecules get inside the body via inhalation in a proportion of 50 – 70%. They can also do it through topical applications but in a smaller proportion (5 – 10%).
Essential oils are said to have hormone-like effects. This means they can tell the brain to release certain chemicals to make you feel good.
For example, there is a chemical constituent called linalool. It was found effective at enhancing dopamine release. Other compounds were found useful at stimulating norepinephrine.
These I will explain right away when giving you the pros and cons of a few good essential oils for happiness.
Best Essential Oils for happiness and Mood Lifting Essential Oil Blends
Knowing what they do and what their connection to our mood is, it’s time to see some of them “in action”. Take your pick from the following essential oils and start blending. Enjoy pleasant moments with your oils and learn to relax more often.
1) Lemon Essential Oil
Botanical name: Citrus limon.
- Lemon is one of the best essential oils for happiness, concentration, and good mood. One study showed clear proof that Lemon oil promotes a positive mood. It can do so by stimulating the release of norepinephrine. Their test showed that the oil can keep it elevated for about 20 minutes after inhalation.
- It also helps with feelings of nausea.
- Lemon can strengthen the capillaries and make the blood more fluid. Thus, it calms the nervous system and curbs certain cravings too.
- Lemon oil works great against anxiety, promoting feelings of well-being and joy.
- Lemon essential oil may trigger seizures.
- You must not expose yourself to the sun after using Lemon oil. Unless it’s been steam distilled, Lemon oil is phototoxic.
- In high doses and on a long-term, Lemon oil can damage the kidneys.
Why I like it:
Lemon has a very pleasant fragrance that can improve your mood. But it can also make your skin more beautiful. It’s antibacterial and can be used in acne treatments among others.
2) Neroli Essential Oil
Botanical name: Citrus aurantium (subspecies amara, chemotype pumilia)
- The linalool content in Neroli can be anywhere between 26 – 44%. Neroli is also known as Orange blossom. Linalool showed that it has sedative effects on the nervous system.
- In a test performed on mice, linalool stimulated the release of dopamine in the brain.
- While it calms down the nervous system, Neroli can also boost energy. Thus, we can say that Neroli is one great essential oil for energy and confidence. Neroli oil has the ability to make you feel happier.
- It also regulates blood pressure, which affects the wellbeing of the whole body.
- If you have asthma, use Neroli only with your doctor’s approval.
- When diffusing this oil, mix it with another essence (Lemon, Bergamot, etc.). Otherwise, it’s too strong and could cause headaches.
- Long-term use and large quantities can damage the kidneys.
Why I like it:
Neroli essential oil can be used for love also because it’s considered an aphrodisiac. Its smell is very fragrant, sweet and fresh and blends well with many other plant essences. Plus, Neroli can also improve digestion and the condition of the mature skin.
3) Spike Lavender Essential Oil
Botanical name: Lavandula latifolia.
- Spike Lavender is another essence high in linalool (23 – 50%). This content is slightly higher than true Lavender (Angustifolia). They’re both good but Spike is a bit better. This doesn’t mean you can’t use true lavender as well.
- Spike Lavender can bring your mind and body back to its relaxed state. To the state from before becoming stressed. Linalool can also contribute to stimulating norepinephrine release, not just dopamine.
- It can help strengthen the immune system and calm down mild pain.
- As an essential oil used for peace and joy, Spike Lavender should not be used by asthmatics.
- Avoid using it if you’re on medication too.
Why I like it:
Spike Lavender is another good essential oil for mood, confidence, love and overall happiness. It is especially useful in skin and hair care homemade treatments. The oil can also be used to purify the air and prevent viral infections like the flu.
If you’re a fan and you want to use doTerra oils for happiness, I can only recommend their Citrus Bliss synergy. It is a mixture of many citrus essences and Vanilla.
This makes the blend very uplifting and can put you in a positive mood very fast. After making an in-depth review of it, I can say that the doTerra oils blend can be used for happy feelings too.
Citrus essential oils can help you build your self-confidence. Citrus oils are good for mood, concentration, and alertness. It is probably a good idea to inhale the blend in the morning, for a quick pick-me-up.
The following lists include other oils high in linalool and citral. They appeared to have a big potential when it comes to inducing happy thoughts in a person. I’ve put them into categories, which I hope you’ll find useful for your blends:
Good essential oils for creativity and alertness:
- Rosemary (ct. Linalool + ct. Verbenone)
- Clary sage
- Sweet Orange
Good essential oils for love:
- Ylang -Ylang
- Sweet Marjoram
Confidence is an important personal trait. It comes from the trust in your own abilities and from a good health. When you take the time to care for yourself and make well-thought decisions, you know you can make it.
Aromatherapy is there to help you with your health and relaxation. Good essential oils for self- confidence are:
- Lavender (true).
- Rose Geranium
There are other good essential oils for happiness and mood too. They’re not as rich in linalool and citral as the ones above, but they contain other helpful molecules.
So, here is a list with more essential oils that can make you happy, or at least happier:
- Juniper berry
- Black Pepper
Mood-Lifting Essential Oil Blends for Everyday Use
You must always remember that the best essential oil for positive mood is the one you like, period. Liking a certain fragrance holds special meaning to each of us.
Fragrances can stimulate the limbic system and remind us of nice moments. This, in turn, stimulates the release of feel-good chemicals. First, decide which aroma you like. Then, you can choose to mix it with others for enhanced therapeutic effects.
I will give you uplifting Aromatherapy blends to use in a diffuser. Any recipe can be mixed with a carrier oil and used for a relaxing or energizing massage too.
Inhalation and topical application are two safe ways of enjoying the benefits of essential oils. For a massage or topical use, you must always dilute the oils, because they are very concentrated.
Read more about the proper dilution and questions about it, in one of my articles called:
The inhalation or diffusion of Aroma oils should be done for 20 – 30 minutes at most. You can repeat every 2 hours, to avoid air saturation. This may cause headaches and nausea.
The oils will continue diffusing after turning the device off. This means that the active molecules will linger in the atmosphere for an hour, give or take.
It is mandatory to keep the room well ventilated and to never diffuse continuously! Check out how to diffuse Aromatherapy oils safely.
I know that no diffuser manufacturer mentions this fact. To be honest, I’m not sure that they even know about a proper diffusion. They do build their products to run continuously for hours. Or if they do know, they choose to ignore it anyway.
However, studies show that 60+ minutes of inhaling aromatic molecules can elevate the blood pressure. They can also make you more anxious instead of relaxing you.
That being said, let’s get on to blending and feeling more positive!
Joyful Essential Oil Blend Recipe
- Grapefruit essential oil: 20 drops
- Lime essential oil: 10 drops
- Rose essential oil: 6 drops
Mix all the oils in a dark glass bottle. Pour 5 – 15 drops of this blend in your aroma diffuser. The quantity varies depending on the space you’re diffusing in.
The smaller the space, the less essential oil drops you’ll have to use. All these aromatic oils can uplift your mood and make you feel more confident.
Essential Oils Blend for Happiness and Energy
- Spike Lavender essential oil: 10 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 10 drops
- Petitgrain essential oil: 10 drops
- Bergamot essential oil: 10 drops
Use a moderate amount of drops from this blend for energy and positive mood. Spike Lavender will add a touch of calmness, while the others will give you that boost of energy.
Essential Oils for Self Confidence
- Ginger essential oil: 10 drops
- Rose Geranium essential oil: 10 drops
- Neroli essential oil: 20 drops
Essential Oil Recipe for Happy Mood
- Frankincense essential oil: 8 drops
- Ylang-Ylang essential oil: 8 drops
- Neroli essential oil: 8 drops
- Sweet Orange essential oil: 15 drops
Mood-Lifting Essential Oil Diffuser Blend
- Cinnamon essential oil: 8 drops
- Sweet Orange essential oil: 10 drops
- Lime essential oil: 10 drops
- Fir essential oil: 4 drops
Essential Oil Recipe for Love and Romance
- Ylang-Ylang essential oil: 15 drops
- Rose essential oil: 10 drops
- Black Pepper essential oil: 6 drops
These aromatic oils are all aphrodisiacs. The blend will smell sweet and romantic, with a tinge of spiciness that stimulates senses, creativity, and a good mood.
There are some great essential oils for mood boost out there. The choice depends on you and your preferences. As long as there are options available, you could play with blends all day long. It is certainly going to be a fun and relaxing experience.
Using only essential oils for happiness will help, but only to a certain extent. Be mindful of your wishes and goals and stick to them, and your life will improve.
What is your favorite essential oil and why? I would like to hear from you and what works for your happiness.