Do you feel emotionally overwhelmed?
Would you like to feel clearer and stronger?
Do you feel yourself taking shallow breaths?
Do you have lots of buried feelings under the surface?
Do you find your chest tightening and your airways feeling restricted?
Do you worry that if you feel the emotions inside they will drown you?
Does your body seem to be holding everything you’ve experienced the last few years?
Then you are in the right place (and you are not alone!) because we are going to look at the what, why and how of all that overwhelm, and then we are going to forge the way out!
It’s time to get un-stuck, to let go of the weight holding you down, and to move forward in peace and power towards the best version of yourself.
It’s time for a deep, soul-altering breath. One that reaches into the places of hurt and trauma, acknowledges the pain, truly heals the wound, and lets you live from a place of safety.
It’s time for an emotional exhale.
Emotions & the Brain
Emotions are a part of our everyday lives. They are unavoidable, and they are valuable to us!
Emotions are simply reactions that we experience in response to events or situations. The type of emotion we experience is determined by the circumstance that triggers the emotion. For instance, a person experiences joy when they receive good news. A person experiences fear when they are threatened.
There is a physical reason for this. Our brains have specific areas where we process emotion. The system of the brain responsible for memory and mood is the limbic system. It includes the hippocampus, the hypothalamus, and the amygdala.
When we look at the structure of the brain, we see that the amygdala (a tiny, almond-shaped structure) is key when it comes to emotion and fear.
The hippocampus is where new nerve cells are created. And it is physically beside the structure responsible for emotions. And is connected to the nose via a cranial nerve.
That may sound a bit like science jargon, but let’s read that again.
The part of the brain where new nerve cells are created is connected to the part that processes emotions and is also connected to our sense of smell.
That is powerful friend.
That is how we can process trauma.
That is how we rewire our brains.
That is how we move forward in peace.
And that is what we are going to talk about in this class!
Everyone carries unprocessed emotions from experiences to some degree. However, emotions that aren’t dealt with don’t just go away. They can affect:
The way you think about yourself
How you react to stress
Your physical well-being
Your relationships with others
We want to utilize the tools we have to dig deep and release the emotional baggage of trauma that is weighing us down.
Let’s put down those emotional backpacks and utilize the beautiful system of our minds and bodies to find that emotional exhale we all desperately need.
Emotions & the Nervous System
Our emotions are closely linked to our physical bodies. If you've ever felt your stomach churn from anxiety or your heart beat faster with worry or fear, then you know that this is true.
This is because of the Central Nervous System. Quick (and we mean quick!!) science lesson….
The Central Nervous System has two branches - the autonomic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system. The Autonomic Nervous System controls involuntary body responses, such as blood flow and digestion. The Sympathetic Nervous System is charged with controlling the body's fight-or-flight reactions. BOTH of these systems are affected by and involved in our emotional responses.
For now, let’s focus on the Sympathetic Nervous System, our fight-or-flight response.
We will be in one of three places within our Sympathetic Nervous System:
Ventral aka the right amount of energy. We feel calm, grounded, able to give and receive connection with others.
Sympathetic aka too much energy. We are hyperactive, frustrated, angry, yelling, anxious, panicking and defensive.
Dorsal aka drained or zero energy. We are shut down, closed off, depressed, zoned out, numbed, hopeless and sluggish.
Think about each of these three states. What does it look like for you to be in Ventral? What does it feel like emotionally? Physically? What about Sympathetic? Dorsal? Write these things down. This will help you identify the state of your Sympathetic Nervous System and your triggers for activation.
Our goal is to spend as much time as possible in Ventral energy, but past trauma and pain can hijack the system and send us down the spiral into an activated Sympathetic state or further down into a numbed or depressed Dorsal state.
This is why it is so important for us to identify trauma and process and heal the past, so that we can rewire those responses and spend our time in a calm state with the right amount of energy. This is also the energetic state where we can grow, connect and thrive!
And you guessed it. One of our best tools for rewiring this system? Essential oils.
Emotions & Essential Oils
So how do essential oils help with our emotions? Short answer: because of the power of aromatherapy and the limbic system.
Our sense of smell is directly related to our emotions and mood. The cranial nerve associated with smell goes from your nose, into your brain and ends next to the hypothalamus - the area of the brain responsible for mood, feelings and emotional processing. This is why a scent can trigger a memory or even a feeling. Vanilla reminds you of baking cookies with your best friend. Lavender reminds you of your grandmother.
This is why aromatherapy is so effective when it comes to processing emotions and dealing with needs such as anxious thoughts, stress and even low mood.
Essential oils are also great for emotions because they contain constituents that can cross the blood brain barrier to help reprogram bad coding as a result of trauma. Then other compounds rewrite that code to restore the original perfect copy, one that will not keep us pulled into the physical and emotional effects of stress. This is a process, but the great thing about essential oils is that we have a CHOICE to embrace that process instead of loading our bodies up with toxins, chemicals, and other things that create more confusion in the cells.
There is no shame in using conventional tools available to you to help you through when needed, but remember that they are intended for use while you’re also doing the emotional work. This is why adding essential oils, daily affirmations and emotional processing to your daily routine can help you truly rewire the system to create a more peaceful baseline for your emotional health!
Releasing Emotional Patterns
Sometimes the thing that helps us buckle down to make a change is actually to... let go. Which sounds easy, but it takes intentional work to truly let go and not revisit past pains that feel like a gaping wound.
It takes work, but we are equipped with tools to help us do that work! The starting point? Take a second and think about your past. You have probably experienced trauma, and you may not know it.
Let’s talk about trauma. It’s a bit of a buzzword, but honestly, there's a good reason for that. We have all experienced things in our lives that shaped us, for good or for bad, and oftentimes we have experienced trauma that has created habits and responses in us that can often be overlooked.
Do you feel easily overwhelmed?
Anxious about the future?
Frustrated with how your life has turned out?
Easily annoyed with family or coworkers?
Snap at people when you don’t really want or mean to?
You likely have trauma that needs to be processed.
For our purposes, trauma can be defined as “any situation where you got less than you needed and were not equipped to process it.”
It may have been a parent who worked long hours to provide for the family, making them unable to attend your games, school events and other things.
It may have been adoption. You may have wonderful, loving adoptive parents but still carry a wound from before that time.
It may have been an acute event that you vividly remember.
The point here is that we all likely have trauma, and sometimes it takes a little digging to find it, to find how it shaped you, and to find how it is showing up in your life today. And if we don’t do the work to process these emotions, then they remain stuck in our bodies and subconsciousness where they continue to wreak havoc.
So what do we do? We take active, intentional steps to release those emotional patterns!
Essential oils are wonderful tools for this. We can use scent to revisit past pain, honor the experience, heal the wound and move forward in peace. We have the capability to rewire those pathways of trauma that are causing our nervous systems to move into fight or shutdown mode, and that is a powerful tool!
HOW do you do this? Grab an oil and isolate what emotion you are feeling. Think about the opposite of that emotion and deeply inhale the oil as you sit quietly. After a time, practice rewiring that pathway with a truth or affirmation. Do this daily as you process through a specific event or emotion.
Here are a few examples from one of our favorite reference books, Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils:
Emotion: Anxiety // Other Side: Confidence // Way Out: “Peace, be still.”
Emotion: Disappointment // Other Side: Freedom // Way Out: “I trust my vision.”
Emotion: Grief // Other Side: Happy // Way Out: “Change brings growth.”
Emotion: Judgment // Other Side: Regard // Way Out: “I am discerning.”
Emotion: Misery // Other Side: Joy // Way Out: “I am free.”
Another great way to process emotions is through movement. This can be walking, yoga, swimming, cycling, etc. just as long as the movement physically moves your body through space.
Grab your oils and apply or diffuse them as you move, breathing in the oil as you mentally and physically process.
For some individuals those steps also include therapy or counseling. There is a lot of value in a third party listening and giving insight into your experiences, and great healing can happen in those safe spaces!
Speaking Truth Over Our Lives
Truth is a good thing, a necessary thing, and can feel like a complex thing as well.
Your past pain and trauma is true. And so is the ability for you to find freedom from it.
Everyone’s trauma is different, but remember that our definition here is a time where you did not receive what you needed and were not equipped to handle it. Using oils and truths or affirmations will help you rewire the pathways in your brain to create new ones that are peaceful and whole.
Speaking truth over our lives, our situations and even our past is essential to the emotional release process. This can be done in multiple different ways, so choose one that feels good to start with, and consider adding in some of the other practices as you move forward.
This can be as simple as identifying the emotion(s) you wish to release, finding the opposite of them, and repeating a mantra (or a few) each day as you breathe in an essential oil.
Grab a dry erase marker and write these affirmations on a mirror. Then spend five to ten minutes a day looking at your reflection and reciting these affirmations while you breathe from the bottle or diffuse your chosen oil.
Writing can be a powerful tool for processing emotions. This can look like writing a letter to a younger version of yourself, to a parent or family member, to the ‘good girl or boy’ you felt like you had to be, or really to anyone (real or imaginary or a past version of a real person).
Get a pen and paper instead of typing as our eyes track and process differently on a blue light device. Fire up your diffuser, apply an oil blend and inhale it as you write.
Because our emotions affect our physical health and because we need to really slow down to process them, taking a long bath can be great for processing.
Grab about a cup of epsom salts and add a few drops of your chosen essential oil or blend. Fire up your diffuser as well. Then sit and soak as you isolate your emotions, find the other side and process through any trauma that you uncover. Continue to breathe in the oils as you go.
You can use visualization to revisit a past pain and rewire the pathways in your brain to move your nervous system into a safe place.
Think back to a painful period in your life. Who was there? What did it look like? How did it feel? How old are you? Sit there for a moment.
Now visualize someone who feels safe, strong, and nurturing to you. It can be a real person or someone fictional or someone you make up. Imagine that person coming in to give the younger version of yourself exactly what you needed in that moment.
As we move forward to talk about using essential oils for emotional release, come back to these practices as a way to actually work through your emotions and trauma. Add at least one of them to your daily routine, then add others!
The Power of Diffusing
We know that our sense of smell is directly related to our emotions and mood because of the limbic system. This means that we can intentionally use aromatherapy to process past trauma, rewire the signals in our brains and release the negative emotions we carry.
This knowledge carries such incredible significance for us.
This empowers us with practical tools for our emotional health.
This means that WE have the power to change our thoughts.
WE have the power to change our emotions.
WE have the power to change our actions, even in the face of stress.
The practice of aromatherapy has been around for centuries and has become an incredibly popular area of study in the last decade. There are countless studies on PubMed about the ways that essential oils can positively impact health areas such as immunity, mood and emotions, sleep, racing thoughts, focus and much more.
Like we mentioned, aromatherapy (breathing in essential oils) sends messages to our brain through our cranial nerves and limbic system. This means that inhaling oils triggers this area, helping us to rest, reset, and recharge. And diffusing is a great way to get the benefit of these oils for more than one individual!
This can be as simple as grabbing an essential oil blend, adding 10 or so drops to your diffuser, and setting it next to you while you sit quietly, journal, meditate over a scripture or affirmation, or even revisit a past trauma and visualize what you needed in that moment.
Go back to where we talked about speaking truth over our lives and find one of those actions you can take while sitting quietly. Breathe in essential oils as you do this to further rewire the connections in your brain.
Letting It Go - Release Oil
Release is one of the most powerful emotional tools around!
This oil is a blend of Ylang ylang, Lavender, Geranium, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Lemon, Blue cypress, Davana (a POWERFUL emotional oil!) Lime, Ocotea, Jasmine, Chamomile, Blue tansy (highly supportive and calming to the Central Nervous System), and Rose.
In short, it is a powerhouse blend of highly valuable oils that are high frequency (Rose, Davana, Jasmine) and help us tap into the past trauma we’ve experienced, honor the experiences, heal the wounds, and release the pain to move forward in our full potential.
Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood and Blue Tansy specifically help to stimulate the pineal gland to remember and release past hurts and to soothe the Central Nervous System (our fight or flight system!).
Citrus oils like Grapefruit, Tangerine, Lemon and Lime are great tools for processing feelings of sadness and grief, which always come in the presence of trauma or distress.
Basically, the oils in this blend are perfect for helping you find that emotional exhale!
Remember, trauma here is defined as “any situation where you got less than you needed and were not equipped to process it.” These traumas actually get stored deep within our cellular memory, and we can use the limbic system of the brain to help shift our thoughts and emotions around these traumas and patterns.
Release essential oil blend can help process and release feelings of anger, frustration, being held back, rebellion, feeling wronged, fear of success, and loss of identity.
It can help promote the positive side of these feelings such as cleansing, freedom, harmony and unconditional love.
Emotional Exhale Practices with Release
Diffuse throughout the day.
Diffuse with Lavender at bedtime.
Apply topically to wrists, over the heart, to the edge of ears and feet.
Remember to use it EVERY DAY! Repeat a positive affirmation that rings true to you for your situation. ‘I am safe. I am loved. I am valued. I am open to success. I acknowledge the past and am ready to move forward.’
Facing Change with Courage - Valor Oil
Valor is a popular blend of Frankincense, Black Spruce, Blue Tansy, Camphor Wood, and Geranium that is helpful for many emotions around our activated, sympathetic, fight or flight response, thus it's battle-worthy name!
In fact, this oil is inspired by the oils that Roman Soldiers would bathe in before battle. The oils would sit atop the water in their bath houses and this special blend was added before a big battle. When they rose from the water, the oils would soak and stay on their skin to help prepare them for something big and scary ahead.
Valor‘s woodsy, calming aroma comes from a blend of Black Spruce, Blue Tansy, and Frankincense. This blend can also be a key oil in overcoming emotional abuse and recovering from trauma. It's a powerhouse when facing a trial or season of adversity because its natural properties help align the body both emotionally and physically.
Our emotions and trauma are often stored in the physical tissues and fascia of our bodies and essential oils help release stuck emotions and tension at a physical level from specific parts of the body:
Feeling Resigned (like you can't fight it): Diaphragm
Feeling like you are Losing a Battle: just below lower lip
Fear of Conflict: Abdomen, just above right and left hips
Feeling Aggressive: Abdomen, just above right and left hips
Feeling Defensive: Stomach
Valor has properties that get to the core control centers of the negative emotional programs. When we're ready to make a change, to start challenging that fight or flight survival mode with a better way of thinking and living, this is the perfect oil.
Emotional Exhale Practices with Valor
Apply to your shoulders, the bottoms of your feet, the back of your neck, or anywhere that you're experiencing tension or a stressful tightness in your body.
Diffuse this oil as you journal, move your body or walk through visualizations.
Diffuse Valor while you sleep
Place a drop or two of Valor between your wrists (palm-up side), and then hold them together for a few minutes. Use this time to process through past trauma or emotions that are weighing you down.
At Peace with the Uncontrollable - Forgiveness Oil
Forgiveness is a beautiful blend of high frequency oils - Melissa, Geranium, Frankincense, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Coriander, Angelica, Bergamot, Lemon, Ylang ylang, Jasmine, Helichrysum, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa and Rose.
These oils work synergistically to create a calm, uplifting environment when forgiving yourself and others and can help us release the stagnant, toxic thoughts stuck in our body's memory that act as a safety mechanism.
When we experience trauma or feel unsafe, thoughts become encoded in our nervous system, and from that point on, all of our senses give us warning notes via our subconscious (and sometimes conscious) thoughts.
These memories and thoughts can be triggered by sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell, and they show up in our current experiences and pull us down. The most common emotional patterns created are Self-denial, Revenge and Distrust.
The problem is that our bodies can't tell the difference between an emotional threat and a physical threat. When we start feeling emotionally vulnerable after these messages have been encoded, the body will send warnings, sometimes thousands of times per day, to keep us alive. We want to reverse these patterns, to restore the blueprint of our original ability to be at PEACE.
Emotions associated with Forgiveness:
Distrust (felt in the gut): Distrust results from being stressed, and stress is caused by many subconscious messages pulling us in different directions. To establish a healthier pattern of trust, we need “integrity”, which is where our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions can become consistent. No more secret messages internally scattering our thoughts.
Old pattern: Distrust.
New pattern: Integrity.
Affirmation: “I honor truth.” We can release old trauma and untruth that is stuck in the body, and move forward with integrity.
Self-Denial (felt in back of neck, base of skull): The most common root of denying our own needs is expecting others to know what we need before we have asked. This leads to living with a spirit of neglect, blaming others, and unforgiveness. In fact, it often looks like taking care of everything under the sun EXCEPT for ourselves, and an underlying thought cycle that we are “the only one who does anything around here.”
Old pattern: Self-denial
New pattern: Wisdom.
Affirmation: “I support myself.”
Emotional Exhale Practices with Forgiveness
When using the Forgiveness blend, meditate on the opposite of the above emotions - supporting yourself, finding awareness to honor your experiences, detaching from allowing someone else to have a say over your worth and value. Use the mantras below as you apply the oil, sit with the feelings until you feel a shift.
Daily affirmations to pair with the Forgiveness blend:
I Have Courage to Honor my Story
I Learn from All Experiences
I Forgive (others or myself)
I Support Myself
Healing the Past - Inner Child Oil
Inner Child essential oil blend combines Orange, Tangerine, Ylang ylang, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Jasmine, Lemongrass and Spruce essential oils. This blend helps release the emotions that distort memories in our cells. Think of this like a picture or video of past events where little edits were made to present something threatening, even if that was not the case.
The symptoms of this vary widely, but we might notice some patterns:
When someone tries to be honest, especially friends/family, we continually hear their voice criticizing us for months afterward.
We find ourselves revisiting the same short list of past hurts on a regular basis, telling stories about what someone did or said to us, thinking each time that if we just vent...the pressure of that pain or offense will let up.
We create an image of ourselves (typically a bad one) and no matter what we do to take care of ourselves, that recording makes sure we stay ashamed, disappointed, and hopeless, or...
We finally start feeling better about ourselves because we have fulfilled an imaginary list of “things that will make us feel accomplished” - only to find that the stress of keeping up with that list starts to slowly steal from our relationships and our sanity.
Inner Child blend is sometimes referred to as ‘The Therapist'. When you visit a therapist, they do their work, not by talking, but through listening. They encourage you to share the feelings, past, and thoughts that make up your inner workings. To process through how you came to your patterns, actions, and current beliefs.
Many times there were situations where someone as a child felt unseen, unheard, or unvalued. In order to move forward, it is important to look back and allow that inner child to speak. When we consider what a child will need, we begin to see our own needs more clearly. It's obvious to us that a child who has experienced something new or difficult would require additional help and attention to deal with that event.
Some practical uses for this blend are:
Overcoming the trauma of abuse
Accepting our own needs
Stimulating an emotional healing process
Releasing obsessive habits and patterns
Supporting the mind, body, and emotions during periods of transition
For children who struggle with intense fear, trouble letting go and moving on, or who have been uprooted or experienced a traumatic change, this oil will be a huge support.
Emotional Exhale Practices with Inner Child
Place several drops of Inner Child in your diffuser as you process emotions.
Diffuse with Release as you sleep.
Apply Inner Child around the navel and rub a drop into your palms to inhale directly.
Use this blend on and around you consistently. Our emotional patterns that took a lifetime to form aren't going to get unraveled completely in one day.
Living in the Present - Present Time Oil
Present Time is a lovely blend of Neroli, Spruce and Ylang ylang in a base of almond oil, making it wonderful for direct application or diffusing.
Present Time helps you focus on the here and now, so you can get beyond the past and move forward. When paired with other emotional support oils, this is a powerful tool for truly being present with your current experiences and releasing the pain of the past.
Neroli is steam distilled from orange blossoms and is the most lovely, uplifting aroma. Neroli was used by the ancient Egyptians for the healing of mind, body and spirit. It is stabilizing and strengthening to the emotions, promotes peace, confidence and awareness, and brings mental awareness to alleviate anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Spruce is a powerful emotional tool. This oil helps us to open and release emotional blocks and helps foster a sense of balance and grounding.
Ylang Ylang essential oil promotes relaxation, balances male and female energies, restores confidence and equilibrium, and alleviates insomnia, which often occurs when we are repressing emotions.
This blend of oils creates a strong, encouraging scent to increase the ability to focus on the present moment. As busy men and women, parents, care givers, employees, etc. we can become so focused on the next deadline, task or responsibility, and it becomes very easy to lose sight of what is directly in front of us. The stack of papers or dishes or laundry seems so time sensitive that we rush through the people in front of us - children, spouses, partners, friends, even ourselves.
Present Time helps us to allow ourselves to give and receive in the present even when we have been hurt in the past.
Emotional Exhale Practices with Present Time
Wear this oil as a perfume each day. Apply over the wrists, chest and throat. You can even place a drop on the crown of the head!
Diffuse Present Time as you walk through visualizations, journal or simply sit quietly and think through your feelings.
Apply or diffuse Present Time during intentional time with family, significant other and other relationships you want to cultivate.
Ready for the Future - Harmony Oil
Harmony essential oil blend contains some amazing emotional support oils - Sacred Sandalwood, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Orange, Angelica, Geranium, Hyssop, Spanish Sage, Black Spruce, Coriander, Bergamot, Lemon, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa, and Rose.
These oils work together to help us promote harmony within our minds and bodies through releasing the past, finding peace in the present and looking forward to the future.
Harmony helps to release toxic beliefs and thought patterns related to feeling ignored, crushed, hostile, afraid of punishment, beating ourselves up, sarcasm, and stubbornness.
When we feel ignored, our perception is that we are not a part of the big picture. We aren't good enough, worthy enough, or able to play our part.
When we are crushed, we are collapsing inwardly. Who we are has been forced down and suppressed. We stop seeing our part.
When we are hostile, we are quick to see others as the enemy, and everything in life as an opposition to our part. We are trying to play alone, because we can't trust the other parts.
Fear of punishment is the opposite of love. When we are beating ourselves up, we actually turn from love into fear. These are opposites. Emotional Exhale Practices with Harmony
When there are situations where you are experiencing some of the emotions listed above, sit or stand still until you feel where that emotion is causing a sensation in your body. It might feel like pain, twitching, tingling, aching, nausea, heat, cold, or a general tension.
Rub Harmony over the area (or just nearby if it's sensitive), and hold your hand over the spot. Take several deep breaths. This is a simple step to become aware of the mind-body connection. It's okay if you don't know how to fix all of these issues right this minute. Begin embracing the idea that you have a part to play, a harmony that only you can add to the relationships and opportunities in your life!
Diffuse Harmony as you process emotions and trauma, while you sleep or as you meditate or journal.
Wear this oil as a daily perfume and remind yourself of truths and affirmations for the emotions you are processing.
The Feelings Kit
The Feelings Collection includes six essential oil blends that you can use morning and evening to promote peaceful thoughts and harmony. Each of these oils is a powerful tool on its own for emotional release, and when combined you have a truly incredible tool for your emotional health!
The Feelings Kit includes all the oil blends we mentioned in this class, so you already know how incredible they are and have ideas for how to use them!
If you are wrestling with big emotions or trying to process hard situations, here is a great protocol developed by Gary Young that you can follow using the Feelings Kit:
Step 01: Apply Valor to the feet as the first step of the Cleansing of feelings.
Step 02: Apply Harmony on the chakra points to allow negative energy to escape.
Step 03: Apply Forgiveness to the navel and let go of negative emotions.
Step 04: Apply Present Time to the wrists and behind the ears.
Step 05: Apply Release over the liver and wait as feelings of frustration are lifted.
Step 06: Apply 1–2 drops of Inner Child just under your nose to open the pathway to connecting with your inner self.
Step 07: Lastly, re-apply Valor essential oil to complete the cleansing of feelings and provide completeness and balance.
Grab this kit on Loyalty Rewards to get your membership, discounted shipping, product credits and all the perks while giving yourself the gift of an emotional exhale!