• SHARE

In addition to St. John’s wort and Bach Flower Remedies, there are other natural means of lifting the spirits.

Among the essential oils, there are some specific ones whose benefits include a promise of happiness. These include rose, neroli, jasmine, clary sage, grapefruit, tangerine, geranium, sandalwood, palma rosa, vetiver, cardamom, bergamot, lavender, rosemary, nutmeg, pettigraine, chamomile (Roman), rose maroc, osmanthus, vanilla and basil.

Depending on the nature of your depression, low spirits or anxiety, each of these has something to offer. Not only does each oil have particular properties (consult a guide to the oils for detailed information), but you may have a special liking for one or another, which counts too. Vanilla, for example, is an uplifting oil, but you might find it too sweet, so it could get in the way of your campaign for good spirits.

Depression often begins as simple stress that gets out of hand. Physical symptoms like insomnia and intense fatigue are just the first warnings that you need to reorder your priorities so life does not weigh upon you so heavily. If things progress in the same way, it becomes more and more difficult to do anything about your emotional state, especially once it becomes a physical state as well. When you’re stressed and depressed, you become susceptible to colds and viruses, and often there are a whole gamut of aches and pains to contend with. In its severe form, this kind of prolonged stress and unhappiness can lead to high blood pressure and a generally inefficient immune system.

So try an essential-oil cure before things get to that stage. It’s easy and it smells nice.

Use essential oils in several ways: put five drops of an oil or oil mixture in your nightly bath; use an oil diffuser to allow the fragrance to scent your home atmosphere; add some oil to water in a plant mister and spray the air in your office; and take frequent sniffs of the oils straight from the bottle whenever you can. You can also add the essential oils to a carrier oil and make a massage oil, to be used in massage or just for a quick rubdown post-bath. Some people like to rub such an oil onto the soles of their feet to start the day off right. Keep the scent around you in whatever way you can, but remember that most oils are too strong to be applied neat to the skin.

Oil-scented candles or incense are another possibility, as is potpourri. All of the burning methods are traditionally associated with the purification of home and spirit, and the exorcism of demons and evil spirits — another way of saying depression, perhaps? The fresh flowers, fruit or herbs (the original source of the oils) can be used in the home as well, to exude not only beauty but to impart their natural fragrance to the air. A bunch of bay leaves hung in a corner of a room will keep the evil spirits at bay. Heat and moisture are both good scent carriers.

Whatever your preferred method, try an oil or a mixture of oils that appeal to you intuitively and see what happens. Or visit an aromatherapist for an expert blend made just for you.

Breathe.

Relax.

And . . . don’t worry, be happy — just like the song says!