I’m sure you know by now (if you’ve been hangin’ around this neck of the woods for a while) that I wholeheartedly believe that our wellness is a mind/body/soul operation – meaning that an imbalance in one area affects our overall health. And, because energy is *literally* everything in life, it’s super important to factor our emotional health into our holistic health in a big way. Our emotions each carry their own energetic signatures, or vibrations, after all.
Emotions tend to be misunderstood and sidestepped by conventional medicine because it usually leans towards more of a reductionist view of health care – focusing on symptoms and how to mask them instead of assessing people as a whole and resolving imbalances at their root cause.
When you tell a conventional doctor that you’re dealing with an emotional concern like anxiety, many (not all, of course) are quick to write you a prescription and send you packing (spoken from numerous personal experiences) – never even pausing to ask you about what triggers your anxiety, how it manifests itself in your body, what your lifestyle looks like, and what you could personally tweak to find real, lasting change. Emotions are treated like just another pain point to get rid of, and not necessarily an important signal of an imbalance that could be seriously negatively affecting a patient’s holistic health.
The problemo with this is that all of our body systems are intimately linked and an imbalance in one guarantees an imbalance in other areas. Our emotional state actually physically dictates how our cells behave. This can be hard for many people to grasp because it’s not widely taught or accepted that everything is energy. There’s a disconnect between physical symptoms and what they can stem from. When we don’t have the proper tools to fully experience, understand, and release our painful emotions they actually store themselves in the body and act like toxins.
The late neuropharmacologist, Dr. Candace Pert, was such a boss in this area – known for saying, “Your body is your subconscious mind. Our physical body can be changed by the emotions we experience.”
SO RAD, right?! She elaborates, saying:
“A feeling sparked in our mind or body will translate as a peptide being released somewhere. [Organs, tissues, skin, muscle and endocrine glands] all have peptide receptors on them and can access and store emotional information. This means the emotional memory is stored in many places in the body, not just or even primarily, in the brain. You can access emotional memory anywhere in the peptide/receptor network, in any number of ways. I think unexpressed emotions are literally lodged in the body. The real true emotions that need to be expressed are in the body, trying to move up and be expressed and thereby integrated, made whole, and healed.”
In short, suppressing and storing painful emotions – like shame, guilt, unworthiness, fear, and so on – can have all sorts of negative implications on your overall health because they have the power to change our physical body. And, by the way, it’s completely natural that many of us try to suppress painful emotions because we’re hardwired to avoid pain and seek pleasure at all costs – it’s an outdated survival instinct – but with that knowledge, we have the power to change our relationship to our emotions and use them to our advantage.
This makes total sense to me now, but I remember when I first started practicing yoga I’d randomly burst out in tears during intense hip openers and I was baffled. I didn’t realize it then, but it was because I was finally releasing buried painful emotions that had been stored deep within my body. It’s no wonder that yoga was my catalyst for a total career and lifestyle change – it was the first thing I did consistently that helped me actually process and release the buried emotions that had been blocking me from moving forward and living authentically (not to mention, making me sick, tired, and filled with anxiety).
We’re so wrapped up in our conscious, or “thinking”, mind that we can lose sight of just how powerful the subconscious mind is in our everyday life. The subconscious actually dictates around 90% of our behavior (thoughts, feelings, and actions)!
So, if our body is our subconscious mind, and our subconscious mind is largely responsible for how we live our lives, and we can positively change our body (aka subconscious mind) by expressing and releasing painful emotions instead of suppressing and burying them – then we have the personal power to change our lives and health in incredible ways.
There are plenty of ways to get our stuck emotions moving, like yoga, meditation, bodywork, energy work, and the list goes on – but some of my absolute favorite allies in this work are (shocker) essential oils – and they combine super well with all of the above. The reason they’re my go-to in this area is that each essential oil has it’s own unique energetic signature/vibration, and can suggest specific therapeutic actions when applied or inhaled (or taken internally, if safe).
They act as natural chemical messengers in our body (just like emotional peptides), landing on cell receptor sites and influencing their behavior. Plus, as long as you’re using a legit brand, they’re completely natural and have zero side effects.
Essential oils also require you to constantly check in with your emotional and energetic state so you can witness how they’re facilitating movement and flow for you. Before you reach for one, you take a sec to tune in, connect with how you’re feeling, and then proceed accordingly. They teach us consistent presence, connection, and acceptance of what’s true in this moment. This is especially important because though oils are powerful energetic allies, they can’t do all of the heavy-lifting for us; they also need our consistency and willingness to engage in the process of our own healing.
The more connected we feel to ourselves, the world around us, the universe, and so on – the more clarity we witness life with, and the more effortless it becomes to live freely and vibrantly as our authentic selves.
In many cases when working with essential oils on emotional levels, I’ll wake up one day and check in with myself to realize that I feel lighter and more energetic, or that I have no desire to repeat the patterns that I was trying to break free from, or there will be an expansion in my chest, or my self-worth will suddenly feel heightened and solid. It’s like a light switch flipped overnight and I’m embodying a totally new way of being.
Essential oils are incredibly potent and can facilitate change quickly – in many cases, their effects can be felt within minutes, and in deeper cases, you can work with specific oils or blends for a period of weeks to a month (or more, if needed) to fully process and release specific stored emotions.
Since there are endless different types of emotions that we experience throughout our lives, it would be tricky to highlight all of them paired with specific essential oils in a single blog post – so, instead, I’ll direct you to two of my favorite resources re: emotional healing and essential oils if this is something you’d like to dive deeper into: The Fragrant Mind and Emotions & Essential Oils. Both of these books have oil pairings for practically any emotional or energetic state that you’re looking to move through.
I also offer complimentary 1:1 essential oil consultations for people who are new to essential oils and want to learn more. In these sessions, I can answer any questions you have and discuss specific concerns you’re dealing with. Hop on over here and fill out the form if you’d like to get one on the calendar.
May creating a deeper connection with yourself create positive ripple effects throughout your mind/body/soul wellness! There’s truly nothing more empowering.