Aromatherapy For Mental Health – With A Guided Visualization (Blend Recipe Included)

“If you believe in Aromatherapy… it works! If you don’t believe in Aromatherapy… it works!”

Do you ever smell something that reminds you of a place or time that makes you feel happy, safe even cozy? For me that would be Woodfire, evergreens like Douglas Fir or my favourite winter perfume Coco Mademoisell by Chanel. The reason we have feelings attached to scents is because our sense of smell is a part of the Limbic System in the brain. “Odors take a direct route to the limbic system, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, the regions related to emotion and memory.” – from a Harvard study.

I became a Certified Aromatherapist in 2001 and using essential oils on a daily basis has become a habit. I may be burning oils in a diffuser to freshen up the home or creating a specific blend for my nightly bath to help with winding down and sleeping.

Today I wanted to share a blend that I use (and that you can make at home) and we’re going to use it while doing a guided visualization exercise. The idea is that by attaching the scent to a safe place in our mind we can create a quick way to get back to that feeling of safety when we might feel overwhelmed, stressed, depressed or anxious in the future.

I realize not everyone will have access to the essential oils I mention so I recommend you visit your local wellness shop or if you’re lucky you may have a SAJE store nearby. I want to to try some oils or blends until you find one that you really connect with, one that makes you feel good. It’s best to experience the oil first hand so I wouldn’t recommend ordering them online.

Jennifer’s “What Fear?” Blend for Anxiety, Stress, Panic or Fear

You will need:

a 10 ml glass bottle (or any small class bottle you can put about a full Tblsp of fluid into)

1 Tblsp of carrier oil (jojoba, sweet almond, grape seed, olive oil)

4 drops each of the following Essential Oils:

  • Sweet Orange
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Cypress
  • Vetiver
  • Frankincense

Add the essential oils to your bottle and top up with carrier oil of your choice.

Once you’ve made your blend or purchased one you like, we’re going to sit in a quiet place and do the following visualization to integrate this scent to feelings of connectedness, safety, happiness and relaxation.

A Guided Visualization Using Essential Oils

Find a place where you can sit comfortably and where you won’t be interrupted. Take your Essential Oil Blend (with the cap still on) and hold it in your hand up to your heart centre.

Let’s start now by closing our eyes and breathing naturally and in a relaxed way without forcing the breath – just breathe naturally, in and out through the nose for 5 full breaths. Scan the body for any tension and let it release on the out breath. Drop the shoulders, relax the belly, let go of any tension in your thighs, relax the face muscles.

We’re now going to take about 2 minutes (or as long as you need) to visualize a place, it can be in or outdoors but REALLY see it. Where is it? What is the temperature? What season or time of day is it? See it clearly enough that you begin to feel yourself there and when you’re there you know that you are totally safe. Sit in this place, look around. Perhaps you’re sitting on the warm sand looking out at a sunset or cozied up next to the fire in a cabin while the snow falls quietly out the window. Wherever this place is for you, be there. Breathe it in.

Once you can not only see this place but you are really in the feelings of feeling good, happy, safe and calm, I want you to remove the cap on your Essential Oil blend and bring it to your nose. Start to breathe in the scent staying in your safe place in your mind. We want to attach this scent to this place. Take about 5 full relaxing breaths breathing in and out through the nose.

Once you feel ready, slowly open your eyes. The idea here is that, each time you use your blend now, it will remind you of this beautiful place and you will be able to revisit it and feel how you felt when you were there. The idea is that next time you are feeling overwhelmed, you can take your blend, breathe it in and quickly ground yourself again in the calm happy feelings of being in your safe place.

If you, like me, struggle with Anxiety more frequently, then use the blend every day by putting a few drops at the base of your skull, over your heart and on the wrists. If you’re having an exceptionally difficult moment or day, put 2-4 drops on the soles of feet as well.

Other oils you can use alone to help you relax are:

Peppermint (smelling peppermint will aid you in deep breathing)


Ginger (a good one for nausea – place a drop on a cotton ball and breathe in)

Lavender (a sedative for some aiding in sleep)

Thank you for joining me today. If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and join me over on Instagram BellWitchManor

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