Human moods and emotions are in a more or less constant state of flux, and hugely affect our experiences of life and the world around us. Many things affect mood, and many of them are outside of our control. Lack of confidence can range from a temporary state to a more chronic mood disorder that can have many causes; either way, it is not conducive to living your best life.
However, the power of scent to change or improve mood has been understood for centuries, as aromas have a direct and observable physiological effect on the human body. Modern science has since proven that olfactory responses, as part of the limbic system, are directly linked to the amygdala, the emotional centre of the brain. Mental and emotional states are thus hugely affected by our surrounding environment, of which fragrance is a huge part. Lack of confidence is often characterised by chronic negativity and pessimism; but use aromatherapy to make your environment a positive one, and you will soon start to see this positivity reflected in your mood.
There are many essential oils that can enhance mood, but there are some that are particularly good if you suffering from a lack of confidence, and need a bit of a pick me up. You can inhale direct from a bottle or scented cotton wool, or use a diffuser or room spray (dilute with water). Aromatherapy is the ideal way to tackle mood, as, unlike the other senses, it has an immediate effect in provoking an emotional response, without needing the sensory information to first be processed by the brain.
If your lack of confidence is anxiety driven, as is often the case, then pleasant aromas can lower heart rate and stress – a good thing to try is a drop or two of lavender, or chamomile oil. Lavender is fantastic for calming nerves, as it has a very soothing effect, making it ideal for relieving tension associated negative thoughts. For this reason, it has been used all over the world for instant relaxation; in France, it is commonly used by corporate decision-makers when they’re tackling big issues and need to be level-headed and confident in their abilities.
Another essential oil that is fantastic for calming nerves is jasmine, which also has the added benefit of being a mood lifter; this makes it well suited to increasing confidence in the case of depression or persistent pessimism. A whiff of jasmine will help you to feel revitalized and optimistic, ready to take on whatever challenge is facing you. Jasmine blends beautifully with bergamot, which is another uplifting scent – try bergamot and jasmine as a lovely essential oil aromatherapy blend.
If your lack of confidence is due to a genuine doubt in your ability, for instance at work, or in a particular professional scenario, then stimulating essential oils like rosemary, cinnamon and peppermint can be used to improve mental clarity, concentration, focus, and memory – increased faith in your ability and focus can give you the confidence boost you need to perform at your best.
Of course, you couldn’t talk about mood-boosting aromas without mentioning the citrus oils – lemon, orange, grapefruit, all these zesty delights will work wonders in helping you to have a sunny outlook on life. A great recipe for a confidence boosting blend is three drops of orange, and two drops of rosemary. Or, try grapefruit with cypress.
Whichever essential oil you choose, there are plenty of ways that you can use them to try and ease your mind into a more positive outlook; essential oil blends can be diluted to create a diffuser blend, a bath oil, bath salts, massage oil, or a room spray. If your confidence issue is related to work, try and figure out a way to incorporate some aromatherapy into your work environment. If it’s related to a specific event or situation, a roll on could be really handy for quick application to pressure points, such as the wrists or temples. If you’re suffering from a more generalised lack of confidence, an aromatherapy bath in the morning could help set you up with a more balanced emotional outlook to begin the day.
For more tips on how to treat confidence related complaints, and for some great recipes of essential oil blends and aromatherapy techniques to lift your mood and increase your confidence, check out the ‘Aromatherapy for Confidence’ page on our website for more details and advice.