The grieving process is a crucial and beneficial stage of conscious acceptance of a loss, which ultimately leads to a letting go of this loss. A loss of any kind, whether it’s a death of a pet, a child, or a parent, or maybe a divorce, a loss of a job, or the end of a relationship, can throw-off the balance of both your emotional and mental well-being. Grief is characterized by possible feelings of anger, fear, sadness, isolation, guilt, abandonment, and situational depression.
Picture yourself sinking into the embrace of your bedsheets, your eyelids struggle to maintain its position after you’ve cried for the 5th time today triggered by old memories of your deceased loved one, and there’s the uncertainty of not knowing whether you have the energy to get up the next morning, plagued by despair.
But you gradually find yourself comforted by faint whiffs of what seems like a combination of lavender, peppermint, and orange as you surrender to the magnetic pull of deep sleep.
The next day, you find yourself feeling a bit more refreshed and up-beat, vital energy is beginning to return to your lifeless body from last night – a feeling that is faintly familiar, a feeling from your old self – before all the “trauma drama” this life situation has served you.
That, is the power of essential oils.
Why essential oils? And are they safe?
Essential Oils Help Release Stored Trauma
Throughout my healing journey, essential oils have played a key role in restoring mental, emotional, and energetic well-being for my body. Without the aid of these plant essences, it would have taken me a lot longer to heal from this loss. The healing aroma of the right essential oils can also make this tumultuous journey a lot more bearable. I love to use them during meditation, to clear depression, revive my concentration throughout the day, and to unwind into bed in the evening.
Science is now discovering that trapped emotions are stored in every cell of our body, and the trauma stored in the “amygdala gland of the limbic system does not respond to sound or sight or touch, but ONLY releases emotional trauma through the sense of smell,” according to Carolyn L. Mein, a Registered Aromatherapist and the author of Releasing Emotional Patterns With Essential Oils.
Pain, of any kind, no matter how trivial, inflicted by other people, ourselves, or certain life situations, if goes unprocessed, will be shoved into the depths of our emotional, mental, and physical bodies – like wounds, if left undealt with, will continue to fester and eventually manifest as dis-ease.
It’s crucial that we take active steps towards healing our wounds, for the sake of our own health, and if you have children, for the sake of their future, irrespective of how justified our feelings of emotional pain are in the present moment.
Regardless of which stage of grief you are currently undergoing, incorporating a mix of these aromatics into your healing process will be an easy, and effortless way to help your body subconsciously release any trapped emotional patterns while you use other forms of conscious therapy to tend to your wound. A few examples of conscious therapy are: journaling, talking to a licensed therapist, or grief counselor, exercise, and crying.
Essential Oil Safety
Yes, essential oils are a safe and effective tool to help you through this bereavement process. Essential oils are 100% plant extracts that allow our body to easily assimilate their healing benefits.
The use of natural plant extract aromatics has spiked exponentially in recent years as seminal knowledge of the safe and effective use of holistic, alternative therapies become more widespread.
With that said, I do not recommend directly ingesting essential oils unless you are advised by a licensed integrative medical practitioner.
How would I know which oils are right for me?
While shopping for these oils, trust your intuition to draw you towards the ones you need. Typically, the scents that appeal to you the most would be exactly what you need at this time. Nowadays, you should be able to find the most commonly used oils at stores such as Whole Foods, and Sprouts, or any natural health food store.
How do I use these oils?
I typically like to diffuse my essential oils using a small, personal electric fan diffuser to avoid the inconveniences of dealing with water and fire. But if you would prefer the essential oil burner, or water-based mister for a spa-like effect, by all means, go for it!
I like to mix a combination of 2-3 oils, in the ratio of 2-2-2 (drops each), or 3-2-1 drops each, respectively.
I also don’t use a carrier oil unless I’m applying it to my body. But if you would like to, I would suggest the ratio of at least 2:1, which means 2 drops of carrier oil to every 1 drop of essential oil.
Safety note: If you are pregnant, please avoid the following essential oils: fennel, hyssop, peppermint, yarrow, and rosemary (which is mentioned as #9 on this list).
Set your intention
It’s also important to set your intention to release the grief and any trauma stored in any part of your body, either physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I typically like to say my intention out loud, for instance, “I release any hidden energies within my body that no longer serve my highest good,” or “I release any sense of loss, abandonment, or fear that is keeping me from experiencing joy, love, and peace,” as I slowly breathe in the aroma of the healing oils, or as I apply the oil mixture to the back of my neck, and both sides of my temples, or anywhere you might feel pain.
On a side note, traumatic life events like losing a loved one can manifest itself as phantom pain in your physical body, it’s one of your body’s way of storing grief. The pain will typically disappear once you’ve released any hidden emotions or trauma stored in that area.
But it’s crucial to NOT brush off the pain as spiritual in nature, and to seek medical advice if you are feeling any sort of pain, as it indicate a serious health issue. If no actual physical cause was found after numerous tests and scans, then it is safe to assume that the pain you are feeling is spiritual in nature.
In that case, we can continue to consciously set the goal of letting-go by verbally expressing your intention. The vibration of your words and the sound of your voice works in union to send this message out to the Universe. And hearing yourself set the intention also helps to reinforce it on a body, mind, and spirit level.
Only when those three bodies are aligned can we manifest our desires without any resistance, backed by the full support of Universal powers.
The 9 Essential Oils to Use during Times of Loss
Below you will find a list of the top 9 essential oils that are most effective in easing you through this grieving process.
The source for the bulk of the educational content used in the below infographic is from Gabriel Mojay’s Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, check it out if you are looking for an in-depth guide to the therapeutic effects of a variety of essential oils.