by Angela Peterson

Blissful and sweet notes of lavender, ylang ylang, or neroli are what you may need right now to take you to cloud nine.  These essential oils, abundant in euphoric and tranquil scent, can be used individually or blended together and have been shown to help relax and calm mixed emotions. 

Lavender Massage Oil

A loving self-massage at home may reduce symptoms of stress at the end of the day, and even help you sleep better (*).  Begin by placing a container of sesame or sweet almond carrier oil in large bowl of hot water for 5 minutes until warm to the touch, then mixing in 6-7 drops of lavender essential oil to 1/2 C of the carrier oil.

Did you know the word for oil in Sanskrit is also the word for love?  In Ayurveda health practices, a warm oil self-massage (known as Abhyanga) is a great way to set time aside for yourself to self-soothe.

Start by gently massaging your scalp and gently pulling and rubbing ear lobes, using long strokes on arms and legs, circular and clockwise strokes on rest of body, and lastly massaging feet.  Then, relax for about 10-15 minutes to let oil absorb.  Rinse off in a warm shower/bath.  

Sunny and cheerful notes of grapefruit, lemon, and tangerine essential oil will brighten your outlook and optimism.  Use these essential oils in a diffuser, or simply waft an essential oil bottle under your nose for several seconds, inhaling and exhaling the upbeat citrus notes.

See candle meditation below, for further relaxation:

Candle Meditation

Sit in a comfortable position on the floor or a chair, while gazing at the center of a candle flame in a dimly lit room at eye level (**). Gently keep eyes open without blinking while gazing at flame, inhaling and exhaling slowly. When your eyes tire, keep them closed and take notice of any visual impressions…practicing this meditation has been known to calm anxiety.  Repeat from beginning for about 5-10 minutes.

Aromatherapy and the use of clean and pure fragrant oils from parts of flowers and plants may reduce symptoms of anxiety and outside stressors, renewing hope and optimism.

Aromatherapy is not a cure for ailments, rather, it is a complimentary treatment used only to help alleviate symptoms of ailments. It is not meant to take the place of diagnosis or treatment by a qualified medical practitioner. Consult with your physician if you are pregnant or under treatment for a chronic condition (essential oils may contraindicate prescribed medications).

If you have sensitive skin or allergies, it is recommended to perform a skin patch test first.

**Keep candles away from drapes, drafts, or flammable objects. Never leave candles unattended, or near pets or children.  Always burn candles on a stable, heat resistant surface.


Angela Peterson is an aromatherapist and writer who has created hand poured, blissful and beauteous essential oil candles available at

Angela is a supporter of The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), and, and contributor.  She attended The School for Aromatic Studies.