The Psychology of Scent and Mental Health: How Aromatherapy Can Be a Tool for Balance

Mental health. It’s an integral part of our overall well-being. If you don’t struggle with it personally, it’s likely that you know someone who does; one in four Americans over the age of 18 suffer from at least one diagnosable mental disorder - and when you think about the amount of people who don’t have access to proper healthcare, that number becomes far greater.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a sure sign that finally, mental health is a topic being discussed and even normalized across American culture in a major way. But awareness is only the first step. Finding balance and true health - mind, body, spirit - for ourselves in the modern world can be tricky, especially when our culture seems to be going at a million miles an hour and it can be hard to catch our breath.

This is why we believe in cultivating self-care tools (@ my therapist, thank you for the terminology) that help us find calm, ground ourselves, and clear our minds and spirits. This of course can mean therapy, for those who have access. Some folks journal almost daily, many find peace and pleasure in taking regular walks or long runs, others carve out intentional bubble bath time to relax and restore. Acupuncture, massage, and other forms of bodywork, whether regularly or when in SOS mode, are medicine for all over, including your mind. Even just finding space in your day for a mini dance party or to read a few pages of your book can be a supportive healing practice.

Something we always turn to is the psychology of scent and the healing potential of plants. Scent is a powerful thing. It connects us to our memories and our emotional bodies. Certain scents are calming, others are uplifting, and more spark our sensuality, creativity, and other moods and feelings. But their abilities to shift and transform our emotions aren’t the only thing these special little guys have in store; they’ve been shown to have a number of medicinal capacities, from helping fight bad bacteria to helping good bacteria thrive to lowering tension and blood pressure to healing wounds and more. Aromatherapy and essential oils have been used throughout history in medicine and ritual and can be incorporated into your daily or as-needed routines for physical, spiritual, and mental care.

Oxalis was founded on several principles, the rich history of essential oils, plant science, and the wisdom of scent all included. And with these values in mind, we created one secret-weapon tool that helps us stay calm, grounded, and feeling good throughout the day: the aptly-titled Feel Good Potion, an essential oil roll-on containing cooling peppermint, calming lavender, and anti-inflammatory black pepper. Use it on your wrists and temples when you need a pick-me-up, to quell a headache, battle fatigue, and to bring you full-body ease. Definitely still go to therapy, but try keeping this in your pocket and on your bedside table as an extra tool in your toolbox.