Mood and Behavior

mood and behavior managment with essential oils

Mood and behavior are becoming hot health topics, especially in industrialized nations where computers, technology, and other conveniences have become a way of life. People are increasingly disconnected in their personal relationships, but they may have upward of a half a million “friends” on social media sites, and it isn’t uncommon to see teenagers texting each other, rather than conversing while standing right next to each other!

Digestive system health is a topic on people’s minds more and more, in part because of the refined and processed foods that many individuals eat. In recent years, scientists have discovered that there are more neurotransmitters in the gun than there are in the brain, and, among other things, healthy mood management depends on how well these neurotransmitters relay messages to each other. How can an individual hope to experience healthy moods if their cells are depleted of nutrition, their emotional needs for social connection are unmet, and if their neurotransmitters reside in an area with blockages and inflammation? The list of contributors to mood challenges is extensive.

The limbic system in the brain has glands that help relay and respond to emotions. It includes the amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and thalamus. The hippocampus, specifically, is involved in storing memories and producing emotions. It works effectively at full capacity when it is producing new neurons and solid nerve connections to assist with these key activities. When an individual experiences stress, the blood flow around the hippocampus changes — and individuals in their later years can often experience up to 20% loss in the nerve connections of the hippocampus, which can drastically affect mood and memory.


How Essential Oils Work with Mood and Behavior

One of the challenge with balancing brain functions is that the brain is well-protected by a layer of high density cells call the blood-brain barrier that restricts passage of all but a small, select group of substances. This is actually a good thing; this layer of cells helps keep neurotoxins, viruses, and other invaders out of the control center of the body. Among the few substances that can bypass this barrier are natural fat-soluble substances such as sesquiterpenes, a compound found in many essential oils.

Since the brain is the origin and relayer of messages that produce emotions, and the brain functions on a chemical level, it stands to reason that natural solutions with strong chemical messages (signal or messenger molecules) can help balance and cleanse the very processes that need assistance. Essential oils can assist with cleansing and balancing the GI tract (see Digestive system, and Detoxification system for further information), benefit brain functions, specifically those involving focus, concentration (see Focus and Concentration), mood, and memory with both aromatic and topical applications.

When inhaled, natural aromatic compounds enter the olfactory system and pass the olfactory bulb, which leads directly to the limbic center of the brain. Oils can be inhaled by smelling directly from the bottle, rubbing a drop of essential oil in the palms of the hands and cupping over the nose, or by utilizing a diffuser (a device that disperses essential oils into the air). Inhalation is the fastest way to get an essential oil into the body and has significant benefits on mood as it alters the chemical messages being relayed within the limbic system.

When applying essential oils topically to assist mood, it is important to get the oils as close to the limbic system as possible and apply them where they can best bypass the blood-brain barrier. Directly below the base of the skull, on both sides of the neck there is an “indentation” that can be felt with the fingers. This area is called the suboccipital triangle, and when pure essential oils are applied here, they are able to enter the circulatory system of the brain prior to entering the circulatory system of the body. Oils may also be topically applied on the mastoid bones behind the ears, across the front of the forehead, directly under the nose, and may even be applied to the roof of the mouth (place oil on pad of thumb and then place on roof of mouth) for more direct access to the limbic system.


Suboccipital Triangle

Essential Oils for Mood and Behavior Support

Single Oils

Arborvitae — Use during meditation for a sense of peace and calm.

Basil — Promotes mental alertness and lessens anxious feelings.*

Bergamot — Diffuse for a sense of self confidence, calm and harmony.

Black Pepper — Diffuse or inhale directly to soothe anxious feelings.

Cardamom — Breathe in for sense of openness and clear head.

Dill — Lessens stress and anxious feelings.

Douglas Fir — Promotes a positive mood and sense of focus

Frankincense — Promotes feelings of relaxation and to balance mood.

Ginger — Diffuse to help create a sense of equilibrium.

Jasmine — Helps balance mood throughout the month.

Lavender — Helps to ease feelings of tension.*

Lemon — Diffuse to promote a positive mood.

Lime — Promotes emotional balance and well-being.

Melissa — Lessens stress and promote emotional well-being.

Myrrh — Diffuse to help promote awareness and uplift your mood.

Patchouli — provides grounding and balance emotions.

Sandalwood –Enhances mood.

Spearmint — Promotes a sense of focus and uplifts mood

Tangerine — Boosts energy and uplift mood.

Wild Orange — The “Happy” oil; promotes calming feelings.

Ylang Ylang — Promotes a positive outlook.


Balance grounding blend — Evokes feelings of tranquility and balance.

Citrus Bliss invigorating blend — diffuse to help reduce stress and uplift a bad mood.

Cheer Uplifting blend — Promotes feelings of optimism, cheerfulness, and happiness; counteracts negative emotions of feeling down, blue, or low.

Clarycalm — Helps balance mood throughout the month.

Console Comforting blend — Promotes feelings of comfort and hope.; Counteracts negative emotions of grief, sadness, and hopelessness.

Elevation joyful blend — promotes feelings of confidence and self-worth.

Forgive renewing blend –Promotes feelings of contentment, relief, and patience; Counteracts negative emotions of anger and guilt.

Motivate encouraging blend — Promotes feelings of confidence, courage, and belief; Counteracts negative emotions of doubt, pessimism, and cynicism.

Passion inspiring blend — Ignites feelings of excitement, passion, and joy; Counteracts negative feelings of boredom and disinterest.

Past Tense tension blend — Helps provide grounding and balanced emotions.

Peace reassuring blend — Promotes feelings of peace, reassurance, and contentment; Counteracts anxious and fearful emotions.

Serenity calming blend — Lessens feelings of tension and calms emotions.

Slim & Sassy metabolic blend — Lifts mood.


Alpha CRS® + cellular Vitality Complex — Supports healthy cellular immune function.*

doTERRA A2Z Chewables™ — Contains a superfood blend that helps support overall health and wellness.*

PB Assist® + Probiotic Defense Formula — Support healthy functioning of the digestive and immune systems.*

Zendocrine Detoxification Complex — Helps cleanse the body of toxins and free radicals that can slow the body’s systems down.*

xEO Mega® Essential Oil Omega Complex — Promotes healthy cardiovascular, nervous, and immune system function.*

TerraZyme® Digestive Enzymes — Supports healthy production of metabolic enzymes.*

GX Assist® GI Cleansing Softgels — Making a healthy lifestyle change, GX Assist can be your first step in an essential oil digestive maintenance program.*

Microplex MVp™ Whole Food Nutrient — Supports healthy immune function.*

Mito2Max energy & stamina complex

Phytoestrogen Lifetime complex

 Usage Tips

For most effective use of essential oils for mood and behavior benefits:

Aromatic — Diffuse oils of choice, inhale from bottle, apply a few drops to clothing or any other method that supports inhalation for oils to enter brain via nose.

Topical — Apply oils topically as close to brain as possible such as on forehead, under the back of the neck (especially suboccipital triangle), roof of mouth (place on pad of thumb and press to roof of mouth). Applying oils on chest allows for breathing of vapors.

Internal — Take 1-5 drops of chosen oil in water to drink or tak it in a capsule, drop under tongue, lick a drop off back of hand, apply to roof of mouth.


Do no use essential oils internally unless they are labeled for dietary use. Look for the Supplement Facts box on the label. Avoid oils labeled “for external use only”, “for aromatic use only”, “not for internal use,” or “do not ingest.”