Weight Loss Tip: Change Your Mood

Helen Griffiths gives the why, what and how of using aromatherapy to beat the weight loss blues.

Change Your Mood, Change Your Food!

By WLR Staff, Helen Griffiths

‘Both stress and boredom make me eat. Only problem is … If I’m not stressed then I’m bored … so I can’t win.’

We all need a pick me up from time to time, so instead of reaching for that stash of ‘goodies’ which will sabotage your weight loss, why not invest in a bottle of TLC. To those of you partial to a drink, that is not the bottle of Chardonnay sitting in your fridge. It is those little dark bottles containing extracted plant oils, known as aromatherapy.

For some people the dilemma of being overweight starts in the mind: once the mind is healthy, the slimmer body will follow. Mentally, aromatherapy can help to combat stress and lift your mood. Physically it can alleviate aches, pains, burns and even cellulite for the ladies (there is a god!)

After the use of aromatherapy we aren’t going to wake up the next morning looking as slender as Kate Moss, but it can help suppress those deadly cravings that make weight loss seem impossible.

The connection between smell and emotion are extremely close.  Breathing in pleasant smells triggers positive reactions in the brain, resulting in a sense of wellbeing. Once we are happy we no longer feel the urge to fill that void. If it’s boredom or stress that gets you reaching for the biscuits, experiment with some of the essential oils suggested below to see which are best at changing your mood.

Alexa Parson, a qualified aromatherapist who knows the importance of choosing the right oils, says: ‘We are all unique. If one oil works well for one person it doesn’t necessarily mean it will then work for the next person. The way the oils are used could also make a difference, one person might benefit more by using the oils in the bath (don’t forget the carrier oil, so you don’t scold your skin), rather than inhalation, massage or burning the oils.’

Oils that change your mood:

  • Cravings
    To stop yourself from over eating sweet foods try vanilla, the sweet smell will help you to stop that sweet tooth.
  • Stress
    To help beat the stress away try jasmine, frankincense, ylang ylang, grapefruit, lavender, sandalwood, geranium, rose, bergamot, benzoin, vetiver, mandarin or roman chamomile. 
  • Emotional baggage
    Many of us have some baggage trailing behind somewhere, to help put the past back where it belongs juniper berry is meant to work wonders.
  • Uplift the spirits
    Jasmine is the oil to help bring out your sunnier side.
  • Confidence
    To send your confidence soaring through the roof try a helping hand from bay laurel, bergamot, cypress, grapefruit, jasmine, rosemary or orange.
  • Depression
    To lift depression, try these oils to change your mood; may chang, frankincense, lemon, grapefruit, jasmine, clary sage, sandalwood, ylang ylang, geranium, orange, neroli (orange blossom) and helichrysum.
  • Insecurity
    These oils will help produce inner security and self-acceptance; frankincense, jasmine, sandalwood, vetiver, cedarwood and bergamot. 
  • Loneliness
    Many of us feel alone at times, these oils will help take that negative feeling away; rose, clary sage, frankincense and helichrysum.
  • Happiness
    To help yourself become a happy, vibrant, full of life person, grapefruit, lemon, orange, rose, sandalwood and ylang ylang may well do the trick.

How to use essential oils:

  • Steam inhalation
    Inhalations are extremely effective, as our smell receptors are very near to mood centres in the brain. Add essential oils to the bath, oil burner or to a bowl of hot water:
  • Bath
    Add 6-10 drops of the desired oil(s). Add 1 tbsp milk - which acts as a carrier so you won't burn your skin. Mix the milk and oil around the bath so your whole body will soak up the benefit.
  • Oil Burner
    Add 3-6 drops of essential oil and 2tbsp warm water to the oil burner bowl. Light the candle and get ready to fill your room with the aroma.
  • Massage
    This is a very relaxing method and is beneficial both physically and emotionally. Make sure a carrier oil (such as almond or grapeseed) is used, as the essential oil on its own will burn the skin. Use 5ml of carrier oil and 2-3 drops (total) of essential oil.
  • Pillow
    Add 3 drops of essential oil to your pillow or bedclothes to inhale whilst sleeping.
  • Handkerchief
    Add 3 drops of oil(s) to a handkerchief to breathe in when you need a pick me up. Perfect for when out shopping or as an everyday use in the office.

So ladies and gents give it a go, with a calorie balanced weight loss diet and regular exercise you are well on the way to a less stressed and healthier lifestyle.

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