Divorce is one of life’s toughest experiences. You know this firsthand—and you’ve probably felt the effects of trauma, in some form or another, as a result. You’re not alone in experiencing the effects of your post-divorce journey.
When someone experiences the aftermath of trauma:
- they might feel very upset or worried–anywhere on the scale from anxiety to depression
- it can be hard for them to do normal things like sleep, eat, or enjoy hobbies.
It’s like trying to drive a car with the brakes stuck on; no matter how hard you press the gas pedal, you’re not going to get very far.
The good news? There are a few simple steps you can take to naturally help ease the hurt and heal from the inside out. One of the ways to do this is with essential oils, which are natural substances extracted from plants. When used correctly and consistently, essential oils can aid in bringing peace and balance back into your life after divorce.
In this article, we’ll dive into six of the best essential oils for relieving trauma symptoms that come with divorce—plus tips on how to use them correctly to get the most bang for your buck. Ready to start healing? Let’s go!
What Is Trauma and How Might Divorce Contribute to It?
You may be wondering, what exactly is trauma? It’s a term that we often take for granted. Trauma is a reaction to a distressing or overwhelming event—one that may have shaken us to our core and left us feeling vulnerable. Though its effects can be immense, it’s absolutely possible to heal from its harm.
Divorce is the kind of life experience that can take its toll on us, leaving us feeling broken in a way other life events, like a car accident, don’t touch. Even if the divorce is amicable and supportive, it still requires us to adjust our expectations about what our marriages were meant to be. We have to reintroduce who we are outside of a relationship. This adjustment period can be traumatic—and even if it isn’t immediately recognizable as such, it can disrupt our ability to cope with other stressors in our lives unrelated to the divorce itself.
Essential oils provide a natural source of healing from trauma like this: they help bring balance back into your nervous system and act in harmony on various levels—from physical to emotional—to restore you both physically and mentally over time.
What Is PTSD, and How Can Essential Oils Help Manage Symptoms?
If you’re newly divorced or separating from a long-term partner, it’s normal to experience a range of emotions and physical responses. After all, the strain of a difficult parting can take an emotional toll and leave you feeling exhausted and stressed. If these initial feelings of grief and sadness start to interfere with your ability to carry out everyday tasks, or last for longer than three months, you may be experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
But you don’t have to suffer in silence. Aromatherapy—the practice of using essential oils to heal trauma—can be an effective way of managing PTSD symptoms created by divorce. Oils like lavender, sandalwood, frankincense, and rosemary have calming properties that can help reduce anxiety levels. And if your sleep pattern has been disturbed due to depression and insomnia, chamomile oil can work as a natural sedative that will help get you back on track.
Essential oils can also help with anger management problems associated with PTSD—bergamot oil is especially helpful for this purpose because it helps boost self-esteem and encourages positive thinking. These are just some of the ways aromatherapy can help manage trauma symptoms caused by divorce—so why not give it a try?
Best Essential Oils for Trauma Relief
People have been using essential oils for trauma relief all throughout history, though you may have only heard of them in the last handful of years. Each type of oil offers different benefits, and you can use different combinations to get even more out of them. Most of these listed stimulate the limbic system in the brain, which is responsible for regulating emotions and memory.
In general oils derived from wood and sap will be considered grounding agents that help us calm by finding our center. Others, extracted from plants and seeds, will heal the mind and body in different ways.
Here are some types of essential oils that you can use for trauma relief:
Lavender is a great choice for relieving overall stress, calming the mind and body, and restoring balance after a difficult event. It also encourages healthy sleep patterns.
Rose or Melissa
Rose essential oils, as well as melissa (or lemon balm) are both known for their calming effects and are good for soothing overwhelmed emotions. Rose helps balance hormones as well, making it a great choice if something has thrown your body off-balance – like divorce. Additionally, Melissa essential oil is thought to have an effect on the energy centers in the body, or chakras. It is said to have a balancing effect on the heart chakra, which is associated with emotions and relationships.
Ylang ylang essential oil can help with feelings of anger and hopelessness that come with the aftermath of divorce trauma. It increases your sense of self-love and acceptance, which is key in healing from the pain caused by divorce. It’s also said to be the oil of the inner child, where so many trauma symptoms emerge from.
The scent of cedarwood can help to bring a sense of stability and comfort–it’s known as a grounding oil. It can also help with sleep and reduce feelings of anxiety.
Bergamot brings feelings of peace and joy during painful moments. Using it in combination with another oil can help you find inner strength to start on your path to healing after a traumatic time like going through a divorce.
Sometimes called the king of oils, frankincense boosts the power of other essential oils. Using it in combination with any of the above choices will help further. It also encourages the person to release negative emotions and low-vibe feelings of pessimism, as well as aids in lifting you out of depressive moments.
There are also several proprietary blends of oils designed specifically to deal with the symptoms of trauma or help processing and releasing it. Some of these are Trauma Life™ Essential Oil by Young Living Products and Adaptiv Calming Blend by Doterra. Each of these companies also have full kits that specifically deal with different emotions.
Different Forms of Application for Essential Oil Use
Essential oils can be applied in several different ways, depending on your needs and preferences. Some of these forms of application include:
The most common way to use essential oils is inhalation. You can do this by putting a few drops of the oil into a diffuser or directly onto your skin. Inhalation is great for triggering relaxation, improving focus, and boosting energy levels. A common example of inhalation without a diffuser would be to put a few drops into your palms, rub your hands together, and breathe in the scents.
When you apply essential oils topically, it goes directly into the bloodstream and works its magic quickly. You should always dilute the oil by mixing it with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba oil before applying it to the skin to avoid irritation.
Each of these methods can be effective for reducing trauma symptoms after divorce, so experiment with each one to see which works best for you!
Creating a Soothing, Calming Space With Essential Oils
The most effective way to benefit from essential oils is to use them in conjunction with other therapeutic modalities. This multi-pronged approach gives you the best chance for healing trauma, like trauma from divorce. It’s like having a basket full of gardening tools. Each tool is different and has its own purpose, but when you put them all together you can tackle any gardening project without constantly heading back to the garage for more help.
One thing all of us can do right away, regardless of where our trauma is in the healing process, is to create a safe, soothing, and calming space in our homes using essential oils. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
Work with an aromatherapist to create personalized essential oil blends tailored specifically to you and your needs. The Feelings Kit from Young Living is a natural start to bringing this peace into your life. Blends can be used as part of a regular self-care and relaxation practice, which is essential for healing trauma.
Diffusing your essential oil blends throughout your home—especially in parts where you spend most of your time—can help set the tone for a calming space. This lets you get direct benefits from the oils, like improved moods, increased relaxation, and better sleep—all key elements for healing trauma.
Tips for Safe and Effective Use of Essential Oils
The use of essential oils for trauma can be incredibly supportive, but it does come with a few caveats. Essential oils are not just harmless scents, but powerful compounds that can be damaging and even dangerous if not used properly. Here are some tips for safely and effectively using essential oils to reduce trauma after divorce:
Use very small amounts
Overdosing on essential oils could cause toxicity, so it’s important to use just a couple of drops in a diffuser or the smallest amount possible on your skin. You should also avoid taking essential oils orally and keep them to external use unless specifically instructed or medically necessary.
Dilute the oils
A common mistake those new to oils make is enjoying the aroma of lemons and going to add lemon oil to their bath–only to end up with skin burns. Diluting is a must! The suggested uses in this article are a good start to practicing safety.
Essential oil is extremely concentrated, so it’s best to dilute it before adding it to your diffuser or applying directly onto your skin. You can add just 1–3 drops of any oil to 2–3 teaspoonfuls of an appropriate carrier oil. Coconut, olive, and jojoba oil work well as carrier oils.
Know what type works best for trauma
When you’re dealing with the emotions associated with trauma, you want to make sure you choose an appropriate essential oil like those we’ve discussed in this article. While essential oils can be a helpful tool for releasing trauma, it is important to note that they should not be used as a substitute for professional mental health care, and are best used together with other techniques.
Start with something gentle
If this is your first foray into using essential oils for emotional healing from trauma such as divorce, start with something gentle like lavender or chamomile before picking something more intense like sandalwood or frankincense. It’s best not to shock your system at first until you get used to the effects of these powerful plants spirits.
In summary, essential oils are a powerful, natural tool to help calm the mind and body after difficult situations. They have been used throughout history, and can be an effective way to reduce symptoms of PTSD, while helping build feelings of self-esteem and peace. With proper guidance and support, essential oils can help you heal your heart and create a new beginning. So don’t be afraid to reach out and explore their possibilities – with patience and self-compassion, the healing process can begin.
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