7 Essential Oils and Mudras to Balance Your Emotions

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In such a hurried world, it’s necessary to create space for calm and relaxation. When you’re constantly on the run, your health can take a toll—emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Finding ways to care for your mind, body, and spirit creates balance that can help you and others around you.

While there are many ways to find harmony—meditation, yoga, regular exercise, eating healthfully—essential oils and mudras (hand positions) have been used for hundreds of years in Ayurveda health regimens to help balance your emotions.

Aromatherapy has a profound influence on the mind, affecting your behavior and actions, enriching your relations with others, but most notably, improving your relationship with yourself.

Essential oils have the ability to change your outlook on life and:

  • Balance the mind
  • Lift emotions
  • Clarify thoughts
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Relieve stress

Imagine closing your eyes and slowing down your breath as you inhale euphoric and soothing citrus, woodsy, and floral essential oil notes from bergamot, sandalwood, or rose.

When combined with mudras, this practice can send messenger molecules through energy pathways from your fingertips throughout your body, triggering activity in the emotional part of the brain (limbic area) and relieving emotional imbalances.

Mudras can also be combined with meditating—or done anytime to reduce stress—changing negative thoughts or emotions into positive ones. That’s because the five fingers of the hand are believed to be connected to the five vital elements in the body:

  • Fire
  • Air
  • Space
  • Earth
  • Water

Mudras, then, seal the flow of energy within and throughout the body. Ideally, mudras should be held in position through the duration of any meditation or breath work, from a few minutes a day for beginners or up to one hour for someone more advanced.

Next time you’re feeling a little off, try pairing these essential oils and mudras to help balance your emotional well-being. You can inhale the calm, aromatic oils through a diffusor (the safest method) or apply diluted oils on your temples, the back of your neck, or on any pulse point while practicing a mudra.

1. Bergamot Oil

Bergamot oil is known for its healing effects on physiological distress. Use it when you’re feeling sad or overwhelmed and need to find balance. In a recent study, the inhalation of bergamot essential oil diffused in water reduced:

  • Cortisol levels
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Try pairing with the following mudra that is believed to balance emotions and improve communication:

  • Press the tips of your middle fingers against your thumb pads (while remaining fingers rest naturally).   

2. Patchouli Oil

Patchouli oil is often used for relieving feelings of emptiness or emotional disconnection. Use it when you’re feeling disconnected from yourself or community.

Try pairing with the following mudra that is believed to decrease depression and anxiety:

  • Touch the base of your palms together, keeping thumbs aligned and little fingers aligned.
  • Spread your remaining fingers wide apart and curve them back.

3. Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood oil is known to move stagnant energy, helping with centering or grounding. Use it when you’re feeling stuck where you are and need a boost to feel at peace.

Try pairing with the following mudra:

  • Bend your little and ring finger pads into your palms.
  • Press your thumbs together and hold them down while your index and middle fingers extend out.

4. Frankincense Oil

Resin essential oils, such as frankincense or elemi, can help improve your body’s ability to protect and heal. They are also useful for relieving feelings of grief or emotional trauma. Use it regularly as a preventative measure or during painful times, like losing a loved one.

Try pairing with the following mudra that is believed to increase energy, boost immunity, and regulate breathing:

  • Touch your thumbs to your little and ring fingertips.

5. Lemon Oil

Lemon essential oil can help reduce excess kapha congestion mentally, physically, and emotionally, and provides lightness to the heaviness of kapha. It has also been known to:

  • Relieve anxiety
  • Reduce anger and agitation
  • Uplift emotions
  • Relieve depression

Try pairing with the following mudra:

  • Touch the tips of your index finger and thumb, while remaining fingers remain straight.

6. Roman Chamomile Oil

Roman Chamomile can be used for a variety of emotional imbalances. It can help balance:

  • Anger
  • Recklessness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Aggressive pitta imbalances
  • Vata anxiety
  • Nervousness

Try pairing with the following mudra:

  • Bend index finger down, touching base of thumb (lightly press thumb over index finger to hold) while remaining fingers are held straight.

7. Rose Oil

Rose oil is excellent for improving mental well-being and boosting loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. This oil is known for its sedative healing properties, providing emotional relief due to:

  • Excessive worry
  • Anxiety
  • Grief or loss
  • Jealousy
  • Post-traumatic stress

Try pairing with the following mudra:

  • Touch ring finger and tip of thumb, while remaining fingers are held straight.

Discover how to nourish and care for your unique body type at our mind-body healing immersion, Perfect Health. Click here to learn more.


*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

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About the Author
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Angela Peterson

Aromatherapist
Angela Peterson is an Aromatherapy Advocate and aromatherapist in Los Angeles. She is a member of The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), which promotes aromatherapy as the art of using the healing essences from plants to balance, harmonize, and promote the well-being of body, mind, and spirit. You can learn more about Angela at http://flowermixology.com . Angela studied at The School for Aromatic Studies, one of the founding schools for aromatherapy education in North America. Angela holds certificates in Mind-Body Connection Meditation and Holistic and Integrative Health.Read more