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Transforming Situational Depression

By Jodi Cohen

A woman in activewear practicing yoga outdoors with a city skyline in the background, finding tranquility amidst urban surroundings.

I have been feeling uncharacteristically sad lately.

For me, this presents as less productive, less social and more fatigued.

I had originally attributed it to my pending empty nester status. My 18 years of active parenting is coming to a close as my daughter will head off to college in the fall.

I was discussing this with a good friend who is also a therapist who confirmed that the sadness, mourning the past and difficulty moving forward are all symptoms of depression.

She suggested I try meds.

That prompted me to research other options – like 5-HPT – short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, an amino acid that our bodies produce from a dietary amino acid called l-tryptophana that is a nutritional precursor to the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin that has been found to improve depressive symptoms.

It helped – as did other reframes, habits and essential oil protocols that I wish to share with you in the hopes that it might help you as well.


How Depression is Defined

Depression is defined as a mood disorder that creates feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness accompanied by other physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.

For me, it presented primarily as physical and emotional fatigue – I just didn’t have the energy I was used to having and small things – like walking the dogs or writing a blog post – started to feel overwhelming.

Other common symptoms of depression include:

  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Anger or irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite changes, such as eating more or less than usual
  • Crying more than usual
  • Decreased productivity
  • Difficulty concentrating or Memory problems
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling worthless, guilty, and/or isolated
  • Loss of interest in normal activities or hobbies
  • Physical symptoms like unexplained headaches, backaches, or stomachaches
  • Sad, hopeless, or empty feelings
  • Sleeping too much or not sleeping enough


My Helpful Depression Reframe

As I was researching potential tools to help me navigate through depression, I  was struck by something the Energy Codes author Dr. Sue Morter said during an online Q&A session.

In response to a question about depression, Dr. Morter stated that progress in the healing journey can often be mistaken for depression.

She explained that as we slow down and begin to tune into our bodies and release old patterns, we are no longer creating adrenal surges that we experience as energy.

This lack of energy is often labeled as depression, but that alone is not a good diagnostic tool

She then asked the individual if they have experienced any progress in their life – if they were able to make headway in any areas.

I, of course, asked myself the same question and realized that lo and behold, I had been making progress – in many areas that had kept me stuck for years.

For example, I had always suffered from inflamed gums, but had begun alkalizing my mouth and re-mineralizing my teeth with my friend Trina’s awesome primal life organics dirty mouth power and red light gum therapy.

In less than a month, I was already noticing dramatic improvements.

I was also been starting to build my confidence as a public speaker – speaking at small events and on a big stage next month in Boise (More here).

This reframe made me feel more optimistic

Dr. Morter is actually hosting an introductory challenge this week if you want to check her out.

l really appreciate her approach to meditation through yoga and integrative breath work.


Endings as New Beginnings

The other helpful reframe came from my friend Naomi Panzer who shared “when things are ending, look for the beginnings.”

She noted, “It’s easy to feel sunk by the sad finality of an ending — whether of a marriage, a friendship, a chapter of life, a life itself, a job, etc. But every ending also has a beginning. It may not jump right out at you, but it’s there and sometimes you have to look more closely to find it.

What began when your marriage ended (or is ending, as some of you are in process)? For me, it was the beginning of true freedom, bravery and strength.”

This reframe was helpful for me, as are the following essential oils.


Essential Oils for Depression

Essential oils have been shown to help calm depression, in part due to their ability to access, and balance, the brain.  Essential oils are able to travel directly to the area of the brain that impact mood.

Research has shown that smells are first processed by the olfactory bulb, which starts inside the nose and runs along the bottom of the brain. The olfactory bulb has direct connections to two brain areas that are strongly implicated in emotion and memory: the amygdala, which is often blunted in depressed persons as compared to non-depressed individuals, and the hippocampus. Your other 4 senses – sight, sound, touch and taste – do not pass through these brain areas which may help explain why essential oils help boost mood.

READ THIS NEXT: How Essential Oils Calm Depression 


1. Uplift™

Formulated with uplifting oils like Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Lime, Mandarin, Lavender, and Rose, Uplift™ is designed to alleviate depression, promote feelings of strength, courage, and protection and return a sense of calm, joy and peace to our lives.  In particular, Ylang Ylang may support “a relief of depression and stress in humans,” according to a 2006 study.  Ylang Ylang is also a mild sedative and may help promote hormonal balance and calm mood swings, irritability and depression.  A 2012 study found that roman chamomile oil provides, “clinically meaningful antidepressant activity.”   Chamomile also helps fight stress and promote relaxation. According to research from Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine and Pharmacognosy Review, chamomile essential oil is often recommended as a natural remedy for anxiety and general depression.

Apply  2 -3 drops of Uplift™ to the vagal nerve (behind earlobe, on mastoid bone) over heart, wrists, temples and forehead.

2.  Parasympathetic®

Stimulating the vagus nerve “can significantly reduce multiple symptoms of depression, including anxiety, sleep disturbance, and hopelessness,” according to recent studies.  Essential oils, like Parasympathetic®, offer a non-invasive tool for naturally stimulating the vagus nerve.  Parasympathetic® is formulated from a synergistic combination of Clove, which is highly stimulatory combined with Lime oil, which has super small molecules.  The combination of these two oils creates a blend that is super stimulatory and very easily accessible through the skin and olfactory channels and serves as a far less invasive method for stimulating the vagus nerve.  In addition, research has demonstrated that citrus oils, like Lime, have been clinically proven to normalize “neuroendocrine hormone levels and immune function,” and were found to be “more effective than antidepressants.”

Applying Parasympathetic® blend behind the earlobe on the mastoid bone helps to trigger the parasympathetic rest and digest response.

READ THIS NEXT: Parasympathetic for Depression

3. Adrenal®

Depression is a common symptom of Adrenal Fatigue, which impacts your vitality and your energy.  Adrenal hormones, like cortisol, are often associated with depression as they greatly impact cognitive function, mood and mental states.   The Adrenal® blend is designed to balance the extremes, calming the adrenals when too much cortisol is released and supporting them during periods of adrenal fatigue.  Supporting adrenal function with Adrenal® blend may help promote vitality and help relieve depression.

Apply 1- 2 drops of Adrenal® on the adrenal glands (on the lower mid-back, one fist above the 12th rib on each side). Dilute to start or if any redness occurs.

4. Heart™

Balances the heart to support, integrate and reset all the systems of the body, including mental clarity, physical health and emotional balance.  Supports feelings of open-heartedness, expansiveness, receptivity while mitigating loneliness, sadness and grief. Heart™ blend contains Jasmine essential oil which a study found to be ‘as calming as valium’.  In fact, brain scans found Jasmine enhanced the calming effect of neurotransmitter GABA, which can help relieve anxiety, promote rest and ease depression.

Apply 2-3 drops of Heart™ over the heart (left side of chest) 2- 3 times daily.

READ THIS NEXT: Essential Oils for Depression


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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.