Using Essential Oils for Energy

Life is exhausting. Family, pets, work, anxiety…It can all lead to relying on cup after cup of coffee to get through the day.

There isn’t one magic fix that instantly leads to increased energy: good sleep, eating healthy food, thyroid function, and stress management all play a part. But there is one supporting player on the better energy all-star team that’s often overlooked: essential oils.

While using essential oils for energy isn’t a replacement for prioritizing all the other factors that could be contributing to fatigue, it can help.

Essential oils that encourage deep breathing: peppermint, eucalyptus, and cardamom

We often don’t think about it, but deep breathing is directly connected to better energy. One reason why many people have an energy deficit is because they’re taking such shallow breaths all the time and there isn’t enough oxygen flowing through the body and to the brain.

When it comes to which specific essential oils are linked to deeper breathing, peppermint increases VO2; eucalyptus and cardamom are both popular oils that can provide respiratory support. (Eucalyptus is a decongestant, promoting deeper breathing. Cardamom is considered “warming” and can help improve circulation.)

Mood-boosting essential oils: orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit

Fatigue can also often stem from a mood imbalance. Mood is a big piece of energy. We know that chronic stress and depression can lead to chronic fatigue, and we also know that citrus essential oils such as orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit, are linked to boosting mood.

Because memory and smell are so intricately linked, other essential oils can help boost mood too, based on what makes you specifically feel warm and fuzzy inside. For some people, lavender is a mood-boosting scent because they have such happy memories tied to it; it’s very individual.

Essential oils that support good sleep: lavender, chamomile, valerian root

Getting good sleep is a big part of feeling energized throughout the day, which is why working essential oils into your nighttime routine can be beneficial too. If you are really wanting to use essential oils for energy, you likely aren’t going to be using the same blends all the time; your morning blend will be different than your night blend because you don’t want to perk up at 10 p.m., which is likely what peppermint will do.

Lavender, chamomile, and valerian root are all essential oils that are linked to promoting good sleep. Lavender can calm the nervous system, helping you relax, while chamomile can help with anxiety and valerian root is literally used as a natural sleep aid.

How to use essential oils for energy

Now that you know which oils contribute to better energy, how do you use them? Topical use, applying a few drops of your chosen oil or blend to your wrists or neck. The reason why topical use is best is because you basically become a walking diffuser.

For the quickest effects, inhalation is best. Nothing is faster than inhalation, and adding a diffuser can be used in this way. Take a whiff of peppermint. You’ll instantly perk up!

Whether you choose to apply an essential oil topically or use a diffuser, the effects won’t last more than a couple hours, so because of this, you may want to incorporate them into your routine throughout the day. Perhaps you have one blend you smell in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one before bed.

While essential oils are only one piece of the energy-boosting puzzle, they can work in conjunction with other holistic solutions such as eating more nutrient dense foods and taking measures to minimize stress. When used together, a clearer picture of better energy starts to come together, and in turn, it could transform your entire day.

Read the full article at Well + Good.


If you live in the Los Angeles or Westlake Village area and are interested in therapy, I invite you to contact me via email at: tanyasamuelianmft@yahoo.com . I provide a complimentary consultation. Check out my services to see which one might fit your needs. Contact me now to see if we might be a good fit to work together! Or book your appointment here!

Breaking the Cycle of Fear

In every moment, you have the power to create your future. The “failures” you’ve had in the past don’t define your future or mean that you are going to “fail” again. You have the power to define who you are, what you want, and how to get there. Every day, remind yourself: I am not going to let my past define me. I am going to define me. I am going to create my future.

Get Comfortable with being Uncomfortable

Change is uncomfortable, but it’s also the only constant in life. The world around us—our relationships, jobs, living situations, friends, everything—is constantly changing and influencing us. Amid all of this change, why would we expect that we would stay the same? We’re constantly changing. Honor that. A lot of people feel that a change of heart is a negative thing. That it reflects a fickle nature. It doesn’t. You don’t have to prove yourself to anybody. You have to find what fits for you—right now, at this time in your life.

When we don’t honor the ways in which we’ve changed, we end up sticking with something just because we don’t want to quit. We end up stressed, overworked, and miserable, holding on for dear life to a dream we don’t even want anymore. This is dangerous—but as long as you’re still breathing, as long as you’re still alive, you have the opportunity to change your situation and find a dream that’s worth the gamble. Each breath is an opportunity to change. Each breath is an opportunity to be better than we were before. With each breath, we choose our future.

Lesson: You always have the opportunity to grow if you’re willing to change.

Stretch Yourself

The body is often naturally tight, and that’s okay. Breathe into your muscles and they will loosen. The same thing happens in life. Breathe into your fears and they will loosen their grip on you, opening you up to new opportunities. The more you breathe into your fears, the easier it gets to do so, and the more flexible you will become in trying new things.

Change is happening all around us and inside of us. If you’re flexible, you’re able to move easily with those changes and find your flow. If you’re not, you’ll get stuck, be unable to shift and adapt, and live in a way that isn’t working for you anymore.

The more flexible you are and the more you keep moving, the less likely you are to get stuck in your fears, doubts, and worries.

Lesson: Stay flexible and available for new opportunities.

Never Call It Failure

Things don’t always work out the way we want or plan. When a deal falls through, a client goes to a competitor, a job opportunity vanishes, a relationship ends, a proposal is rejected, or an experience falls short of your expectations, don’t call it a failure. Shift your mind-set. Stop asking, How did I fail? How can I stop failing? Instead, ask, How did that situation make me stronger? What can I learn from that experience?

It’s important to do a reality check. Do you want to keep pursuing this goal, or do you want to stop? Ask yourself: Is this something I want to push forward, or do I want to let it go and put my energy in another direction? Am I happy on this journey?

Lesson: You can’t fail if you don’t stop trying.

If you’re comfortable being uncomfortable, stretching yourself, and not calling fears failure, you’ll see opportunities for growth daily. Embrace growth, embrace change, and find your flow.

Read the full article on Goop.


If you live in the Los Angeles or Westlake Village area and are interested in therapy, I invite you to contact me via email at: tanyasamuelianmft@yahoo.com . I provide a complimentary consultation. Check out my services to see which one might fit your needs. Contact me now to see if we might be a good fit to work together! Or book your appointment here!

Dear Diary...

Writing down your feelings is a powerful tool for relationships because by doing it, you get to know the number-one most important person in your life: yourself. The quality of any romantic relationship is going to be directly correlated to your own self-worth. You are the person you really need to get to know, and journaling is a great ally in that process.

Writing can help you tune in to your inner voice and appreciate who you are—in other words, your journal shouldn’t just be a dumping ground for frustrations about your partner. (Although that can definitely be helpful in some situations, like if you need to have a talk with them and want to organize your thoughts.) Rather, you can also look at it as a place to dig deep into who you are and what you want.

Here are a few journal prompts that can help take a person’s relationships to the next level, whether single or attached.

Journal Prompts for Single People

The perfect day visualization: A big roadblock people come up against when dating is that they don’t really know what they want. And if you’re not clear on your endgame, you risk wasting time and energy on people who ultimately aren’t going to be the best fit for you.

To find that clarity, try this two-part journaling exercise. First, take a little time to dream about what [your ideal] partnership looks like and feels like. These prompts can help get you started, but feel free to be creative here:

  • Journal out a whole day spent with this person. What does it feel like when you wake up together? Where do you go? What do you do? Really dig in and get specific.

  • Keep coming back to how it feels physically and emotionally. Are you energized? Does it give you a sense of safety? Are you having fun?

Next, use the intel gleaned from your perfect-day visualization to make a list of qualities you want to prioritize in a partner. What are the nonnegotiables for you?

The post-date debrief: One of the ickier aspects of dating-app culture is that it can make a person feel like they’re on a job interview, and it’s easy to put too much focus on the performance aspect. We’ve all fallen down the rabbit hole of self-doubt. But this is the absolute wrong approach. We’re often so preoccupied with being chosen that it’s easy to forget that you are picking your partner, as well.

You can use your journal to flip the script. Don’t just get caught up in the ‘shiny object’ aspects of their persona or appearance, ask yourself about the qualities they exhibited and if those are in alignment with what’s most important to you. Here are some things she suggests you journal about after a date:

  • How did your evening make you feel?

  • What did you enjoy about spending time with this person (or not)?

  • Did they make you feel good or kick up insecurities?

It’s not about judging your date. It’s about being connected with yourself through the dating process and assessing whether you two humans are a good fit for one another. You might be surprised to realize that person you were hoping to impress isn’t actually that impressive themselves!

Journal Prompts if You’re in a Relationship

The stress-buster: Stress is a major relationship buzzkill—if you’re obsessing over your to-do list or a conflict with someone at work, it’s hard to be present with your partner. Compounding this is the fact that self-care can often take a backseat when you’re coupled up. It erodes the foundation of the relationship long-term, because you both need to be taking care of yourselves in order to have the energy and clarity to take care of each other.

Here’s how you can use your journal to calm your mind and clear mental space for your S.O.

  • At night in bed, jot down a list of everything you want to get out of your head. This might help you sleep better—and wake up knowing exactly what priorities you need to tackle the next day. (That way, you’re not thinking about them during quality time with your bedmate.)

  • In the morning, do a free-write for at least four minutes and see what comes up on the page. Think of it like a juice cleanse for your brain.

The self-love party: Let’s be honest: One of the perks of being in a relationship is having someone constantly tell you how great they think you are. But if you’re solely looking to your partner to validate you, you’re likely heading down a sketchy path. We aren’t going to get all our needs met by a significant other. That’s unreasonable and unrealistic.

If you find that your moods peak and dip based on the amount of attention you’re getting from your plus-one, try giving yourself the gratuitous praise you’re seeking. Make a list of the things that you appreciate about yourself, and not a short list! Go for at least 50: traits, body parts, habits, you name it. Like how you set the dining room table? Include it. Think you have lovely feet, claim it. Love how you are a good friend to x person? Celebrate it. It’ll take the pressure off your partner to be the president of your fan club—but, more importantly, it can help you fall a little deeper in love with you.

Read the full article on Well+Good.


If you live in the Los Angeles or Westlake Village area and are interested in therapy, I invite you to contact me via email at: tanyasamuelianmft@yahoo.com . I provide a complimentary consultation. Check out my services to see which one might fit your needs. Contact me now to see if we might be a good fit to work together! Or book your appointment here!






Growth Mindset

Our minds have such an ability to influence our lives. It's amazing how powerful our minds and our thoughts can be; how we look at the world shapes our own world.

"Growth mindset" (a term coined by Carol Dweck of Stanford University) is marked by a self-belief that your intelligence is malleable and never set in stone. As Ellen DeGeneres once said, "It's failure that gives you the proper perspective on success. When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail. Both are equally important." Researchers have found that children who are encouraged to view failure as an opportunity for growth faired much better than children who had parents who reinforced the notion that failure is always 'bad.'

People with a growth mindset believe that intelligence is malleable, expandable, and never fixed. They also believe that you can learn and grow from mistakes or setbacks.

Failure and success are two sides of the same coin. Previous research has found that growth mindset also boosts resilience, positive emotions, and someone's ability to bounce back quickly from the agony of defeat. With practice, a growth mindset helps you let go of failure's disappointment and move on to new challenges. 

On the flip side, those with a "fixed mindset"—who believe that their intelligence and abilities are less fluid—tend to beat themselves up and get stuck by dwelling on failures. A fixed mindset is also linked to a lack of self-compassion, in which failure can create a demotivating downward spiral of hopelessness and low self-esteem.

This is especially important for parents of younger children when teaching kids how to respond to setbacks in ways that are encouraging rather than discouraging. Nourishing a growth mindset can give youngsters a set of coping skills that could last a lifetime. I encourage teachers and parents to help children learn to pay more attention to their mistakes in a way that opens up growth mindset opportunities. Glossing over mistakes or shying away from a constructive dialogue about the importance of short-term failure as a pathway to long-term success can undermine someone's potential growth.


If you live in the Los Angeles/Westlake Village area and are interested in therapy, I invite you to contact me via email at: tanyasamuelianmft@yahoo.com . I provide a complimentary consultation. Contact me now to see if we might be a good fit to work together! Or book your appointment here!


This article is for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. Full article on Psychology Today.

Feeling Blue? It could be Seasonal Affective Disorder...

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is one of the few ailments that is on a clock: It usually begins in October, and people who suffer from it usually feel the full effects in January and February. We also know that it’s more common for people living in places that get less sunlight during the winter and it’s more common in women than men, according to psychologists and researchers.

Traditionally, SAD is treated with antidepressant medication or light therapy, but there has been recent piloting towards a new approach using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), looking at the effects of CBT method on reducing negative thought patterns for people with SAD, using the Socratic method to interrupt negative thought patterns and make way for more mood-neutral thoughts, while simultaneously focusing on behavior and helping people to make slight shifts in their habits.

Here are a few questions to consider.

Q

What is seasonal affective disorder?

A

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of clinical depression that commonly occurs in the fall and winter months and typically resolves in the spring and summer. While it can take any seasonal pattern, the fall/winter type is overwhelmingly the most common. The only thing that makes it different from garden-variety depression is the seasonal pattern that it follows.

Because of their similarities, SAD is often misdiagnosed as depression. It sometimes takes a few years for people who have this pattern to recognize that it’s a pattern, and that it’s tied to the seasons.

Q

What are the most common symptoms?

A

Because we’re diagnosing depression when diagnosing SAD, we look for at least five of the nine diagnostic symptoms of depression. We’re diagnosing a depression that follows a seasonal pattern, meaning we’re looking for depressive symptoms that are present much of the day, almost every day, for at least two weeks. The hallmark symptoms of depression are:

  1. Feeling consistently down for most of the day or nearly every day.

  2. A loss of interest in the things that would have otherwise been enjoyable, such as social activities that previously would have brought a sense of enjoyment or pleasure.

  3. Feeling overwhelmingly tired or experiencing low energy.

  4. Inability to hold attention and focus or experiencing difficulty in concentrating.

  5. Feeling worthless or hopeless.

  6. Issues with sleep. Either too little or too much. In winter depression, we tend to see hypersomnia or sleeping too much. In most cases, the individual sleeps for at least an extra hour a day compared to the spring or summer. Some patients may sleep ten to even fourteen hours a day and are still tired. It’s not restorative sleep that we’re seeing. A minority of patients, on the other hand, experience insomnia.

  7. Changes in appetite or weight. This could be either wanting to eat a lot more or a lot less than usual. In winter depression, it’s usually wanting to eat more, and it’s usually carbohydrate-rich foods. Either sugars, starches, or both. With this, we typically see weight gain with an increased appetite or weight loss with a decreased appetite.

  8. Agitation often accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame.

  9. In extreme cases, thoughts of death or suicide.

Individuals can be diagnosed with SAD when they’re experiencing five of these symptoms, which need to include the first and/or second symptom.

These are not momentary symptoms; rather, they are pervasive for at least a couple of weeks. On average, it’s estimated to be five months of the year in a major depressive episode. It’s a lot of time to spend in depression, in terms of the cumulative toll that it could take on a person’s life.

Q

Whom does it affect most?


A

Similar to depression, there is a pronounced gender difference for those affected by SAD. Depression in general is two times more common in women than in men, and data suggests seasonal depression is even more common in women than in men. When we look at its prevalence, we’re looking at a single snapshot in time. And we’ve found that most cases occur in young adults, typically in their twenties to thirties. We’re not entirely sure why it occurs in this age range, though, since these studies don’t follow people over time. One theory is that SAD becomes less prevalent as people age, because they learn how to cope with it or possibly move to places that don’t have winters that are as harsh.

Q

How does SAD differ from depression? For individuals who have been previously diagnosed with depression, does that put them at an increased risk of developing SAD?

A

It’s estimated that up to 10 to 20 percent of recurrent depression cases follow a seasonal pattern. This is generally the course of depression, in which a depressive episode tends to return over time, with periods of time without depression between the episodes.

For SAD patients, there are unfortunately very few studies that have tried to look at the long-term trajectory of the disorder. So we don’t have a coherent idea of its outlook. We’ve tried contacting people we knew who had SAD in the past to learn about their experience and see where they’re at today, and we’ve found mixed long-term courses. A lot of them continue to experience SAD episodes every winter. Others become more subclinical, where they used to have full-threshold SAD, and now they may just have the winter blues. Some develop a completely nonseasonal course where they still have depressive episodes but it’s not tied to the seasons. And others fully remit, where they don’t have depression, seasonal or otherwise, moving forward.

In terms of how SAD differs from depression, there is a strong correlation of SAD with latitude in the United States. The farther you are from the equator, the more cases you’ll find. It is estimated that 9 percent of those people who live in Alaska suffer from SAD, compared with 1 percent of those who live in Florida. For most people—at least in the northern United States—SAD slowly begins in October. People often report an increase in their symptoms after the end of daylight saving time and experience their symptoms in full effect in January and February. It is in these two months that we find the largest proportion of SAD patients in a full major depressive episode.

Another strong link is photo period, or length of daylight. Photo period is the strongest predictor of when symptoms start in any given year for someone who has seasonal affective disorder, as well as how severe the symptoms are on a given day. The number of hours from dawn to dusk determines your photo period. We believe that photo period is what explains the onset of this disorder and can determine how bad symptoms may be on any particular day.

Q

What is the traditional approach to treating SAD?

A

Light therapy was the first line of treatment developed specifically for SAD patients. It was developed at the National Institute of Mental Health under Norman Rosenthal. He was a psychiatrist who moved from South Africa to Bethesda, Maryland, to work at the National Institute of Mental Health, and he experienced SAD symptoms. He was interested in learning more about it, and seeing if others experienced similar symptoms. He put an ad in The Washington Post, asking whether anyone experienced depression in the fall and the winter, and the lab phone rang constantly for weeks at a time. They had a huge response from people who thought they had the symptoms. They brought them they seemed to follow. From this, they developed light therapy as a form of treatment.

With light therapy, the goal is to give people a very bright dose of light, first thing in the morning, to simulate an early dawn. In theory, we’re trying to jump-start a sluggish biological clock, so that circadian rhythms go back to a normal phase as if they’re in the summer, when these people are feeling good. The devices tested in clinical trials are 10,000 LUX, which is the same intensity of light from the sky at sunrise. We block out the UV rays since they’re not necessary for an antidepressant response. We’ve found that prescribing patients to sit in front of 10,000 LUX for at least thirty minutes a day is what it takes for the treatment to be effective in people who have SAD. That said, similar to finding the right antidepressant, it can be a bit of a trial-and-error process. We try to find that sweet spot of exactly how many minutes a day and at what time or times of the day it’s most effective for the patient. The optimal benefit from light therapy must be determined on an individual basis so we can balance any side effects they may experience in response to the light.

The same drugs that are effective in treating nonseasonal depression—particularly SSRIs like fluoxetine/Prozac—have been tested for SAD with a good outcome in placebo-controlled studies. There is one drug that’s FDA-approved specifically to prevent SAD, which is Wellbutrin Extended Release. There was a large multisite study—with the GlaxoSmithKlein drug—completed a few years ago with over 1,000 SAD patients. The study compared putting people on the Wellbutrin Extended Release versus a placebo, and the participants started the treatment early in the fall when they weren’t yet having their symptoms, and the study followed them into the winter. The researchers found fewer relapses on the drug than with the placebo, which led to the FDA approval of the medication. Either bright-light therapy or antidepressant medication are typically used in treating SAD.

Q

How can cognitive behavioral therapy be used to treat SAD?

A

There is an extensive body of research demonstrating that CBT is an effective talk therapy for people with depression. There have also been a lot of clinical trials showing that it worked as well as antidepressant medications for improving depression. Additionally, when you follow people over time, after they’re treated to remission using CBT versus treated to remission using antidepressant medications, there are fewer relapses and recurrences among those treated with CBT than those treated with antidepressant medication.

Q

Recommendations?

A

Resist the urge to self-diagnose and self-treat. Seek evaluation from a qualified person who can figure out once and for all if it’s SAD or if it might be something else, including a depression that’s not following a seasonal course. And know that there are treatment options out there that are effective, including light therapy, antidepressant medications, and cognitive behavioral therapy. So there are reasons to be optimistic that one of these interventions will be helpful in terms of improving your experience.



This article is for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. View the full article here: https://goop.com/wellness/how-to-treat-seasonal-affective-disorder/


If you live in the Los Angeles/Westlake Village area and are interested in therapy, I invite you to contact me via email at: tanyasamuelianmft@yahoo.com . I provide a complimentary consultation. Contact me now to see if we might be a good fit to work together! Or book your appointment here!