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Smelling Freedom: Emotional Well Being, Aromatherapy, and the Six Dimensions of Wellness.

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Emotional wellbeing: who doesn’t want to achieve it? The National Wellness Institute defines wellness as ‘an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.’

We will identify what emotional wellbeing is; how it relates to the Six Dimensions of Wellness, and how aromatherapy will assist the natural and holistic rebalancing of your whole self.

A popular approach to wellbeing views health as holistic, taking a multidimensional approach to physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing is necessary to enjoy a long, healthy, and happy life.   

What are the Six Dimensions of Wellbeing?

Dr. Bill Hettler (1977), co-founder of The National Wellness Institute (NWI), developed the popular wellness theory The Six Dimensions of Wellness. For a fully rounded individual, six lifestyle dimensions need to be met: emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual.

Figure 2 National Wellness Institute

What happens when one dimension is ‘off’?

When one dimension is ‘off,’ true wellness, in a holistic sense, cannot be achieved without the lifestyle changes necessary to rebalance the dimensions.

The six dimensions are interdependent; the choices we make continually influence them, and each other. When there is a gap, like a missing puzzle piece, it affects the whole work. A healthy integration of all dimensions is necessary. For the purposes of this post, the focus is on emotional wellness.

What is Emotional wellness?

According the NWI, emotional wellness involves an awareness and acceptance of your emotions and responses. Being comfortable in your own skin, your thoughts, and your feelings—all are are great examples of emotional wellness.

Importantly, this includes the ability to accept/ identify your emotional self, being in touch with your emotional presence and being aware of and comfortable with your own thoughts and feelings. The National Institute of Wellness’ website definition of the emotional wellness dimension is as follows:

The emotional dimension recognizes awareness and

acceptance of one’s feelings. Emotional wellness includes

the degree to which one feels positive and enthusiastic

about one’s self and life. It includes the capacity to manage

one’s feelings and related behaviors including the realistic

assessment of one’s limitations, development of autonomy,

and ability to cope effectively with stress. The well person

maintains satisfying relationships with others. Awareness of,

and accepting a wide range of feelings in yourself and others

is essential to wellness. On the wellness path, you’ll be able

to express feelings freely and manage feelings effectively.

Emotional wellness involves the ability to articulate your feelings—critical to being sensitive and receptive to the emotions of others.  

Aromatherapy: How does it work?

Aromatherapy is the science and art of using aromatherapy for health—including emotional wellbeing. The science? Aromatherapies are natural, concentrated, volatile organic plant extracts which typically then diffused, applied topically, or ingested. Aromatherapists use aromatherapy to help improve clients’ emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing.

How does Aromatherapy help adjust Emotional Wellbeing?

Thanks to Wendy Robbins, Certified Aromatherapist and founder of the popular AromaWeb for her near-exhaustive list of aromatherapeutic oils for various emotional problems:

Aromatherapy for Anger Management

Bergamot, Jasmine, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Palo Santo, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Vetiver, and Ylang Ylang.

Aromatherapy for Anxiety

Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, and Lavender.

Aromatherapy for Confidence

Bergamot, Cypress, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Orange.

Aromatherapy for Depression

Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Helichrysum, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Palo Santo, Orange, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang.

Aromatherapy for Fatigue, Exhaustion and Burnout

Bergamot, Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Cypress, Frankincense, Ginger, Grapefruit, Helichrysum, Jasmine, Lemon, Patchouli, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Vetiver.

Aromatherapy for Fear

Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lemon, Neroli, Palo Santo, Orange, Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood, Vetiver.

Aromatherapy for Grief

Cypress, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Neroli, Palo Santo, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver.

Aromatherapy for Happiness and Peace

Bergamot, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lemon, Neroli, Orange, Palo Santo, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang.

Aromatherapy for Insecurity

Bergamot, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Vetiver.

Aromatherapy for Irritability

Lavender, Mandarin, Neroli, Roman Camomille, Sandalwood.

Aromatherapy for Loneliness

Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Palo Santo, Roman Chamomile, Rose,

Aromatherapy for Memory and Concentration

Basil, Black Pepper, Cypress, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary

Aromatherapy for Stress Reduction

Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Mandarin, Neroli, Palo Santo, Patchouli, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang.

How do I use my aromatherapy oils?

Aromatherapy havebeen in use for thousands of years, primarily for physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing—just like today! Essential oils, once extracted, were mixed with resin or oils, then applied topically or internally. Today, we have a few more options available, including diffusers, spritzers, inhalers, lotions, felt patches, and jewelry.  


Aromatherapy can aid in regulating your emotional wellbeing naturally, while complementing your other wellness dimensions. Aromatherapy is a useful tool for your wellbeing toolkit. Remembering that every aspect of the six dimensions of wellness are ideally balanced, enabling you to manage the highs and lows that will ebb and flow throughout your life.  

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