Emotions are one of the most essential aspects of being human. We all experience dozens of emotions every day, from happiness and contentment to anger, anxiety, irritation and boredom. All of these emotions can take their toll on our mental health. There are a number of natural ways to support our emotional state so that our feelings never overwhelm us and this article will explore some of the best plants for improving our mood.
Plants and herbs have been used for centuries as natural medicines for physical problems but they can also benefit us mentally. Plants have the power to boost happiness and feelings of serenity, relieve feelings of anxiety or irritation, calm stressed nerves, relax us and invigorate us. Some of these miracle plants might be growing right now in your garden and all of them are easily available in your local herb or health food shop.
The physical effects of negative emotions
We all experience a number of negative emotions each day. We can experience mild or fleeting feelings of sadness, dissatisfaction or even strong, long lasting feelings of anger, stress, resentment and despair. These negative emotions all have a strong effect on our mental and emotional health. Negative emotions can also cause physical problems. Stress-related illness is a common cause of missed work days and depression is an ever increasing concern in the world of mental health.
Stress and anxiety can play havoc with our internal system. Many digestive illnesses are aggravated by stressful emotions. Emotional gastritis involves inflammation of the stomach lining caused by stress. It may even lead to stomach ulcers or cancer. Insomnia is another common complaint from people who are often stressed. Their anxiety may be so strong they cannot switch off at night and never manage to sleep more than a short time in one stretch.
We should never underestimate the powerful connection between our emotional health and our physical health.
Plants that can improve our emotional state
Thankfully there are many ways in which we can support our own emotional health using the power of plants. Plants can be boiled and consumed as a soup, broth or drink, or they can be eaten as part of a larger meal or as a snack on their own. Sometimes it is also useful to break the plant up and sprinkle it over your food, like we do with herbs.
Lavender is a famously beneficial herb for insomniacs due to its relaxing properties. You can buy lavender bags filled with fresh lavender to keep under your pillow. Or you could get some lavender essential oil and put it in an oil burner and place it in your bedroom before you settle down for the night.
Essential oils can be used to create a soothing, pre-bedtime ritual. Just put a few drops into a warm bath. Lavender also lifts the mood and can help with migraines.
Melisa, or “lemon balm”, is a very useful herb. This plant has relaxing properties and its antispasmodic, soothing the nervous system, relieving stress, and calming anxiety. This can be especially helpful for people suffering from insomnia caused by worry and an overactive mind.
Natural stress relievers
Another stress-relieving plant is borage. Borage can be used as an essential oil in a massage treatment or dissolved in water to make an infusion with one tablespoon of dried leaves to one glass of water. Chamomile is a sweet-smelling plant that can be made into a delicious tea or used as an essential oil. By placing dried flowers or essential oil in a bath, you will be soothed by the warm water as well as the herbs.
Valeriana is a powerful mood enhancer. It helps promote sleep and relieve depression. Only use valeriana before bed because you may find yourself nodding off shortly after using it!
Always proceed with caution when considering using any natural herbs and be sure to consult a professional for advice before using any herbs or drugs during pregnancy.