What is emotional intelligence (EQ)?  Basically, it is your ability to recognize and understand your feelings and those of others, and then successfully manage those emotions to enhance thought, success and relationships.

But how do we successfully manage them?  Many of us are familiar with using aromatherapy to enhance our mood.  We may use lavender to create calm, or inhale citrus oils to feel energized and uplifted. But an often overlooked aspect of EQ is our ability to adapt to emotional and environmental stressors.

This ability is significant in how we perceive and respond to stressful situations.  One of the physiological things that contribute to this ability is our level of GABA in the brain, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in behavior, cognition, and the body's response to stress.  Research suggests that GABA helps to control fear and anxiety when neurons become overexcited.  People with anxiety disorders can have a lower-than-normal level of GABA.

So how can essential oils help normalize GABA levels?  Results of a recent study on the effects of  linalool, lavender’s primary chemical compound, shows it has direct effect on GABA levels, providing huge benefits in sleep, relaxation and stress response.

Other oils containing linalool are coriander, cilantro, basil and petitgrain.  In addition, these oils provide benefits such as cleansing properties, digestive relief and healthy immune function and response.

Recently the essential oil company whose products I use introduced a trio of products that have been clinically tested for their ability, especially when used together, to help the body respond to environmental and physical stressors, reduce anxious and depressive feelings, improve sleep and calm the mind. Many people report increased focus and mental clarity.  A very low dose of GABA is included, as well as a number of oils that help the brain in its normal production of GABA.  In addition, it contains sceletium root extract and ahi flower, both of which have been used for centuries for their calming effect and feelings of euphoria.  And who couldn’t use a little bit, or a lot, of that from time to time?

Paula is a Wellness Advocate with doTERRA.  Contact her at (530) 863-0190, pauladavid@outlook.com, or find her oil products at Z’s Boardwalk Boutique.

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