Do your hormones send you crazy?

According to Psychology Today, our hormones are “silent drivers of behavior and personality, and their molecular fingerprints are on everything from attraction to appetite.”

Our hormones have a big say in who we are and what we do! It’s no wonder it’s important to understand what exactly they are and how we can manage them for our good.

We live in a very interesting time, not only the most toxic environment but we are on the go more than ever before. We are hardwired to survival so we keep going no matter how challenging our life gets. But to what cost?

You don’t have to feel like you are living a stressful life, it could just be a text from your mum or a friend with emergency or you are running late to a meeting, our body still perceives this as form of stress.

The adrenals receive this message, then cortisol gets released which impacts our gut, lungs, cardiovascular system. It leads to anxiety and hormonal imbalance.

Major life transitions

Through the bigger life changes such as puberty, peri-menopause or menopause the body goes through a huge hormonal changes.

Especially women from about 35–55 years old go through a lot of big life transitions. From having kids, adjusting to family life, balancing work and home, possibly changing career and going through menopause, health issues, relationships…. Just writing this down makes me realise how little credit we give ourselves for navigating through those times. So here is a big f-ing hi-five.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system and the overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that follows can disrupt almost all your body’s processes.

This puts you at increased risk of many health problems, including:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Digestive problems

  • Headaches

  • Heart disease

  • Sleep problems

  • Weight gain

  • Memory and concentration impairment

Why you react to life stressors the way you do

Your reaction to a potentially stressful event is different from anyone else’s. How you react to your life stressors is affected by such factors as:

  • Genetics — The genes that control the stress response keep most people on a fairly steady emotional level, only occasionally priming the body for fight or flight. Overactive or underactive stress responses may stem from slight differences in these genes.

  • Life experiences — Strong stress reactions sometimes can be traced to traumatic events. People who were neglected or abused as children tend to be particularly vulnerable to stress. The same is true of people who have experienced violent crime, airplane crash survivors, military personnel, police officers and firefighters.

You may have some friends who seem relaxed about almost everything and others who react strongly to the slightest stress. Most people react to life stressors somewhere between those extremes.

What can we do?

  1. Essential oils are the most powerful stress disruptors. They are so fast acting and they can heal overtime, but mostly they act in that moment when you need to shift your mood or get more energy without using stimulants. Having an oil or blend that really resonates with you at the time will help you balance or lower your body’s stress response.

  2. Selfcare — having a great look at your life, what serves you and what doesn’t. From food, things you do or don’t or even what type of people you have around you. Do you get enough time to focus just on your self, read a book, have a bath, go for a walk or chat to an old friend?

  3. Sleep — having a morning and evening rituals. For example an hour before bed you put your phone away, you don’t watch TV or work. Maybe pick up a book, give each other a massage, diffuse oils or have a bath.

7 essential oils to balance your hormones

1. Thyme Oil

Research has shown that thyme essential oil has beneficial progesterone-balancing effects. It benefits the body by improving progesterone production. Many man and women are low in progesterone. Low levels have been linked to infertility, PCOS and depression, as well as other hormone imbalances in the body.

2. Clary Sage Oil

A 2014 study found that inhalation of clary sage oil had the ability to reduce cortisol levels by 36%,while improving thyroid hormone levels. Researchers stated that “clary sage oil had a statistically significant effect on lowering cortisol and had an anti-depressant effect improving mood.”

3. Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood oil is very effective at balancing testosterone levels in both men and women. It can be added to a homemade deodorant or a homemade lotion to help the body improve hormone levels. Sandalwood oil is also said to be a natural aphrodisiac that works to improve libido.

4. Lavender Oil

Lavender has many beneficial properties, including its ability to help the body balance hormones. This oil also offers pain relief for those suffering from abdominal cramps associated with menstrual symptoms. One symptom of PMS or hormone imbalance is feeling emotional or depressed for no apparent reason. Lavender oil has been shown to decrease feelings of stress and depression.

5. Lemongrass Oil

The ovaries produce both estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones aren’t balanced, the body can experience symptoms including PMS, infertility and difficult or irregular menstrual cycles. A Dutch study found that the compounds in lemon peels can improve liver functions – including hormone regulation – by lowering liver cholesterol. Lemon essential oil contains these same compounds, giving it the natural ability to balance hormones.

6. Myrtle Oil

It’s estimated that around 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid disease, but 60% of sufferers are not aware of their disorder. The thyroid controls important functions in the body, including the metabolism and the body’s temperature. Myrtle oil has the ability to simulate thyroid activity. Studies have shown that myrtle oil can balance and normalize hormonal imbalances of the thyroid, as well as the ovaries.

7. Basil Oil

The adrenal glands are responsible for how you cope with daily stress. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands. Basil essential oil increases the body’s natural response to both physical and emotional stress. In one study, researchers examined the effects of daily basil extracts on stress symptoms in men and women. After six weeks, 39% of participants showed a decrease in general stress symptoms, including sleep problems, exhaustion and forgetfulness.