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Coloring with Essential Oil–Scented Pencils for Mental Health

Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. Did you know the act of coloring can be therapeutic and help with managing emotions, curbing addictions, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing self-esteem? If you have a hard time focusing, try coloring! It’s been found that coloring can help bring about more mindfulness and has the same effect as meditating.


Now, let’s bring essential oils into the picture. Due to our amazing olfactory receptors, which identify odors and initiate the aromatic pathway, and their connection to the limbic system (which includes the amygdala), essential oils are able to have a profound psychological effect, including an influence on emotions. So if you combine essential oils with coloring, you have the ability to do amazing things for your mental health! The easiest way to do this is to turn your colored pencils into mini diffusers.

You can easily make scented pencils with your essential oils, especially with pencils that don’t have erasers. Just add a drop or two of essential oil to each pencil. You can add the essential oil to the bottom of the pencil (where the eraser typically would be) or along the length of it if your pencils don’t have a covering.

Essential Oil Suggestions:

You really could just pick your favorite essential oil or oil blend to scent your pencils with, or coordinate the color of the pencil with the scent (such as pairing lemon with the yellow pencil, peppermint with the blue or green pencil, lime with the green pencil, etc.), but we would like to suggest that you choose oils that may help increase the mental health benefits of coloring. Here are a few top single oil recommendations from Modern Essentials:
Alertness: peppermint, ylang ylang, black pepper, juniper berry, cinnamon
Anger: lavender, ylang ylang, melissa, helichrysum
Anxious: lavender, orange, lemon
Balance: geranium, juniper berry, lavender, orange, sandalwood, vetiver
Blocks (emotional): cypress, frankincense, helichrysum, sandalwood
Coldness: myrrh, ylang ylang
Concentration: lavender, lemon, peppermint
Confidence: cedarwood, orange
Creativity: frankincense, sandalwood, cypress, lemon
Defeated: cypress, white fir, juniper berry
Depression: lemon, frankincense, lavender, bergamot
Fear: ylang ylang, orange, sandalwood
Grief/Sorrow: lemon, lavender, bergamot, orange, grapefruit, wintergreen
Happiness/Joy: lemon, orange, spearmint, sandalwood, bergamot
Loss: tangerine, orange
Mind (open): frankincense, sandalwood
Negative emotions: orange, grapefruit, white fir, wintergreen, lavender
Overburdened/Overwhelmed: orange
Peace: lavender, ylang ylang, melissa
Pity (self-pity): orange
Positive (feeling): basil, peppermint, frankincense, cedarwood, juniper berry
Rejection: lavender, geranium
Release: Roman chamomile
Stress: clary sage, bergamot, lavender, lemon, ylang ylang, petitgrain, grapefruit
Uplifting: lemon, orange
Worried: bergamot
Please see Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition (pp. 266–69), for essential oil blend recommendations and other information about essential oils and emotions.

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