Emotional healing and recovery with holistic practices

Holistic practices offer a gentle and thoughtful approach to caring for our bodies and minds. Through holistic healing, we can explore the underlying causes of our mental health challenges and understand the intricate connections between our physical, emotional, and social environments, leading to a deeper self-awareness. Embracing these approaches allows us to nurture ourselves in ways that extend beyond the superficial, encompassing the realm of spiritual well-being – a dimension often overlooked in traditional medical frameworks.

The benefits of holistic healing

Practising mindfulness regularly is one way to holistically elevate our quality of existence. Experiencing increased happiness and reduced stress are two common outcomes of daily mindfulness practice. However, it’s crucial to recognise that genuine healing doesn’t occur overnight; it requires time, patience, and dedication to the process.

Globally, we are witnessing a significant number of individuals facing mental health challenges, silently struggling with issues like anxiety and trauma. Sadly, many suffer in silence, unnoticed even by those closest to them, making it difficult to muster the motivation required to heal.

Being able to recognise that we’re struggling is difficult in the first place. It also takes a lot of strength and bravery to take proactive steps towards seeking support. Whether that entails searching for guidance from a holistic healing professional or finding solace within our own circle, reaching out for help is the scariest but most empowering step toward healing.

Here, we’ll take a look at the holistic practices of yoga and aromatherapy, and how they can help us navigate trauma and anxiety.


When faced with trauma, our instinctual reaction is to go into survival mode; this triggers panic within our bodies. More thoughtful and logical thinking goes out of the window as our bodies fixate on simply keeping us safe. Even after a traumatic experience, remnants of fear and stress can live on. 

It’s crucial to acknowledge that healing takes time following trauma. We not only deserve but require the space to allow our bodies to unwind, rebuild trust, and learn how to effectively combat triggers. While we may intellectually recognise that we are not reliving the trauma when triggered, our bodies may act as if the threat is the same as before and react intensely.

Recognising that we have unresolved trauma begins with noticing that our daily lives continue to mirror past experiences, essentially living as if the trauma is still happening. The complex effect of trauma leaves physiological damage – it makes living in our bodies very uncomfortable and leaves us feeling completely out of control.

Yoga for trauma

Yoga is a great holistic practice to help us establish harmony within the body. When we feel out of control after experiencing trauma, yoga gives us a sense of control back. We can connect mindfully with our bodies as we hold different positions and focus on breathwork.

Yoga is often cited as an effective method for healing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) as it can help us befriend our bodies, which can be transformative. We can also manage our reactivity; when old trauma begins to affect us or we start to feel angry or panicked in our bodies, we can turn to the yoga mat to find our inner calm.

Yoga can help us trust ourselves and our bodies again. Through deliberate, mindful movements in our yoga practice, we gradually nurture a deeper sense of peace within. Liberated from distractions and pretence, we embrace full awareness of our bodies. By observing how various thoughts, feelings, and sensations elicit physical responses, combined with breathwork and detached observation, we regain control and liberate ourselves from the grip of triggers.

In this video, yoga teacher, Reiki practitioner and author Sarah Wheeler shares a yoga nidra practice to help you feel a sense of safety and security in your body:

Of course, the healing journey isn’t as simple as attending a couple of yoga sessions and experiencing complete relief. Progress takes time when the situation is deeply painful and complicated. 

Additionally, we have all endured unique experiences and challenges, meaning what proves effective for one person may not create the same results for another, and the pace of progress can differ significantly. Therefore, it’s essential not to compare our situations to anyone else’s. The best thing we can do is grant ourselves permission to move at our own pace and trust that with time and openness to receiving the help we need, everything will gradually become easier and less scary.


We all experience anxiety as human beings, it’s an inherent part of our lives. The ups and downs, and fluctuation of emotions are nothing to panic about; this is always going to occur as it’s a part of the human experience. However, when symptoms such as irritability, heart palpitations or sweating persist consistently, significantly impacting our day-to-day lives, it becomes important that we reach out for help.

It’s wise to ponder what triggers us to feel anxious. It may be related to something we are unaware of and, in this case, seeking professional help is a great way to get to the bottom of the core issue. For those of us who experience anxiety due to stress related to work, a holistic approach to healing may benefit.

Aromatherapy for anxiety

Aromatherapy stimulates our sense of smell to put us in a more present, relaxed state of mind. Amidst the hustle and bustle of our busy days, finding a private space to have a moment of self-care and indulge in aromatherapy proves to be incredibly rewarding.

Different scents will invoke different feelings. For instance, if relaxing an anxious mind is your aim, oil scents including tea tree, sandalwood, rose, and jasmine can enhance relaxation. The inhalation of lavender oil can also trigger the nerves in our nose to send signals to the brain, prompting an increase in serotonin and dopamine levels – the neurotransmitters associated with joy, focus, and peace. Lavender, renowned for its calming properties, stands out as a popular choice for alleviating anxiety.

An aromatherapy meditation practice

Select your preferred essential oil/s, and settle into a comfortable seated position, allowing yourself to tune into the smells and detach from life’s stresses. Connecting fully in the present moment while letting go of past concerns and future anxieties really allows the oils to work their magic. Consider reaffirming the mantra before your aromatherapy practice: “I only exist in this current moment.”

Embrace this time to simply be, rather than do, allowing yourself to switch off completely. Channelling your attention on your body, breath, and the sensations that surface during this mindful moment will allow you to make the most of this holistic practice. 

It’s important to remember, as you inhale the essential oils, to take slow, deliberate breaths. Taking your time to gradually flow into a deep rhythm of breathing prevents breathlessness and allows you to get calmer quicker. Allow yourself the gift of this peaceful pause.

It’s important to relinquish any harsh self-judgments that may arise – experiencing anxiety doesn’t make you a failure. Empathy towards ourselves is essential for acknowledging our worthiness of support in seeking relief. We deserve to invest time in holistic healing.

When we decide to address something we want to improve or heal, it’s crucial to consider the broader context – our childhood experiences, the societal norms impacting us, and the unique challenges we face. By embracing these factors, we can find holistic healing practices that truly meet our needs while maintaining self-compassion and gentleness towards ourselves. 

Understanding is the biggest source of strength on our personal growth journey. Punishing ourselves for struggling only makes matters worse, so strive to always be kind!

Share this article with a friend
Written by Alessia Sutherberry
Alessia is a coach, content creator and writer who cares deeply about making people feel good about themselves. She helps people understand where their self-limiting beliefs stem from so they can foster self-awareness and self-love.
Written by Alessia Sutherberry
Show comments

Find a therapist dealing with Aromatherapy


All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals