Everyone experiences stress and anxiety throughout the week, although the severity of those feelings can vary greatly. The restless, nervous, panicky feeling that accompanies anxiety can range from uncomfortable to completely overwhelming. While there are great medications to treat these feelings, using essential oils for anxiety is a more holistic approach that can provide immediate relief.
How Does It Work?
In aromatherapy, essential oils activate your nose’s smell receptors. These receptors send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system, which is the part of the brain that controls emotions. Your nervous system is flooded with chemicals and hormones at times of stress. Essential oils work by actively sending messages to your emotional center to calm the system down.
Essential Oils for Anxiety
Clearly, essential oils are much more than just a pretty smell. They’ve been used for thousands of years, and they may help you, too. Here are the very best essential oils for anxiety.
Perhaps one of the most well-known essential oils, lavender has a floral, fresh scent. It can calm anxiety, aid with headaches, and even has a mild sedative effect. If you suffer from anxious thoughts at night, lavender can help you get to sleep. One study of 20 people found that inhaling lavender oil significantly lowered blood pressure, skin temperature, and heart rate. Overall, the people in the study reported feeling more relaxed.
While you can diffuse any essential oil, lavender is particularly effective when massaged into the skin with a carrier oil. You can also add a couple of drops to your bathwater, along with about a teaspoon of carrier oil. Mix the bathwater well and enjoy!
Bergamot is derived from the peel of bergamot oranges, so it has a zesty citrus scent. In both human and animal studies, bergamot has proven its ability to improve mood, relieve anxiety, and increase positive feelings.
For the best results, diffuse a few drops of bergamot at times of stress. In a pinch, you can also add a few drops to a handkerchief and smell it, breathing in the aroma about three times.
Orange essential oil has a distinctly bright, citrus scent that can lift you out of any funk. It can help uplift you from feeling nervous, anxious, or negative. It can remove tension and balance your emotions, improving your overall mood.
To apply, mix a few drops into an unscented lotion and apply to the neck, shoulders, and clavicle.
Derived from the flowers of the Cananga tree, ylang ylang has a sweet, floral, and fruity scent. Its name quite literally means “flower of flowers,” thanks to the impressive yellow flowers on the tree, which can grow three meters high. One study found that ylang ylang, in combination with lavender and bergamot, helped lower stress, heart rate, blood pressure, and serum cortisol in nurses.
You can apply ylang ylang to your skin after mixing it with a carrier oil or lotion. You can also inhale it, either directly or via a diffuser.
Roses are, perhaps, one of the most popular flowers, and for good reason! Rose essential oil, extracted from the petals, has an enticing floral and sweet smell. Studies have shown rose oil to effectively reduce levels of pain and anxiety via self-massage, as well as lower anxiety when added to a footbath. Both are great methods to enjoy the benefits of this powerful essential oil for anxiety.
Blending your own essential oils can be a bit complex, especially if you’re anxious and need immediate relief. Our Relax blend is perfect for ridding yourself of negative thoughts and soothing anxious feelings. It’s a mix of lavender, marjoram, and melissa and has a lightly spicy, floral, fresh scent. While lavender relieves anxious feelings, marjoram helps with mental exhaustion and lifts the mood. Melissa brings on feelings of comfort, helping you to process your emotions. To get the benefits of this blend, diffuse or massage into the shoulders and neck with a carrier oil.
If you suffer from anxiety, know that you’re not alone and there are remedies. The best essential oils for anxiety can calm your nerves, relax the mind, and uplift your mood. It might take a bit of trial and error to find what works for you, but it’s well worth the effort!