From an evolutionary point of view, anxiety can be beneficial. However, an anxious person is always at risk of falling into a full-blown anxiety attack. That can be caused by almost anything and it’s not healthy. Luckily, there are essential oils that can help with anxiety just like there are treatments for diseases. Keep on reading to find out how to use essential oils to relieve anxiety.
The first chapter of this article contains important details about anxiety and its symptoms. But you can also find out what happens inside the brains of anxious people. The studies and experiments in this chapter will help you understand how essential oils work. Especially when it comes to relieving anxiety and stress.
After that, you can read about 27 of the essential oils used to improve or relieve anxiety. Of course, the list can be completed with your favorites too, as long as they help you relax. Find out how to use them and try one of the Aromatherapy blends with essential oils to relieve anxiety.
Did You Know?
- The personal space of the majority of people is somewhere between 10 and 20 inches (25 – 50 cm). The personal space of an anxious person or one who suffers from an anxiety disorder increases significantly.
Understanding Anxiety, Facts and Studies
People that suffer from anxiety see the world differently than the others. That’s a given, but a few Israeli researchers managed to prove it too. They performed their tests and concluded that anxious people generalize their emotional experiences.
Also, anxious people can’t make the difference between new experiences and old experiences. It’s understandable for old experiences to wake up certain feelings in someone. But for an anxious person, even if both experiences are similar, the new one is no different than the old one. This is how an anxious person can feel threatened even without reason.
Brain images (or functional magnetic resonance images) showed that the brains of anxious people looked different than the ones of healthy people. The amygdala is the part of brain that is related to anxiety and fear. The amygdala and the basic emotions area were the ones that showed significant differences.
Essential oils with their volatile nature are known to affect the limbic and nervous systems. That means they can also reach the amygdala while they reach the limbic system. Once there, essential oils molecules can influence the mood of a person and relax them. That’s why essential oils used to relieve anxiety are rapidly becoming a popular method.
It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time, especially in very important life moments. But from there to feeling the anxiety in everything you do or think it’s a big leap. Anxiety disorders can be very serious and they require the help of professionals. Don’t rely only on essential oils if you’re feeling overwhelmed by dark thoughts and other physical symptoms.
Most anxiety disorders manifest themselves under the following symptoms:
- Nausea and dizziness.
- Increased heart rate.
- Muscle aches or numbness.
- Can’t maintain calm.
- Can’t breathe properly.
- Overwhelming fear and panic.
- Sweaty and then cold feet and hands.
You might have experienced some or all of these symptoms by now. But if they last a longer period of time (days or weeks) then you might be in dire need of some relaxation therapy. Fortunately, there are many essential oils that can relieve anxiety. You just have to pick those you like best.
There are several studies performed on essential oils with anxiolytic effects. Anxiolytic or antianxiety effects are given by substances that can inhibit anxiety. These substances can be natural or synthetic (drugs).
One study focused on patients that were admitted in an Intensive Care Unit. They were admitted after they’ve undergone a percutaneous coronary intervention. The study shows that they benefited from Aromatherapy. Doctors monitored their blood pressure, their anxiety and their sleep quality.
Half of those patients inhaled Lavender, Neroli and Roman Chamomile before and after the surgery. The effects were encouraging. They showed a significantly low anxiety. But they also slept better than those that had normal nursing intervention.
In other words, Aromatherapy can reduce anxiety and help with sleep problems. Of course, for good results, essential oils need to be used in a moderate dose for a longer period of time .
Another study showed that Orange essential oil is effective in calming down women in labor.
As shown above, people can use essential oils to relieve anxiety. They are noninvasive and they are effective also. Just keep in mind that essential oils can also be dangerous if you use too much or for a longer time.
Did You Know?
- According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), women are more likely to be affected by generalized anxiety disorders (GAD) than men. GAD affects 6.8 million American adults every year.
27 Essential Oils to Relieve Anxiety and How to Use Them
You have here three tips. Read them to make sure you know the basic precautions about essential oils. Especially when using essential oils to relieve anxiety and stress.
- Follow the indications and quantities suggested by specialists (doctors, aroma therapists, naturopaths, trusted sources, etc.) Never add more essential oils unless you know for sure it’s safe. Essential oils are powerful substances and they need to be treated with caution. Consult a doctor before using essential oils if you have specific health conditions.
- Try to use only pure, organic essential oils. Make sure they have their botanical name and the extraction method written on the label. Essential oils are sensitive to sunlight and heat so they need to come in dark glass bottles.
- Wait at least one hour before using a different essential oil. If you mix too many essential oils you risk getting headaches and feeling dizzy.
The best ways to use essential oils to relieve anxiety is by inhalation and skin applications. When it comes to inhaling essential oils, you can either use an electronic diffuser or you can use cotton pads. Put a few drops (3 – 4) on a cotton pad and keep it close to you.
Between 50% – 70% of the oil molecules get into the bloodstream through inhalation. This is the second best way to get them to work fast. The first one being direct injection, which is never recommended!
You can also pour a few drops in your cupped palms and inhale deeply from them. You should take “inhalation breaks” throughout the day to restore your inner balance and peace.
This list contains 27 essential oils that you can use to get rid of anxiety or insomnia and stress. They can also be helpful in mild depression and other such symptoms. If the symptoms persist, you should consult a doctor right away.
Citrus Essential Oils to Relieve Anxiety:
1/ Sweet Orange essential oil – is the first of the popular essential oils used to relieve anxiety. It has uplifting effects. It can also be used in insomnia and other anxiety related problems. This oil should be diffused for lasting results. Make sure you don’t apply citrus oil on the skin that’s about to be exposed to sun. Most of them can cause sun sensitization.
2/ Bergamot essential oil – is another oil with anti-depressive qualities. It can stimulate the body and mind to function at full capacity. It can induce feelings of joy and energize the mind and body. It can also relax and soothe physical pain. Bergamot can cause skin sensitization if it is exposed to sun, so be careful there. Better to inhale the oil for full benefits.
3/ Petitgrain essential oil – is soothing and calming. It is also energizing. Petitgrain can relieve depression symptoms and anxiety, and it can calm down the nerves. It is recommended in Aromatherapy blends to de-stress and soothe obsessions. Use 2 or 3 drops of Petitgrain essential oil on the wrists, 4 times a day max.
4/ Lemon essential oil – is very good at soothing a nervous mind. Its fresh scent can help with exhaustion and nervous tension from anxiety attacks. Inhale Lemon oil to improve the level of focus and remove dark thoughts.
5/ Mandarin essential oil – is a citrus oil with sedative properties. Mandarin can tone up the body and the mind. It can also relax a restless mind and calm down hysteria attacks. Mandarin oil is a great essential oil to relieve anxiety.
Herbaceous Essential Oils to Relieve Anxiety:
6/ Laurel essential oil – is widely used for relieving general pain. But it is especially good at helping anxious people develop mental courage and strength to deal with difficult tasks. Tasks like exams, competitions and other such activities. Pour a drop on the belly button before facing a difficult task to give you the courage and peace you need to focus.
7/ Tarragon essential oil – has antispasmodic properties. They make the oil good at calming down nerves and muscle spasms. You can use Tarragon oil to sleep better and breathe normally when anxiety occurs. It’s good against hyperventilation. Apply a few drops of diluted Tarragon oil on the soles of your feet to calm down.
8/ Roman Chamomile essential oil – is very gentle and it has sedative properties. Roman Chamomile is precious when it comes to calming down nervous shocks. It is safe for the majority of people and it can relieve anxiety, stress, insomnia and irritability. Inhale its scent every time you feel necessary, or apply a few drops on the solar plexus.
9/ Oregano essential oil – is able to stimulate and tone up the body and mind. Oregano can be helpful in exhaustion and deep fatigue. But the oil of Oregano should be used only in extreme cases because it’s very strong. Diffuse a drop of Oregano or inhale from your cupped hands for a period of one week only.
10/ Marjoram essential oil – is recommended in the improvement of mood swings. It can also be used to keep stress related symptoms at bay. It is helpful against aggressiveness, irritability and hyperventilation. Of course, it can also help lowering the heart rate. Whenever you find yourself in conflicting times, try to dilute 2 drops of Marjoram and massage them on the solar plexus. Do so twice, during the day.
11/ Clary Sage essential oil – is a great natural anti-depressive. It can give an anxious person the strength to overcome dark thoughts and improve depression. Clary Sage is one of the popular essential oils to relieve anxiety. Inhale or apply on key points with gentle massage movements.
12/ Basil essential oil – with its fresh aroma can relieve nervous tension. It can also be used against depression, mental exhaustion or melancholy feelings. Basil essential oil is a calming oil, so it can be used to prevent or improve anxiety.
Camphoraceous Essential Oils to Relieve Anxiety:
13/ Peppermint essential oil – is a multi-versed oil. Thanks to its refreshing nature, it can help with stress symptoms and anxiety. It can help you breathe deeper and easier, calming down the body and the mind. It can also help the mind be more alert and focused.
Resinous Essential Oils to Relieve Anxiety:
14/ Frankincense essential oil – is a relaxing oil with sedative qualities. It can help you balance your restless mind and puts you in contact with your inner self. It induces spirituality feelings and it lowers down the anxiety levels. Frankincense is also good at opening up the nasal passages for an easier breathing.
Floral Essential Oils to Relieve Anxiety:
15/ Neroli essential oil – is a very good essential oil for nervous breakdowns. It can bring back the joy and vitality needed to regain control over your emotions. Neroli can be used for various anxiety symptoms like depression, stage fright, hyperventilation, etc. Pour 2 drops of Neroli on a cotton pad or cupped hands and inhale as often as necessary.
16/ Lemon Verbena essential oil – has anti-depressive qualities. The scent alone can remove dark thoughts and uplift the mood. Lemon Verbena can calm down stress, hypertension and anxiety. Use this oil in the bath water or diffuse it 3 times a day. To regain your moral you can use Lemon Verbena for 2 or 3 weeks.
17/ Rose essential oil – is one of the best essential oils to relieve anxiety. It has the power to uplift the spirit, especially of those who are anxious. It can also change the mood of those who are mentally exhausted or depressed. It can help you regain your confidence and courage to face your inner demons. Rose is a very calming and soothing oil.
18/ Blue Tansy essential oil – has great calming abilities. It can calm down nerves and keep irritation at bay. It is a natural remedy against stress. It can relax a restless mind haunted by dark thoughts and fear. Inhale Blue Tansy from your cupped hands or a cotton pad. You can also diffuse it but just an hour or two a day.
19/ Lavender (L. angustifolia only!) essential oil – is known as one of the most efficient essential oils to relieve anxiety. It can help you sleep better and calm down all nervous breakdowns. Anxiety and emotional stress can be improved by daily inhalations of Lavender oil. It is a natural tonic for the body and mind.
20/ Ylang-Ylang essential oil – is renowned for its anti-depressant qualities. It can uplift the spirit and calm down nervous breakdowns. Ylang-Ylang oil can also lower the blood pressure and relieve other symptoms of anxiety.
21/ Jasmine essential oil – is capable of stimulating the production of serotonin – the “happiness” hormone. It can give the body and mind the energy to overcome tough times. Jasmine’s scent can induce joyous feelings and calm down all nerves. It can also help you sleep better. Inhale Jasmine or apply it on wrists, neck and solar plexus for fast results.
22/ Geranium essential oil – is a good essential oil used to relieve anxiety. It has strong uplifting effects and it stimulates the mind to think clearer. Geranium helps the nervous system function properly and releases tension from the body. It is relaxing and it can be inhaled as often as needed throughout the day.
23/ Palmarosa essential oil – can help with mood swings. It can uplift the spirit and relax the body. Palmarosa can be inhaled or diffused to fight anxiety and mental exhaustion. Or it can be used to manage the anger.
Woody Essential Oils to Relieve Anxiety:
24/ Sandalwood essential oil – can lower the blood pressure and open up the nasal passages for a better breathing. It can also tone up the nervous system and improve the level of alertness. Sandalwood can help with anxiety and stress with its down-to-earth aroma.
25/ Cypress essential oil – can help rebalance the nervous system. It can also soothe the mind, while calming down body spasms as well. Whenever you feel down or going through tough times, apply a few drops on a cotton pad or cupped hands and inhale deeply.
Earthy Essential Oils to Relieve Anxiety:
26/ Patchouli essential oil – is another one of the best essential oils to relieve anxiety. It can relax by removing the tension in the body and induce peaceful feelings. It can uplift the mood by boosting up the production of serotonin and dopamine. They are hormones of happiness and pleasure. Inhale or apply diluted Patchouli essential oil topically, a few times a day.
27/ Vetiver essential oil – is very useful against nervous breakdowns. It can calm down the mind and the body and soothe muscle spasms. It can also tone up the nervous system and uplift the mood. Vetiver essential oil can also help with emotional outbursts or irritations. It can help you sleep better and manage the anxiety better.
Usually, anti-anxiety drugs are meant to calm down the nerves, spasms, and hyperventilation. They’re also used to lower the blood pressure. But they have side effects, and many are not easy to cope with.
Using essential oils to relieve anxiety can help you get the same calming effects without the nasty side effects. However, I am not suggesting you treat serious anxiety disorders only with essential oils. You need to consult a doctor and make a detailed plan to manage such a condition.
Blends to Prevent and Relieve Anxiety
After giving you so many essential oils to use against anxiety or stress, I will now continue with a couple of blends. These Aromatherapy blends are meant to help you start managing your emotions right away. Take notes on how you feel after a week or two so you know which oil works better for you.
Essential Oils Cocktail Against Anxiety
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: 25 drops
- Neroli essential oil: 35 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 25 drops
Make this blend of essential oils and keep it stored in a cool, dark place. You can dilute 5 – 6 drops in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil and massage it on the chest. You can also add 5 – 10 drops of this mixture of essential oils in your diffuser. They can help you relax and calm down your restless mind and nerves. They can also help you sleep better.
Energize the Mind and Body
- Blue Tansy essential oil: 5 drops
- Lemon verbena essential oil: 5 drops
- Laurel essential oil: 4 drops
- Bergamot essential oil: 10 drops
- Avocado carrier oil: 4 tablespoons (60 ml)
Mix the essential oils with the carrier oil. Feel free to replace the carrier oil with whatever else you prefer or have at hand (sunflower, coconut, etc.). Use this blend on your neck, spine, chest, wrists or the soles of your feet. Those are key points to help the oils get faster into the blood stream.
This blend is meant to uplift your spirit and calm down nervous breakdowns. It can also help your mind take a break from thinking about dark thoughts.
Even though anxiety and its symptoms can be very serious, as long as they’re not extreme you can do something about them. You can use essential oils to relieve anxiety and keep your emotions under control.
That can be done through inhalations and skin applications. Breaks are always refreshing! Take an inhalation break every time you feel like you need a little boost with essential oils.
How do you use your essential oils in anxiety management? Do you find it helpful? I’d really like to know how they are working for you all.