The Best Calming Essential Oils For Anxiety And Stress: A Guide
At some point in our lives, anxiety has affected us all. From the anxiety of our jobs, socializing, transitions, life and death, there are countless moments when we have all endured the feeling of anxiousness, nerves running down our spine, stomachs knotting up or a wave of nausea drowning our senses. No one is immune.
Anxiety And Depression
On the other hand, some of us suffer more intense bouts of anxiety, leading to a lifetime of fear and anxiousness. Anxiety disorder affects over 18% of adults in the United States, around 40 million people, the whole population of Spain! Additionally, it’s not uncommon to see those suffering from anxiety to also suffer from depression.
Known as the most common mental disorder in the US, anxiety has been shown to be highly treatable, but with only one-third of those suffering actually seeking treatment.
Anxiety disorders come in varying forms from panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive (OCD), Post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and more. It’s a seemingly endless list, with co-occurrences and a variety of possible triggers and risk factors.
Our current lifestyles are everything but low-stress. With more and more technology, you would think we would be less stressed and have more time, however, the opposite seems to be true. With constant connection to the internet, email and social media leave many of us feeling overworked, overtired, over-distracted, and undervalued. Many never stop working due to our constant attachment to cell phones and e-mails, we can’t even escape when we go on “vacation”. With this lack of time and rejuvenation, it’s easy to have a sour taste in our mouths, and lots of resentment to go with it.
It’s incredibly hard to make time for ourselves anymore, with many of us not remembering the last time we had a moment without internet connection. In reality, we would all panic if our internet went out for more than one hour. The time spent with family is decreasing while the time spent on our computers is increasing. No wonder 44% of Americans feel more stressed today than they did 5 years ago, or that 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are due to stress-related ailments. With all this added pressure, we’re finding an increase of heart disease, stroke, and even cancer.
With so many people affected by anxiety disorders, how can you positively affect your outcomes and treat anxiety and stress?
Our Favorite Calming Essential Oils For Anxiety & Stress
|Bergamot||Treats depression, reduces anxiety, relaxes the nervous system.||Find On Amazon|
|Clary Sage||Relieves anxiety along with depression. Treats headaches and muscle spasms as well.||Find On Amazon|
|Lavender||Most popular oil. Treats almost anything. Calms the nervous system, reduces anxiety and helps you sleep.||Find On Amazon|
|Ylang Ylang||Calms nervous system, lifts spirits, treats depression.||Find On Amazon|
|Chamomile||Often used to help sleep, chamomile works wonders with stress and anxiety.||Find On Amazon|
Essential Oils For Anxiety And Stress
Essential oils are an amazing remedy for a variety of illnesses. They aid in anything from boosting fertility, decreasing acne, helping the common cold, enhancing libido to reducing stress and anxiety. They are amazing plant medicinals distilled down from their plant form into incredibly potent and effective medicinal liquid. A few drops goes a very, very long way.
For over 5,000 years herbal medicine has helped countless people heal and better themselves from a variety of ailments. And for a majority of this 5,000 years, essential oils were one of the main mediums of utilizing these medicines. With that said, these medicinal oils are making quite a comeback, and for good reason; they are an effective, safe, natural and wallet-friendly way to stay healthy and get back into balance. There are no side-effects, much unlike their pharmaceutical counterparts. With many of the prescribed medications for anxiety, there come a sleuth of negative side-effects including drowsiness, slurred speech, depression, memory loss, nausea, mania or worse. Why go on one medication to just need other medications to help with the side-effects? That’s where essential oils come in.
When it comes to relieving stress and anxiety, essential oils are safe and effective alternatives. So what are the best essential oils for stress and anxiety? How do you use them, and what are the most recommended brands? We got you covered.
Bergamot is a wonderful and useful oil, often used to treat stress and depression, relax the nervous system and even help with insomnia. A study done in 2011 treated high-stress teachers with bergamot aromatherapy for 10 minutes per day. They found that the teachers who used the bergamot oil were less stressed, had lower heart rates and lower blood pressure than those who didn’t.
Bergamot is generally safe, however, it is known as a photosensitive oil. This means when applied topically it can increase your risk of sunburn and rash. Be careful and avoid using bergamot within 12 hours of sun exposure (baking in the sun). I love using bergamot in an essential oil diffuser, or mixing with a carrier oil to massage onto the skin. Generally, 3 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon coconut oil does the trick!
Known as an antidepressant, clary sage is a native species to Europe and a wonderful all-around medicinal. Used throughout history for many reasons, clary works wonders on the nervous system, relieving anxiety along with depression (often anxiety and depression are co-inflicting). It’s also able to treat headaches along with muscle spasms and works great as an aphrodisiac for a romantic night at home. Some say clary sage is a euphoric, making people feel a rush of joy and confidence, allowing them to participate in new aspects of life like never before!
The king of essential oils, lavender is the most well-known herb and oil on earth. It’s vibrant fragrance brings forth images of cleanliness and health. It’s array of uses are endless and one of its most important attributes is lavender’s ability to reduce stress and anxiety. There have been countless studies done on lavender and its ability to treat stress, and some evidence to suggest that lavender helps slow down the nervous system, allowing the body to de-stress, reduce anxiety and even help fall asleep. Studies also show that the use of lavender may result in improved mood and better concentration.
Use your lavender essential oil in a diffuser, or place a few drops on your pillow before sleep.
The weirdest sounding herb you’ll ever come across, ylang ylang is a popular essential oil to treat anxiety and depression. It’s able to calm the nervous system and lift the spirits, leaving you a happier and more relaxed person after it’s done with you. One study found that ylang ylang combined with bergamot was able to reduce the blood pressure, anxiety, fearfulness, as well as reduce the psychological stress response and serum cortisol levels after a session of aromatherapy. Pretty amazing stuff!
An often cited essential oil for sleep and its calming effects, chamomile is another wonderful addition to your medicine cabinet. The oil has been used for centuries to help calm the mind, reduce stress and bring forth a more restful night’s sleep. The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found chamomile to “provide meaningful antidepressant activity in addition to its anxiolytic activity.” Antidepressant and antianxiety all rolled up in one!
For those interested in blending their essential oils for a more rounded and balanced effect, formulas are the way to go. Blending herbs has been a method for centuries, mixing certain herbs together to get varying effects. When certain plants are mixed together you’ll notice an enhancement in some functions or a decrease in others. This method has been tried and tested for thousands of years, with many herbalist teachers coming forth with their own tried and true formula recipes. Below is a simple anti-anxiety formula, but sometimes simple is just the best.
Lavender: 5 Drops
Ylang Ylang: 5 Drops
Bergamont: 5 Drops
Use equal amounts of each oil in a diffuser, or mix the oils with one ounce of a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil or olive oil. Rub on your temples and the bottom of your feet for best results.
For those who don’t want to delve into the DIY world of essential oils, you’re in luck. Many essential oil brands have made their own specific formulas for certain conditions, including stress and anxiety. Below are my favorite essential oil blends for the anxious and stressed among us.
Edens Garden is one of the most respected companies in the essential oil world, and their anxiety blend is one of the best. With a mix of 6 essential oils, anxiety ease aims to help calm the nervous system and clear the mind when in moments of stress and anxiety. And people agree, this blend really works!
Real Amazon Review: ”
This really helped me. I get very nervous in groups of people, and usually try to avoid these kind of situations. But there was a class I wanted to attend so I wore a diffuser necklace with several drops of calming oil. I stayed calm and focused through all the class. Great product, I will definitely order again.”
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A balanced blend of vanilla, rose, clary sage, mandarin, lavender, citrus, elemi & patchouli, true bliss has become a favorite blend among folks looking for a stress-relief formula. Made with 100% essential oils, this product provides a quality oil and with a refreshing scent. Use with a diffuser at home, or mix with a carrier oil to rub on your temples for a relaxed feeling.
Real Amazon Review: “My lifesaver! Recently, I have been dealing with stressful situations. So I would like to try something to help with my mood issue. This is made with 100% pure essential oils. At home (at night) I use this oil with my diffuser and it smells wonderful. Also, I put a drop on my wrist or neck during the week. This oil really helps me relax.”
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One of the most reputable brands on the market, DoTerra’s stress blend is a great balance to promote tranquility and bring forth a grounding presence. The mix brings forth whole body relaxation and helps with anxious feelings. I personally like the aroma of this blend more than the others, with a mix of blend Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, and Blue Chamomile with Fractionated Coconut Oil. There’s nothing like it on the market.
Real Amazon Review: The BEST for stress and panic. Just a sniff of this & on the wrist makes me feel calm. It’s perfect for flights, in heavy traffic, or when the in-laws come over! I recommend this for people who have panic disorders.”
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Don’t let stress and anxiety get in the way of enjoying and truly living your life. We live in a time where we are always on the go, but it’s important to remember that sometimes you need to slow down and truly enjoy the moment. Because in reality, the moment is all we have. Essential oils will help you get there, and with a little practice and some effort, you’ll be stress-free and have less anxiety than you did before you tried these amazing medicinals.