Disclaimer – The information in this article is presented as general information only. You are advised to follow directions or consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any essential oil or medicinal substance. We are not responsible for your use of, or inability to use, this information.
There are so many things in modern life that can cause anxiety. You may struggle with speaking in front of people or being in large crowds, for example. Perhaps you get nervous around animals or bugs. Whatever the circumstance, there is no question anxiety is a very unpleasant experience, but essential oils can help bring you relief.
These oils have been used medicinally throughout history and have seen a surge in popularity in recent decades, mainly due to the growth of aromatherapy. But use them with caution — they can be dangerous in high or even moderate quantities and can trigger allergies and skin irritations.
Some oils should not be applied directly to the skin in undiluted form, while others can pose threats to people with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy, or to pregnant women. Be sure to do your due diligence by researching the proper applications and contraindications of any essential oil and, if necessary, speak to an accredited healthcare practitioner before you use it.
Essential oils work through aromatic molecules that pass through our blood-brain barriers, affecting areas in our brains that are in charge of feelings, stress and anxiety. These are great for anyone who suffers from stress, anxiety and even depression. You can work from the list of essential oils below to guide you to reduce stress and help minimize or even eliminate anxious feelings.
You can diffuse some of these oils in a diffuser or place a few drops of them with a carrier oil (to dilute their concentration) in your palms, then rub your hands while inhaling. You can even rub some on your body with a carrier oil or add a few drops to your bath water. Again, perform your research before doing so to keep yourself safe.
Lavender – One of the most common and popular essential oils for relaxation and soothing, it also has sedative effects when it is inhaled, according to researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Centre. It is great for reducing stress, calming you, improving your concentration and helping you fall asleep. You can also rub this oil on your skin, following proper directions. Within minutes, it enters your bloodstream and begins to work.
Chamomile – Can release tension and stress from your mind, and even improve your digestion. Many people like to drink chamomile tea at night, just before bed, because it has a soothing effect that brings about sleep. But it is said to be most effective when breathed in, because its vapours travel directly to the parts of the brain controlling stress and anxiety. Chamomile has also been found to help reduce allergies, PMS and arthritic pain.
Cedarwood – Recommended for people with chronic anxiety, stress and depression, as it does a wonderful job at ridding the mind of tension and tranquilizing your mind. The aroma of cedarwood releases serotonin in the brain, which is then converted to melatonin and acts as a stabilizer for your moods. This is a great one to have on hand for the times when you need to feel more emotionally balanced. In addition to the positive effects it has on the mind, it also helps prevent infections, reduces inflammation and eliminates coughs and colds.
Clary Sage – An amazing essential oil to keep in stock. Clary sage works as an anti-depressant, soothes your nerves, improves sleep, and alleviates stress and anxiety. These especially beneficial properties are largely attributed to its calming and mildly sedating effects on the nervous system. So when you find yourself out-of-sorts, clary sage is the oil of choice as it has an incredible balancing effect on the hormones.
Rose – If you find yourself feeling uneasy often, this particular oil will do wonders in settling your emotions, while helping to ease panic attacks. Rose essential oil can be used in baths and diffusers to improve one’s mood during times of stress and fatigue. By acting as a tonic, it can also relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Another and most simple way to take in its sweet-smelling aroma, is to rub it in your hands with a carrier oil and inhale for quick-acting relief.
Bergamot – Can be found in Earl Grey tea. It offers a floral, citrusy aroma and is great for eliminating depression while giving you an energy boost when you feel down. As well, it has relaxing properties which makes it excellent for reducing stress and easing your mind.
Patchouli – It acts as a light sedative, while also offering a mild calming effect. Though, be mindful that it does have a distinct smell, so be sure to try a dab of it before you slather it on or begin to diffuse it. When used, it can stimulate the release of the pleasure hormones serotonin and dopamine, which is perhaps why it is especially effective in fighting anxiety and depression.
Grapefruit – This essential oil’s fresh and crisp smell gives off mood-boosting qualities that can truly help you ease mental fatigue. Not only that, but it can also relieve headaches and fight depression, which makes this a tremendous essential oil to use on those particularly hard days.
Lemon – This citrus oil has the amazing ability to not only stimulate but relax the mind. It is also known to be able to counteract against exhaustion, dizziness and nervous tension. In addition to this, it promotes focus and clarity, so its proper use will awaken the senses and help you overcome fatigue. Due to its high vitamin C content it can provide a valuable boost to your immune system function as well. Diffuse or inhale this oil to receive its beneficial effects.
Jasmine – Numerous studies have likened jasmine oil to be a natural valium. For hundreds of years, it has been used in various parts of Asia to help calm nerves and minimize stressful feelings. It can lessen anxiety and episodes of depression, and can also serve to be beneficial in combating insomnia and low-energy periods.
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