Relieve stress and anxiety naturally
We all experience day to day stress and anxiety, and some days it’s easier to manage than others. However, for many people stress and anxiety can be overwhelming and all-consuming. Needless to say, relaxing your mind can feel like a never-ending battle.
It’s no secret that chronic stress can cause a wide variety of mental and physical health problems. The good news is by having the right tools, you can quiet the internal chatter to experience inner peace. There are many natural alternative approaches to healing, none of which involve taking medication or undergoing an intensive procedure.
While certain medications can be beneficial, others can lead to negative side effects and you may ultimately end up with a longer list of health issues. This is why more and more people are turning to holistic therapies to promote well-being.
Over the centuries, cultures around the world have used essential oils as a therapeutic technique. To create these oils, the most powerful healing compounds from plants are extracted. This natural medicine can treat a variety of mental and physical health issues such as alleviating pain, balancing hormones, supporting digestion, strengthening the immune system and last but not least, reducing stress and anxiety. Essential oils have few, if any, negative side effects.
Essential Oils to Relieve Stress and Anxiety
This beautiful purple flower is more than a garden showpiece, but also has incredible healing powers when it comes to your health. Benefits include supporting brain function, healing burns, promoting skin health, and headache relief. It’s no wonder why it’s the most popular essential oil in the world today.
There are numerous studies that confirm lavender’s ability to relax the mind:
- Taking lavender essential oil capsules significantly lowered heart rate in participants who watched anxiety-provoking film clips.
- In a study published by the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Silexan (a form of lavender oil preparation) worked better for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) compared to placebos and the prescription medicine paroxetine.
- Lavender is scientifically-proven to improve PTSD symptoms. Participants with PTSD who took 80 milligrams of lavender oil per day saw a 33 percent decrease in depression along with improved sleep, mood and overall health.
How to Use: For better sleep, rub lavender oil behind the ears before going to bed. You can also put a diffuser by your bed to experience the healing effects of lavender at night.
When we see red roses, we often think of romantic displays of affection – and for many of us, smelling a bouquet tends to trigger fond memories of our relationships once upon a time.
Aside from being known as the flower of love, rose petals can create an essential oil that provides a wide variety of health benefits, which includes reducing depression.
In a study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 28 postpartum women were split into two groups. One group was given a four-week rose and lavender oil aromatherapy treatment and the other was a control group. Results showed a significant decrease in postnatal depression and improvement in general anxiety disorder (GAD) in the group that received treatment compared to the control group.
How to Use: To combat stress and anxiety, combine five drops of rose and five drops of lavender in a diffuser. You can put the diffuser in your bedroom to inhale at night for better sleep or in the living room to experience the healing benefits while watching TV and unwinding after a long day at work.
In terms of effective anxiety-reducing treatments, jasmine oil is at the top of the list. Research shows the benefits of jasmine oil (both aromatherapy and topical application) when it comes to improving mood and sleep.
According to a study published in Natural Product Communications, jasmine oil helped boost participants’ moods and energy over the course of eight weeks.
In another study on aromatherapy massage using jasmine oil, results “demonstrated the stimulating/activating effect of jasmine oil and provided evidence for its use in aromatherapy for the relief of depression and uplifting mood in humans.”
Jasmine is also helpful when it comes to getting a good night sleep. According to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology jasmine tea odor reduced heart rate and had a calming effect on mood and nerve activity.
So, if a restless mind is keeping you awake at night, jasmine’s sedative effects can be just what you need.
Fun fact: Jasmine is also known for being an aphrodisiac. So, if you’re looking to set the mood, you may want to consider a jasmine candle on your nightstand.
How to Use: Unlike other essential oils, jasmine doesn’t need to be diluted. It works well in full concentration. It can be applied topically during a massage, diffused or used to create a homemade perfume.
- Roman Chamomile
Roman chamomile essential oil has sedative properties that help relax the mind. It’s one of the most popular essential oils for anxiety, and studies confirm its mental health benefits.
For intensive care patients, an aromatherapy blend including lavender, neroli and Roman chamomile proved extremely effective in reducing anxiety and promoting restful sleep.
In another study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine on depressed participants, results showed chamomile has significant antidepressant effects.
How to Use: Diffuse five drops or inhale directly from the bottle. To get a better night sleep, rub one to two drops of chamomile oil on your temples or put a diffuser with chamomile oil next to your bed.
Ah, can’t beat the sweet floral smell of geranium.
Extracted from the geranium plant, geranium oil is packed with powerful healing properties. Along with being a natural antiseptic, it helps people who suffer from stress, anxiety and depression.
Research shows geranium can help pregnant women reduce their anxiety during labor. In one study of 100 women, the scent of geranium essential oil lowered anxiety during childbirth and they also had lower blood pressure after inhaling the geranium.
How to Use: Place one drop in the palm of your hands, rub your hands together and cup them over nose. Breathe in slowly.
Taken straight from bergamot oranges, nothing beats the refreshing citrus scent of bergamot oil. As it turns out, bergamot oil also acts as a stress and anxiety reliever. As a stimulating oil that improves circulation, it also makes an excellent antidepressant. Inhaling bergamot elicits feelings of happiness and boosts energy.
According to a study published in Complementary Medicine Research bergamot oil vapors had positive mental and physical effects on female participants.
They were split into three different groups: rest alone, rest and water vapor, and rest with bergamot essential oil vapor. After the experiment, participants provided saliva samples to test their mood, anxiety and energy levels.
Cortisol levels were lower in the bergamot group compared to the rest alone group. The bergamot group also experienced less negative emotions. Results showed that inhaling bergamot essential oil provides numerous mental and physical health benefits.
How to Use: Rub two to three drops into your hands and cup your mouth and nose. Slowly breathe in the oil.
Well-known for its religious affiliations, frankincense is the incense most commonly used in churches. In fact, the word frankincense means “high quality incense” in French.
Frankincense oil comes from Boswellia trees native to India, Pakistan and surrounding regions.
Research shows frankincense reduces heart rate and blood pressure, making it excellent for treating anxiety and depression. In fact, Boswellia resin had anti-depressive behavioral effects in a study with mice.
Results concluded, “incensole acetate (IA), a Boswellia resin constituent, is a potent TRPV3 agonist that causes anxiolytic-like and antidepressive-like behavioral effects in wild-type (WT) mice with concomitant changes in c-Fos activation in the brain.”
Along with reducing stress and treating depression, frankincense can balance hormones, boost your immune system, fight harmful bacteria, heal the skin and reduce signs of aging, and improve digestion.
Is there anything frankincense can’t do?
How to Use: The next time you’re taking a bath, add a few drops of frankincense oil to enhance the experience and relaxing effects.
Essential Oil Safety
Yes, we know you’re excited and can’t wait to go out and stock up on these oils, but safety first!
If you’re new to essential oils, it’s best to consult with a professional prior to use. Never ingest essential oils or apply undiluted oils to the skin without training or medical supervision.
Since essential oils are highly concentrated, you only need a small amount to see results. Experts recommend performing a small patch test to make sure you are not allergic to an oil before applying it to more of your skin. If you notice any irritation, stop use immediately.
That being said, essential oils are generally safe. It is only when they are used incorrectly that they can cause skin irritation and negative side effects.
Which essential oil are you most excited to try? Share your thoughts in the comments - we’d love to hear from you!