Are you suffering from unwanted stress? Feeling anxious and out of control? Are you looking to help your body and mind relax? I’d like to introduce you to the top 5 essential oils for stress and anxiety that can help ease your symptoms naturally. I’ll also explain what essential oils are, and how you can apply their use to your daily routine.
What are the causes of stress and anxiety?
As modern lifestyle becomes more and more demanding, people struggle to find balance between work, family, and leisure. Worrying or getting anxious about different events happens more often. If this uneasy feeling is partnered with muscle tension, sleeping difficulty, restlessness, irritability, fatigue, and difficulty in concentration; you most probably suffer from stress and anxiety.
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Anxiety can be caused by external factors, medical factors, substance abuse, etc.. But, more often than not, it’s triggered by stress and the constant negative self-talk. Being aware of what causes anxiety will help you control it.
- Trauma- People who’ve been a victim of abuse or who has lost a loved one are prone to getting anxiety as they have to deal with a lot of negative emotions.
- Stress in work and school- Work and school are perhaps the top stressors in a person’s life, especially since they have become more demanding. If you let pressure in your workplace and school get into you, you’ll end up harming yourself.
- Stress in personal relationship- Staying in an unhealthy relationship is just that—unhealthy. Worrying about family matters including your finances will also greatly affect one’s emotional stability.
- Lack of oxygen- If you live in high altitude areas, then you most probably experienced having difficulty breathing. Lack of oxygen easily gets the body stressed.
- Medical factors- Anxiety is often associated with medical factors like asthma, anemia, infections, and some heart conditions.
- Substance abuse- Studies have found that most people diagnosed with anxiety disorders like panic disorder, GAD, or social phobia are because of bezodiazephine dependence and alcohol abuse. It can also be caused by intoxication or withdrawal from drugs.
- Genetics- If you have a family history of anxiety, then you’re most probably going to get it, too. Also, having a genetic predisposition that gives you a greater chance to suffer from the illness is more serious than other causes.
- Brain chemistry- Studies show that if you have an abnormal level of neurotransmitters in the brain can lead to anxiety disorder. That is because if neurotransmitters don’t work properly, the brain’s communication network easily breaks down. As a result, does not react the way it usually does in some situations.
What are some home remedies for stress and anxiety?
Anxiety can interfere with your daily life including your work, school, and your social life. If not remedied, it can even lead to a more serious case like panic attacks and depression. You might also experience social phobia and worry about being in public or being away from your family. Another effect could be anorexia, in which you’d worry about gaining weight, or hypochondriasis, in which you’d worry about getting a serious illness.
Luckily, there are any ways you can find relief in holistic approaches including meditation or counseling. Another effective way to treat anxiety is through the use of essential oils proven to help with stress and anxiety.
How do essential oils that help relieve stress?
Essential Oils are known to have a direct effect on the parts of the brain that control anxiety, stress, depression, and fear. In fact, according to a study conducted by Taiwanese PhD researcher, Kai-Jen Chuang, exposure to essential oil for an hour relaxes a person as it decreases the heart rate and blood pressure. In other words, it acts as a stress reliever because of its interaction with the body through absorption of the skin and/or one’s olfactory system. Once the essential oil is in the body, it gives a signal to the limbic system of the brain and tells it to relax.
What are the best essential oils for stress and anxiety?
If you want to melt your stress and anxiety away, purchase an essential oil. You can purchase one from many online shops nowadays. But which essential oil would you need to relieve your stress? Here’s the shortlist of the best essential oils for anxiety and stress relief.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender, a member of Libiatae family, is usually dried or used as an essential out. Its extracts have been taken internally or through olfaction as a cure for anxiety and depression for centuries. Since it has a high concentration of volatile oils, it can give off a pleasing fragrance that’s used as a sedative and antidepressant.
The relaxing feeling it brings often leads to a deliberate, therapeutic effect that helps relieve mild anxiety.
In a research done by Diego and his colleagues, it has been proven that the people who received lavender oil olfaction for about 3 minutes felt significantly relaxed and had a decrease of anxiety scores. They had also improved their mood and increased their EEG, an indicator of one’s level of alertness.
Medical professionals are now using lavender as a supplement or an ingredient in anxiety medications. In fact, it has been compared to antidepressants like Kava and Benzodiazepines. It’s proven to be more effective than Kava and has about the same effect as Benzodiazepines. However, it does not have any recorded side effects.
Vetiver Essential Oil
Though little known in the western part of the world, Vertiver, also called the khus grass in India, is actually important to the east. This is a versatile, dense, and aromatic plant; and is often woven into baskets and floor mats. The leaves are used to feed livestock; the pulp to make paper; and its extract to make a natural pesticide. However, it’s traditionally used as Ayurvedic medicine.
In India and other countries like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Africa, Indonesia, and Thailand, Vetiver is considered as a medicinal aromatic plant. It is most potent when it’s used as an essential oil. Extracts are taken from its leaves, seeds, roots, and flowers and are obtained through distillation. The result is a unique composition that gives a rich and earthy fragrance.
Vetiver is known to produce a cooling oil that relaxes and calms the mind. In fact, in India and Sri Lanka, it’s called the oil of tranquility. It can alleviate stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, trauma, hysteria, and panic attacks. The Chinese also used to cool the mind and stabilize the emotion.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense was once considered more valuable that gold. It is the oil ancient Egyptians used to anoint their newborns and kings. However, its best quality lies in its amazing healing properties. It can treat skin inflammation, heal asthma, enhance digestion, alleviate headaches, encourage cellular regeneration, and more.
Frankincense essential oil is also known to calm the mind, reduce nightmares, and ease anxiety. Thus, it’s considered to be a powerful anti-depressant. It’s used in spas and meditation retreats as it good for physical and emotional healing.
In taking Frankincense essential oil, you can use a diffuser and add about 18 drops to disperse a healing scent, rub it on the back of your neck, place 1 to 2 drops on your palm and inhale it anytime, or place a drop directly on your tongue.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Ylang ylang is an essential oil extracted from the flower petals of the tropical ylang ylang tree native to the Philippines, Indonesia, and other Polynesian islands. It is known for its sweet floral scent. In fact, its name literally means flower of flowers.
This flower is sought for its healing properties. Because it has the ability to act directly through the olfactory system of one’s brain, you can immediately feel positive improvement on your mood once you inhale it. It’s said to expand one’s heart and release anger, jealousy, and other negative emotions. Thus, it’s an effective anti-depressant and is often used to treat natural depression and mild anxiety. Its mild sedative effects can lower stress response like high blood pressure and fast heartbeat.
Ylang ylang can also be used in fighting insomnia. So, if you’re having troubles with your sleep, then you might be interested in trying this essential oil. Apply it to the back of your neck or diffuse it at home.
Bergamot Essential Oil
Best known to enhance mood and build confidence, bergamot oil can reduce tension in the mind and the body.
Bergamot or Citrus Bergamia is a citrus plant which produces a fruit that can only be described as a hybrid between lemon and orange. It can be traced in the Southeast Asia, but it’s also cultivated in some parts of Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, and Morocco. If you take the oil from its peel, you’ll be able to get an extract that you can use as a medicine. You can use cold compression in order to make an essential oil from it.
Bergamot oil is mainly a relaxant as it reduces feelings of anxiety and nervous tension. It stimulates hormones like serotonin and dopamine and creates a feeling of relaxation and sedation. Not only that; it can also fight symptoms of depression like sadness, fatigue, lack of appetite, disinterest, and feelings of helplessness. The oil is said to create a feeling of freshness, energy, and joy by improving one’s circulation of blood.
How can you use these essential oils?
There are many ways you can apply the essential oils. You can drop them in a diffuser that will disperse the oil scent throughout the air in a room, or also put them in a bowl of steaming water, so you can inhale them. You can also mix them with a carrier oil, and then apply the mixture to your neck. Some people prefer adding them to your regular body lotion instead of the carrier oils, so you can constantly apply them to your skin. Lastly, you could also create a calming bath by dropping a few drops of oil into your bathtub. Check out the links below for more information on how to use essential oils in general.
What do you think?
Are you using any of these oils for your personal stress relief routine? Maybe you diffuse them during Yoga practice? Let me know in the comments below!