Essential Oils for Anxiety

Learn about essential oils for anxiety

Although most of us suffer from some degree of anxiety from time to time, some experience it to an extent that it has a serious impact on their happiness and wellbeing. Anxiety (in general) can be hard to control, but for those with anxiety disorders it can be even more difficult to manage.

There are medications available which can treat anxiety disorders with success, but they are not without side effects. Common anxiety medications can cause nausea, headaches, loss of appetite, insomnia or drowsiness, dizziness and dry mouth to name just a few. Plus, medications aren't always successful and some find that their anxiety simply isn't alleviated enough through pharmaceuticals.

An alternative is to try essential oils for anxiety. Essential oils are highly potent, powerful, completely natural and relatively affordable. Derived from plants, they can positively impact our physical and mental health in a myriad of ways.

The following essential oils are known to be particularly good for anxiety:

  • Lavender - Reduces restlessness and irritability, improves sleep and nervous stomach.
  • Rose - Helps to reduce panic attacks, grief and shock.
  • Ylang ylang - Uplifts the mood and relieves fearfulness.
  • Clary sage - Has antidepressant properties.
  • Bergamot - Can relieve anxiety while reducing high blood pressure.
  • Sweet orange - Found by Yale Scientific to have very positive effects on depression.

How to use essential oils for anxiety

There are many different ways to use essential oils and it may be a good idea to try a few methods to discover which works for you. Remember that essential oils are potent and a little goes a long way - one or two drops is usually enough to see impressive effects on anxiety. It's also vital to note that pregnant women and people with high blood pressure or epilepsy should consult with their doctor before using them.

Breathe in vapor

The simplest way to use essential oils for anxiety is to just breathe in the vapor straight from the bottle. Be sure to take small, gentle inhalations so as not to cause irritation to the nasal passages, since essential oils in their natural form can be incredibly potent. Alternatively, you could empty a drop or two of the oil onto your hands, rub your palms together to warm it, and inhale the vapor.

Add to your bath

Taking a warm, relaxing bath is an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety and you can easily add in a few drops of your chosen essential oils for added benefits. If you have a few different oils that you routinely use, you could combine them into one bottle and add a few drops of the mixture each time you draw a bath.

Incorporate into lotion or moisturizer

You can add a couple drops of essential oils to your favorite lotion or body moisturizer and apply it directly to your skin at the start of the day. The scent will remain on your skin throughout the day to help soothe anxiousness. Be careful applying lotions with essential oils to particularly sensitive areas of the skin or to broken or damaged skin as this could cause irritation.

Use a diffuser

Electronic diffusers are relatively inexpensive and very easy to use. You can simply add a few drops of essential oil to the water tank and allow the vapor to be gently diffused around your home. Just be careful if you have pets; animals can be sensitive to certain essential oils so be sure to research oils thoroughly before using them widely around the home.

Add to car air vents

A brilliant way to enjoy the calming effects of essential oils when on the go is to use them in your car. You can add a couple of drops of oil to a wooden clothespin or a cotton ball and attach to your car's air vents.

Use in laundry

To carry the calming scent of essential oils with you all day, you can incorporate them into your laundry. Simply add a couple of drops directly into the washing machine or onto dryer sheets.

Incorporate essential oils into your diet

It's important to use caution when ingesting essential oils as not all are safe to do so. Be sure to check if an oil is FDA certified as GRAS - generally regarded as safe. Use only 100% natural, pure oils, start with just a drop or two, and make sure to dilute it in another oil (such as sunflower oil) or incorporate it into other foods before ingesting.

Last Reviewed:
June 14, 2017
Last Updated:
October 10, 2017
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