Are you looking for natural ways to help manage your anxiety? Research has shown that along with drinking matcha green tea, there are a variety of natural ways to keep your anxiety in check — and that includes essential oils.
Throughout our lives, most of us will experience some anxiety. Whether caused by specific stressors or more pervasive and chronic, unchecked anxiety can deplete your total wellness, including your emotional, personal, social, and professional relationships and health. Luckily, there are natural remedies to help combat anxiety.
Essential oils have been used over the years to address various health concerns - including anxiety. Aromatherapy is inhaling the scent of essential oils, which is widely used as a natural remedy to reduce stress and anxiety.
Sick of feeling anxious? You should consider adding an essential oil to your daily routine! Keep reading on to learn more about the top ten essential oils you can use to help keep your anxiety symptoms in check.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are aromatic compounds found in nature, such as flowers, leaves, seeds, tree bark, fruits, and seeds. For centuries, humans have used herbs, essential oils, and aromatherapy as natural remedies for managing anxiety. Specifically, the scents of essential oils have a strong influence on mood and have also been studied for helping treat anxiety.
The oils now come in various forms, and the applied method depends on the desired effect and essential oil (EO) being used. For example, some essential oils (EOs) need more dilution if applied topically or are more effective when diffused in the air.
A person often finds an essential oil scent pleasant and associates it with an emotional state that they want, such as invigoration or tranquility.
10 Essential oils that support alleviating anxiety
Lavender is one of the most well-known essential oils known for its relaxing and soothing effects. With its lovely floral aroma and high content of linalyl acetate and linalool, multiple studies suggest that lavender effectively eases anxiety. When using lavender oil to alleviate anxiety, applying it topically is the fastest way to reap the benefits.
Recommended use: Massage
The therapeutic properties of lavender EO become apparent in as little as five minutes after rubbing it onto the skin.
Did you know? Inhaling lavender EO for four weeks can prevent anxiety, stress, and depression after childbirth.
Orange essential oil has an intense citrus fruit fragrance that carries powerful and uplifting benefits. Inhaling orange oil has been found to children's anxieties at the dentist, help women overcome anxiety during labor, and even curb feelings of pain in patients with broken bones in the emergency room.
Recommended use: Diffuse
Chamomile is popular for its calming properties and being an effective natural sleep aid before bedtime in its tea form. While research is still limited on chamomile essential oil, some research has pointed to chamomile helping manage mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder.
Recommended use: Inhale
Rose essential oil comes from the petals of a rose flower. Numerous studies have shown its mesmerizing floral scent may help relax the senses and combat anxiety. One 2014 found that using rose oil in a foot bath may help lower anxiety in pregnant women during labor.
Recommended use: Bath
Valerian essential oil comes from an herb that has been shown to have intense calming and sedating effects, making it a good EO to use at the end of the day. Research has shown that giving patients aromatic hand massages using valerian EO has a calming and de-stressing effect.
Recommended use: Massage
Bergamot oil helps invigorate the senses, stimulate blood flow, improve mood, and relieve anxiety symptoms. A study from 2005 findings suggested bergamot essential oil - when diffused in a room- makes for a very effective adjunct treatment to improve individuals' mental health and well‐being.
Recommended use: Diffuse
Ylang ylang is a fragrant essential oil often used aromatically to spread a strong feeling of calm and confidence. A 2006 study found that inhaling ylang ylang helped improve professionals' sense of self-esteem. (19)
Recommended use: Inhale
Frankincense has a musky, sweet aroma that has been shown to help melt away stress, anxiety, and pain. One study found massaging with frankincense EO can help manage anxiety and pain levels in terminal cancer patients.
Recommended use: massage
Jasmine EO not only has been shown to help alleviate anxiety, but it also helps you get better quality Zs. One study focused on heart patients in the ICU found that Jasmine EO can help reduce anxiety, increase sleep, and stabilize blood pressure.
Recommended use: Inhale
Looking for more clarity, peace, and focus? Sandalwood EO has been shown to have a powerful therapeutic effect on the brain. One study found sandalwood effectively reduced anxiety levels in people living with severe, life-threatening illnesses.
Recommended use: Massage
7 Ways to use essential oils to manage anxiety
Add 3-4 drops of essential oil to a room diffuser and inhale. Room diffusers are a great way to spread the therapeutic fragrance throughout a room - for example, to enhance relaxation at the end of a long day to fall asleep.
Boil some water on the stove and add no more than two drops of essential oil into a bowl. Then drape a towel over your head, keep your eyes closed, and inhale deeply with your head over the bowl.
Add no more than 20 drops of essential oil to a washcloth and place it on the ground of the shower where the water hits. You can also take the oil, sprinkle some against the walls, and turn the shower for steam to build up before getting in.
Add in no more than two drops per two tablespoons of essential oil to your massage oil or lotion choice. Use it for massage and also take it on the go for neck aches and muscle pains.
Place no more than 1-2 drops of essential oil on a cotton pad or tissue, take a deep breath, or inhale directly from the bottle.
Add 6-12 drops to your bath once the tub is filled before getting in. Sensitive skin? Dilute the essential oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and add to warm water.
Fill a 2oz spray bottle with distilled water. Then add 10-15 drops of essential oil to a spray bottle and one teaspoon of salt or vinegar to emulsify the oil to the water. To use, shake and spray throughout the air.
Did you know? Undiluted essential oils should not be applied topically because they can irritate and burn skin, nor are they supposed to be ingested.
The bottom line is - Ask your doctor about essential oils and other natural ways (like drinking matcha tea!) to combat anxiety
Although safety testing has shown essential oils have few side effects when used as directed, it's always best to consult with your practitioner first. This is because there are many essential oil qualities and concentrations.
If you're thinking about giving one of these essential oils a try, connect with a trusted health professional you're currently seeing for anxiety. Your practitioner can help you get started, show you how to find quality EOs, and alert you to any potential side effects or interactions that could put you at risk.
Consider drinking matcha tea to help alleviate your anxiety
Drinking matcha or other green tea varieties from the camellia sinensis plant can promote a very relaxing sensation that alleviates anxiety. Matcha, compared to other green tea varieties, contains notably high amounts of L-theanine, which is a unique amino acid shown to help combat anxiety. Want to learn more about what matcha is and how it can help produce a calm, meditative state?
You may want to consider drinking matcha tea to help combat your anxiety naturally. Read more about it in our article on matcha for anxiety here.
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