Holistic Approach: Essential Oils for Anxiety

Life is stressful. Most of us are working harder than ever to juggle hectic schedules, family demands, bills and cut budgets. If you’re not feeling anxious, that might be something to feel anxious about!

Anxiety is considered to be the normal body response to increased stress levels, so it would be unrealistic to hope for a life with no anxiety at all. Left unchecked, however, anxiety can lead to all sorts of disorders, including symptoms like palpitations, chest pains, tension, irritability, headaches and sleep disturbances, 

Along with exercise, a healthy diet and meditation, essential oils can help relax your mind, ease tension in your body and reduce your anxiety.

Suggested Essential Oils for Anxiety:

  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Clary sage
  • Geranium
  • Chamomile
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Jasmine
  • Rose
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang ylang

Warnings

  • Some essential oils are contraindicated for preexisting medical conditions, Speak with your doctor before adopting this or any other complementary therapy.
  • Essential oils should be used as a complement to conventional medicine, not a substitute. If your symptoms worsen, speak with your doctor.
  • Essential oils are highly potent. You rarely need more than a few drops, and using them undiluted can irritate your skin. Unless you’re working with a diffuser or oil lamp, dilute the individual oils in warm water, or in a carrier oil (for example sweet almond, avocado, grape seed or jojoba).

Directions

Whether working with one essential oil or a blend, you have several methods of administration from which to choose. Would you prefer to massage the oils into your skin, diffuse them throughout the room, or keep them on hand so that you can choose when to inhale them? The most important thing is to select an approach that works for you.

Some options:

  • Add a few drops of the oil/s to a bath and soak for about 15 minutes.
  • Add a few drops to your favorite massage lotion. Focus on shoulders, back, and neck – the areas in which we frequently carry our stress.
  • Add a few drops of the diluted oil/s to a compress, and apply the compress to your forehead or neck.
  • Add a few drops of the oil/s to an aromatherapy diffuser or oil burner  (DIY version: A few drops in a bowl of very hot water).
  • Add a few drops to a tissue or handkerchief and inhale as desired.

One Step Further

Essential oils work best as part of a complete holistic treatment plan. There are many things you can do to alleviate anxiety; meditating, changing your diet and introducing a yogic routine into your weekly schedule are just a few ways to calm nerves and ease stress. For more information, see Related Tips & How-Tos.

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