Five Essential Oils for Anxiety
We’ve had a fun shift into unchartered energies recently… In my Weekly Angel Card Reading, there has been a clear theme since last week of manifestation and suddenly being faced with a plethora of options!
Now, some lovely logical people (like my hubby!), can simply lay out the map, pick a route, and then walk it.
Others (myself included) will look at the entire map, and freak out.
Welcome to overwhelm!
If there’s one killer for trooping on and getting things done, it’s that feeling of being completely overwhelmed, like everything is raining down on you at once and you forgot your bloody umbrella.
This feeling occurs because the situation puts us under pressure. In turn, this pressure naturally causes a stress response, but it is how we handle this response that either takes us forward or keeps us stuck and frazzled. For many of us, the stress quickly manifests into anxiety, and the more blocks/fears etc. that we have, the more we feel anxious about the situation.
There are shedloads of self-help tools, theories and techniques to help you with anxiety – whether you suffer a twinge of it or have a full-blown attack. However, in this post we’re going to look at some specific essential oils and how they can help.
Let’s suppose the situation that causes you stress has already happened, and you can feel the anxiety starting to bubble away…
Cue essential oils! These little bottles of joy can help you in two ways:
- Thanks to their (natural) chemical makeup, many oils have a calming or sedative effect. This helps calm the body’s ‘flight or fight’ response to stress.
- They evoke one of our 5 powerful senses – smell. If you’ve read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, you may be aware how important our senses are in achieving presence. This simple focus on something that smells good brings our minds positively into the Right Now, so we stop feeding our mental energy into the mouth of the stressful situation.
Just like taste, when it comes to smell it’s horses for courses – so different people will prefer the smell of different oils. Experiment to find the ones that work best for you! To start you off, here are the 5 essential oils that will help combat anxiety:
Bergamot is a good oil to use for those to tend to become depressed/apathetic as a result of feeling anxious, as it has stimulating and antidepressant qualities. It’s citrus/floral scent uplifts and refreshes.
Lavender is probably the essential oil you would choose if you were only allowed 1 bottle, because it helps with so many problems and ailments! When using to treat anxiety, remember that Lavender is an adaptogen – this means that using a small amount will produce a relaxing effect, whereas using a greater quantity of the oil will cause it to become a stimulant. You can take this theory and apply it to your situation; use a little bit on your pulse points or on a tissue to sniff to calm you down, or be generous with it in a massage oil to relax without slumping into apathy.
Chamomile is notoriously relaxing, and will gently help you Keep Calm. If you don’t want to Carry On (It’s the end of the day and you need help sleeping), this is the oil to use because it has a sedative effect. If your anxiety stems from physical stress ( for example, driving long distance or having pushed your body to its limits), then Roman Chamomile is an excellent choice.
Geranium smells quite floral and a little like rose. It is again a adaptogen, so be aware of how much you are using depending on whether you want to relax or stimulate. It has a calming effect on the nervous system (so Geranium is a good all-rounder when it comes to different types of anxiety), and blends well with the other oils.
Sandalwood is another relaxant, smelling quite musky and ‘woody’ – which is why you often find it in men’s fragrances. It is a strong, earthy type which will help anchor those suffering from mental or emotional stress.
The easiest way to use these is to add a few drops of your chosen oil(s) to an oil burner. You could also add a few drops to a calming bath, make a massage oil blend (if you are lucky enough to have someone to massage you!), sniff them straight out of the bottle or add drops to a tissue.
Lavender can be applied directly to the skin, but ideally should also be diluted like the others, as many of us have allergies/cuts/sores/sensitivity. Citrus-based oils like Bergamot can also be photosensitive (causing sensitivity and/or skin pigmentation when exposed to direct sunlight – so don’t use these if you are or have been exposed to the sun.