Dealing with anxiety can be a major challenge for some people. Here’s how essential oils may help you cope with your anxiety naturally, and which ones work best.
If you’ve ever had to deal with anxiety, you know that it can be a debilitating experience. Anxiety is a disorder that causes people to worry more than normal. Anxiety can manifest differently for different people and for different reasons. Sometimes it can be caused by job- or school-related stress, and sometimes it is triggered by negative emotions about a certain situation.
Some people never suffer from anxiety (or if they do it is mild and easily manageable), while for others, it can severely impact their quality of life. Doctors estimate that over 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety in one form or another.
When you experience anxiety, you tend to worry more and sleep less. Anxiety can cause you to lose sleep, feel irritable, or simply feel fatigued and nervous. Full-blown anxiety can lead to a panic attack, causing rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath, and sometimes even chest pain.
Regardless of how and why anxiety affects you, you will need to find ways to deal with it. Medication is available, but can sometimes cause undesirable side effects. Many people, therefore, choose to try a more natural route.
One natural anxiety remedy that some people have found helpful is the use of essential oils. Essential oils are a popular natural treatment because they are easy to use, affordable, and generally free from side-effects.
Here are a few ways that essential oils may help you cope with stress and worry and reduce the intensity and duration of your anxiety attacks:
1.) Helps Relax Your Muscles
When you experience anxiety, it usually causes your muscles to tense up, increasing your stress and sometimes causing pain and stiffness. Many essential oils provide a relaxing effect that can help to ease muscle tension, especially when combined with massage. A couple of good ones to try are bergamot essential oil, or chamomile essential oil.
Bergamot calms stress and improves energy, while chamomile is relaxing and soothing. Either one can be added to a coconut oil base to make a great massage oil that helps relieve stress and anxiety.
2.) Helps You Rest
Anxiety can strike at any time of the day and often when you least expect it. Experiencing these attacks frequently can give you an idea of what will trigger them, but you’ll never be able to predict them one hundred percent of the time. Anxiety attacks can leave you tired, but often they will keep you from getting the rest you need.
Essential oils such as lavender can help to relax and calm your mind, and allow you to rest and recover. Use a diffuser to fully appreciate the aroma and the calming feeling that lavender essential oil can offer. (Check out last week’s post here on using essential oils for better sleep.)
3.) Manages and Controls Mood
Essential oils can impact how you feel, and help you control your mood and emotions. Familiar scents may remind you of pleasant memories (for example, the scent of clove oil or cinnamon may remind you of the holidays when you were a child), which can help you focus on more positive thoughts and shake off negative feelings.
Sweet orange essential oil is another one that you may want to try to help uplift your emotions and improve your energy and mood. Some studies show that sweet orange oil can even work as a natural antidepressant.
4.) Allows Your Mind to Relax
As mentioned above, essential oils can often help you to relax your mind and calm anxious thoughts. Using essential oils when you feel an anxiety attack coming on may help prevent it from becoming a full-blown attack. Vetiver essential oil is a good one to try for this, as it has been shown to be helpful for those who experience panic attacks.
If you find yourself feeling anxious at night and unable to fall asleep due to racing mind or anxious thoughts, use lavender, vetiver, or chamomile essential oils in a diffuser or infuser in your bedroom, and they can help you relax and get to sleep more easily.
Like any other treatment, not all essential oils work the same for everyone. You will need to experiment to find what works best for you, and it it is a good idea to work closely with your doctor or natural health practitioner to find the right combination to help with your anxiety.