Essential Oils to Help Combat Stress

9 Essential Oils to Help Ease Stress

Do you feel stressed, anxious or depressed? If you are feeling down, try boosting your mood with aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy uses essential oils and aromatic plant extracts to enhance your psychological and physical wellbeing. Traditional medicines all over the world use these powerful botanicals to assist with the management of anxiety, insomnia, stress and depression.

Below are 9 popular scents along with tips on their use:

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender has a floral, herby scent that is popular for relaxing the body and mind. Studies have shown it to be useful in treating sleep disorders like insomnia along with depression.

Furthermore, there has been a proven de-stressing effect when using lavender essential oil. The participants in one study were exposed to a stressor before carrying out a memory task. Participants who inhaled the lavender aroma prior to the stressor did a better job on the task compared to the participants that inhaled an aroma that was a placebo.

Another study that used a 3% lavender oil spray on clothes was shown to be effective in minimizing stress at work for 3 to 4 days.

Many aromatherapy products like massage oil and bath salts use lavender oil.

Rosemary Essential Oil

This oil is used as a mental stimulant to counteract nervous exhaustion, depression, stress disorders, frequent mood swings and with helping to lift your spirit. Enhance your mental clarity, relaxation and maintain positive thoughts by inhaling this oil’s evergreen aroma.

Patchouli Essential Oil

Stabilize and ground the mind with this soothing essential oil. It reduces depression and anxiety feelings and assists with the recovery from exhaustion and nervous stress.

Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot essential oil is popular in aromatherapy and this oil gives earl grey tea its signature smell. Citrus bergamia peel is the source of this essential oil and it helps to reduce your stress.

Not much research has gone into the effects of bergamot essential oil, but a few studies have revealed that the oil could minimize stress and help with relaxation. A study completed in 2017 showed that a 15-minute exposure to bergamot essential oil improves positive feelings of patients in a mental health treatment centre’s waiting room.

Bergamot essential oil has to be used with a carrier oil like sweet almond, avocado or jojoba when being used for stress relief prior to using it sparingly in a bath or on the skin. Inhale this soothing scent by placing a few drops of oils on clothing or tissue or by using it as an aromatherapy diffuser.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil has been used in aromatherapy to relieve anxiety naturally. The lemongrass herb (Cymbopogon citratus) is the source of this essential oil. This oil’s scent or applying it to the skin sparingly with carrier oil has shown to promote relaxation and minimize anxiety.

A 2015 study showed that there was an instant reduction in tension and anxiety for patients exposed to the lemongrass essential oil and they quickly recovered from an anxiety-inducing situation when compared to patients who smelled a placebo or a control aroma like tea tree oil.

Lemon Essential Oil

Sourced from lemon plant leaves, lemon essential oil has shown in animal preliminary studies to have anxiety-reducing and sedative properties.

Lemon oil is full of linalool, which is found in oranges, lemons, mangos, basil, lavender, grapes along with other foods and flowers. Aromatherapy practitioners use lemon essential oil to minimize stress and ease depression symptoms as well as to improve mood and promote sleep.

Personal aromatherapy inhaler devices in the UK were used to promote relaxation in a cancer centre and to relieve nausea where lemon essential oil was one of the most popular scents used.

Orange Essential Oil

Do you want to unwind? Preliminary studies show that inhaling this sweet orange essential oil aroma could help relieve anxiety One study found that during an anxiety-inducing situation, participants who inhaled sweet orange essential oil didn’t show any increase in tension or anxiety, unlike patients who breathed in a placebo or tea tree oil being used as a control aroma.

Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) is another kind of orange essential oil has shown to lessen anxiety when participants are exposed to a simulated public speaking event as per a 2017 study.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Preliminary research has shown that people suffering from high blood pressure could benefit from using ylang ylang essential oil (a popular aromatherapy oil). A small 2012 study, for example, showed that inhaling the aromatherapy blend with ylang ylang essential oil resulted in the reduction of stress-hormone levels and blood pressure.

Although it might be a bit early to recommend using ylang ylang essential oil to control blood pressure, using it in personal aromatherapy might provide stress-reducing benefits that might improve your overall health.

Frankincense Essential Oil

When this sacred oil is used as a sedative it is highly effective. It produces feelings of relaxation, peace, spirituality and satisfaction. It also opens up insight and introspection while reducing anger, stress and anxiety. Some interesting studies have shown Frankincense to have very effective anti-cancer properties.

How to Use Aromatherapy Oils for Stress Relief

Below are 3 ways to use essential oils to reduce worry and stress:

As a massage oil

A calming massage is an excellent way to relieve stress, especially with the use of the scents from aromatherapy oils. Massage oils are also known for relieving muscle tension and stress. Mix a few drops of your selected essential oil along with a neutral base carrier oil like sweet almond oil and then apply onto your skin.

In the bath

Soothe aching muscles and relax your mind after a long, busy day by soaking in a bath with just a few drops of essential oils in warm water. The scents help to relax your mind and calm you down.

Breathe it in

To get the instant benefits of an essential oil is to put a few drops on a tissue and breathe in. Another way is to add a few drops to a bowl of hot, not boiling, water. Cover your head with a towel, keep your eyes closed and breathe in the aroma and steam vapors.

More Tips on Using Essential Oils for Stress

Even though aromatherapy has been in use for a long time, there aren’t enough big-scale scientific studies that show the impact of aromatherapy on anxiety. Even though an essential oil mixed with a carrier oil, then massaged onto your skin or a few drops in a bath might help you relax after a stressful day, before using essential oils for any kind of relief always consult with your doctor.

Although we all encounter stress at some point, you need to be vigilant for anxiety disorder signals. If your symptoms include persistent tension or worry, problems concentrating and disruption of sleep along with other symptoms of concern, you should consult with your doctor.

View our full range of Essential Oils for Stress Relief.

Photo Credit: “Beau Monde Spa in Victor in the Finger L” (CC BY 2.0) by visit~fingerlakes