Aromatherapy for Anxiety and Stress

Using aromatherapy for anxiety and stress relief is an enjoyable way to ease tension, worry and feelings of panic. When your nerves are getting the bet of you, essential oils provide pleasurable relief to otherwise difficult moments.

Let's face it. There are times when life seems to spiral out of control and we need a little help. You know the signs - apprehension and trouble focusing. You may sigh a lot, sweat, breathe faster, get dry mouth or have palpitations. Muscles tense up and you feel like running away or running to the toilet.

At times like these, aromatherapy stress relief essential oils may be just what you need to calm down.

What's great about these remedies is that they are convenient to keep handy for on the spot help. They complement other techniques, such as deep breathing. A relaxing bath or massage is enhanced by their scent and actions.

Essential oils for anxiety include: basil, bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, frankincense, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, geranium, lavender, lemon, neroli, orange, petitgrain, rose, ylang ylang and sandalwood.

Tips for Using Aromatherapy for Anxiety

There are three ways to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy for anxiety relief-inhalation, massage, and warm baths.

Always use real essential oils for anxiety, stress and other health concerns, not fragrance oils, which have no therapeutic effect.

Choose single oils or blends depending on your needs and scent preferences. If you are not experienced at blending, stick with single oils or follow one of the easy aromatherapy recipes below. Blends are also readily available from reputable sources.

Inhalation is great for quick relief.

Taking slow, steady, focused breaths is a sure fire way remedy for calming anxious feelings. Inhaling soothing essential oils at the same time magnifies the effect. Molecules immediately make their way to your brain via the olfactory nerve. They influence your brain to send calming signals to your nervous system and your body.

Since your goal is relaxation, choose oils that elicit the 'ahh response' when you inhale. If you don't like the aroma, it will make you feel more stressed, regardless of what the herbal profile says. 

Your inhalation oils can be added to a carrier oil or salts. An empty lip balm container filled with essential oil infused salts works well for on-the-go aromatherapy stress relief.

Enjoy a warm bath to melt away distress.

aromatherapy stress relief

Add six to ten drops of your favorite essential oil anxiety blend to warm water to soothe away the stresses of the day. The warm water also invites your muscles and mind to relax. They will disperse better if mixed with a carrier oil or salts first.

Supercharge the health effects of your bath by mixing your essential oils into dead sea salts containing relaxing magnesium chloride and other minerals. Sip a cup of calming herbal tea while washing away your worries.

Massage and using aromatherapy for anxiety go hand in hand.

For massage, add 4-8 drops of your favorite essential oil anxiety or stress blend to one ounce of jojoba or sweet almond carrier oil.

Carrier oils dilute the essential oils and help them glide easily over your skin. Mix up your batch in an amber bottle (or clear bottle stored out of the light) so it is handy when you need it. Roll between your hands to blend. Do not massage with essential oils that are undiluted.

Before your massage, inhale the aroma from your hands. Massage your hands, including your fingers (to stimulate acupressure points) and the web between your thumb and forefinger. Massage your neck, jaw, and shoulders. Use a firm, yet gentle pressure that feels good. Notice the tension and feel it easing away. Keep your focus on the feeling of being massaged and your breath, not on what you are feeling anxious about.

Even better, warm the oil, lay down, and receive a slow, gentle back and shoulder massage from a loved one. Treat yourself to a professional aromatherapy massage. Feel your stress, tension and anxiety melt away.

Essential Oil Anxiety and Stress Remedies

Lavender is a favorite for aromatherapy stress relief and has a special affinity for women. Use alone or in any blend you love. A super easy way to enjoy a quick inhalation break is to put a drop of lavender oil in the palm of your hands. Rub your hands together, then cup them over your nose and mouth. Inhale deeply and slowly from your hands. An audible 'ahh' tells you the remedy is working to ease mind and body tension.

Easy Aromatherapy for Anxiety Recipes for Inhalation

  • "Aaahh" Blend - Combine 3 parts lavender to one part clary sage in a small vial. Roll between your palms to blend thoroughly. Store in a handy place out of the light. Use two or three times a day or as needed. For on-the-go relief, keep a small bottle in your desk or purse. A drop on a cotton ball stored in a baggie also does the trick.
  • Restful Sleep Spritz - Add several drops of you favorite calming oils to four ounces of pure water in a spray bottle. Add one or two drops of essential oil at a time until you have a concentration you enjoy. Shake and  spritz on your nightie or pillow. If you spritz the air a few times and then stand under it as the droplets fall it is very nice.

Popular essential oils such as Roman chamomile, lavender, ylang ylang and marjoram do double duty for massage by relieving tension and calming emotional distress.

This relaxing blend of floral, earthen, sweet oils will appeal to men and women.

aromatherapy for anxiety and stress

Aromatherapy stress relief blends are often general remedies, Valerie Wormword provides more specific aromatherapy for anxiety recipes in her book, The Fragrant Mind.

  • For tense anxiety with muscle pain and bodily tension she recommends a blend of 10 drops clary sage, 15 drops lavender and 5 drops Roman chamomile.
  • For apprehensive anxiety with a sense of foreboding, worrying, and feeling paranoid she recommends a blend of 15 drops Bergamot, 5 drops Lavender, and 10 drops Geranium.

As part of a holistic approach to overcoming anxiety, essential oil anxiety remedies provide pleasurable and effective help. However, do not rely on essential oils alone to ease more than mild anxious feelings. If you suffer from severe anxiety, you may have a medical condition. Please consult your health provider for assistance.

For an excellent source of quality essential oils and accessories, visit Mountain Rose Herbs or other reputable suppliers.

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