How Essential Oils Help Anxiety
Anxiety is becoming increasingly common today, many of the women I work with experience anxiety in their day to day lives or have done so historically and fear it’s return.
If you have ever experienced anxiety, you will understand it can be completely debilitating, stopping you from having the confidence to do the things you love, and can also often feel like it comes from nowhere which can cause great confusion.
Over my 17-year career in mental health services both here in the UK and in Australia, I’ve worked with so many women, children, and men, all of which have experienced mild to severe anxiety symptoms of anxiety. Nobody is immune to anxiety, it can and often does happen to everyone to a certain extent.
Sadly, for some it’s more extreme and completely debilitating, effecting their daily lives so they struggle to work, leave the home or enjoy every day activities with friends and loved ones. It can be a burden on their lives and the lives of their families.
When working with someone who is experiencing symptoms of anxiety, I have found the best way to treat it is to find its original source and combine spiritual and cognitive psychotherapies to help understand, treat and manage it.
Anxiety isn’t something that simply disappears over-night and needs to be worked at to understand, accept, surrender and eventually overcome.
The challenge is when anxiety has a grip over you, it’s really hard to calm and sooth that innate physiological fight or flight response that triggers and causes the feelings of anxiety.
This fight or flight response clouds your vision, and really stops you thinking clearly or feeling like you can sit and practice some of the cognitive tools which can help you manage the physical symptoms you experience with anxiety such as feeling agitated, panicky, restless and highly emotional.
When you’re in this physical and highly charged emotional state, it’s almost impossible to follow through with exercises such as thought challenging or focused breathing.
Trying to do these at this stage is like bolting the door once the thorough bred horse has made a run for it.
However, using essential oils whether used topically or aromatically can ground you by reaching you on both a physical and emotional level. Essential oils calm the nervous system which is on over drive when you’re locked in your anxious state.
Using essential oils as aromatherapy, or topically can help ground and calm you, helping you regain some clarity and focus so you’re then able to do the cognitive and breathing practices that will then help you with your anxiety.
You can also use them in a preventative manner, rather than relying on them for just the cure once you’ve had an anxiety attack.
Try diffusing them in your home to keep a calming atmosphere or carry a bottle in your purse to quickly use as a support remedy when needed. You can even wear your oils as a perfume by mixing your chosen oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. This is not only a grounding, calling supportive remedy, it also reduces toxicity which is known to contribute to anxiety. Or finally you can rub the oil in your palms and cup your nose, inhaling deeply for an instant aromatic effect.
All these ways are extremely effective.
Below are 6 of the most common and favoured essential oils to aid in the treatment and management of anxiety symptoms:
Lavender is probably the most common essential oil, with the main benefits having a calming, relaxing effect. Lavender helps calm the nervous system and has a restorative effect, it also helps with sleep, restlessness, irritability, panic attacks, nervous digestion issues and general nervous tension in the mind and body.
Rose essential oil is it’s very settling to the emotional heart and is probably the second most preferred essential oil after lavender for relieving anxiety. Rose helps with panic attacks, grieving and shock.
3. Ylang Ylang
This wonderful essential oil treats anxiety due to its calming and uplifting effects. Ylang Ylang is known to help with promoting cheerfulness, courage, optimism and while also soothing fearfulness.
It also may calm symptoms of heart agitation and nervous palpitations and is a moderately strong sedative, which can help with insomnia.
CAUTION When using ylang ylang, as it can be irritating to the skin. You’re also cautioned to avoid using in conditions of low blood pressure.
Chamomile essential promotes inner harmony and reduces the feelings of irritability, feeling anxious or an overthinking worrying mind.
Bergamot essential oil is calming and often used to treat symptoms of low mood by providing a boost in energy. It’s commonly found in Earl Grey tea with its distinctive floral taste and aroma.
It can also help with insomnia by inducing relaxation and reduce agitation.
My personal favourite, Frankincense is great for treating anxiety as it provides a tranquil, calming energy while also spiritually grounding you. When used in aromatherapy, it helps deepen your meditation by opening and quietening your mind.
Why not start your day with your chosen essential oils from above, blend with coconut oil and aromatically dress yourself ready for your day. By using the oils as part of your self care practice every morning, your spending time loving and nourishing yourself instead of rushing or judging yourself. It’s a beautiful to start your day feeling grounded, blessed and happy.