Anxiety is an issue that affects many more people than you would think and it is often something that people do not like to talk about or admit to. It can range in severity from person to person and when it is particularly bad it can seriously affect day to day life.
Everybody suffers from some mild anxiety from time to time. It may that you’re going to a party and there will be lots of new people there you don’t know. The thought of walking into a room full of strangers can make even the most confident of people feel somewhat anxious! Or anxiety can become more severe in some people and can be triggered by work, social or life pressures.
You can take medication to help treat anxiety, but this comes with risks such as potential side effects and also possible addiction. An alternative and more natural treatment is to use essential oils for anxiety and utilize their healing and therapeutic properties.
Here are some of the best essential oils for anxiety issues:
Lavender essential oil is generally considered the most common and versatile essential oil, it’s definitely one of the best oils to have on your person at all times. It promotes a feeling of calm and relaxation and can help reduce feelings of panic, anxiety, irritability and restlessness.
A study in 2007 (see here) was carried out that showed using Lavender oil reduced the levels of cortisol in the body as well as reducing blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that plays an important part in the body’s response to stress.
You can easily harness the benefits of Lavender essential oil to help anxiety at home or in the workplace, by using a few drops of it in an oil diffuser. Or it can be used as part of an aromatherapy massage either on its own or blended with other oils that are renowned for their ability to alleviate anxiety and stress.
Another popular essential oil for anxiety is Bergamot, which is part of the citrus family of oils. It is considered an uplifting oil and is used to treat anxiety, depression and stress. You might be familiar with the aroma of Bergamot essential oil from Earl Grey tea as this is one of the constituents in the tea which gives it such a floral scent and flavor.
A study undertaken in 2011 (see here) hypothesized that using a blend of essential oils (Bergamot and Lavender) helped to treat patients suffering from anxiety or depression. Another study in 2015 (see here) took place on a number of healthy female patients to assess whether Bergamot oil inhalation had any effect on their state of mood and cortisol levels. The results concluded that Bergamot essential oil inhaled together with water vapor exerted psychological and physiological effects in a relatively short space of time.
Bergamot essential oil is photosensitive, meaning it reacts with direct sunlight so keep out of the sun if you are using Bergamot topically on your skin.
Ylang Ylang is a well-known essential oil for anxiety and depression issues due to its uplifting and relaxing effects. It can help to promote positive thoughts and uplift the spirit, quashing negativity and agitation.
A study conducted in 2006 in Korea (see here) used Ylang Ylang oil together with Lavender and Bergamot oils, once a day for 4 weeks and concluded that it caused a significant decrease of blood pressure as well as subjects rating themselves more calm and more relaxed than subjects in the control group.
Ylang Ylang essential oil has a moderate risk of skin sensitization and can potentially irritate the skin, so be cautious when using it – it should be well diluted and not applied neat to the skin.