About 40 million people in the United States have an anxiety disorder. Another 33% of the general population reports feeling extremely stressed. And before cancer took over, the World Health Organization categorized stress as an epidemic.
So, what can you do about it? On top of meditation and relaxation techniques, you can further your stress-reducing strategies by using aromatherapy for anxiety.
Because my body responds well to aromatherapy, I recently started working with a certified aromatherapist. She’s helping deal with some acute issues I’m having with sleep and anxiety.
Do Essential Oils Help with Mental Health?
Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils, aroma extracts from plants, for a specific purpose, such as relaxation or reducing pain. Research even shows how aromatherapy can help reduce anxiety, improving a person’s emotional, mental, and spiritual state, when going through medical treatments.
There are a variety of techniques to include aromatherapy as part of your anxiety-reducing or stress-relieving routine, such as:
1. Using a Diffuser
An aromatherapy diffuser only requires a few drops of essential oil in water, which then releases the fragrance into the air.
This is a great way to relax during an intense workday. Or you can use this as part of your bubble bath routine or during a meditation routine!
2. Applying a Few Drops to Your Skin
First and foremost, before applying anything to your skin, make sure you do a quick test with a drop on the inside of your wrist. This can help avoid any undetected allergies or even just a sensitivity to the strength of the oil.
Once you’ve tested it out, try applying a few drops to the areas of your body that absorb it the quickest. For example, these places would be at the nape of your neck, your feet, wrists or directly on top of the problem area. Applying the oil to my wrist lets the scent permeate close to my nose allowing me to relax and let go.
3. Applying the Essential Oil to a Washcloth
Aromatherapy for stress and anxiety may simply involve adding a couple of drops of your essential oil to a cup with water. From there, dip a washcloth into the mixture. You can then apply it to your body and inhale the scent from the cloth. You can also keep these sealed in the fridge for later use!
4. Carrying Scented Essential Oil Sticks in Your Purse or Backpack
Anxiety can strike when we don’t expect it! You might suddenly find yourself in a situation where you’re in complete and utter panic mode. Having go-tos, such as an essential oil stick, can help you calm down when you need it the most.
5. Adding Essential Oils to Your Lotions or Shaving Cream
The act of rubbing them onto your body and face may further help soothe and relax your nervous system, allowing that stress response to simmer.
Now that you know some application techniques, here are a few oils to incorporate into your daily routine:
Valerian - Research shows how this essential oil can help calm the nervous system, even helping individuals get to sleep!
Lavender - Extensively studied in connection to decreasing stress and anxiety, it’s thought that lavender may help the body and mind relax by influencing the limbic system, which plays a major role in emotional regulation.
Jatamansi - This essential oil produces a similar scent to valerian—both are quite woody and earthy—but Jatamansi is thought to promote anti-anxiety effects by increasing GABA in the brain.
Holy Basil - This spicy and minty scent has been shown to treat both the mental and physical symptoms associated with stress.
Bergamot - Bergamot reduces anxiety and even enhances your mood.
Chamomile - This one likely comes as no surprise. Chamomile is well-known for its sleep-enhancing effects. But on top of this, it has also shown great promise as a complementary treatment for those with generalized anxiety disorder.
Overall, aromatherapy for stress and anxiety can help calm your nervous system, helping you find that balanced state and perform at the level you desire. Change is hard! What if you had a strategy, personalized to meet your needs and fit your lifestyle, from a trained healthcare expert who's been where you are and who will empower you to become all you want to be? NOW, that would be EASY. Click here to schedule your free consultation.