Anxiety can be crippling, preventing you from enjoying the things you normally love and restricting your everyday life. If you suffer from anxiety, practicing mindfulness, meditation and yoga can help. Studies have also shown that aromatherapy can have a positive impact when it comes to anxiety.
Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy which involves inhaling the scent of essential oils to improve your wellbeing. When you inhale the aroma of essential oils, it is detected by sensors in your nose which connect directly to your brain’s limbic system. The limbic system controls emotions, meaning that the aromas you breathe in can directly influence your emotions. Find out more about aromatherapy and essential oils here
How can aromatherapy help with anxiety?
Essential oils have been used to reduce anxiety and stress for thousands of years – long before anxiety even had a name. Because your sense of smell and your emotions are so closely linked, aromatherapy is able to tap into your emotions and directly impact your mental wellbeing.
If you’re suffering from anxiety, there’s a whole range of essential oils that can help. Not only do they smell incredible, but they can also have a positive effect on your mental wellbeing. If you want to regain your energy, improve your sleep, reduce your stress levels and calm your anxiety, aromatherapy could be the answer.
There are several essential oils that have been tested and proven extremely effective in reducing anxiety. Below we’ve hand-picked our top five oils for reducing anxiety and enhancing relaxation.
Lavender oil: The most popular essential oil
Lavender oil has been used as a remedy for both anxiety and insomnia for many years. In fact, the first documented use of lavender was by the ancient Egyptians over 2,500 years ago.
Lavender is the most well-known essential oil. It’s renowned for its calming effect and its ability to help ease both anxiety and stress.
Many studieshave also proven lavender oil to be highly beneficial in helping with insomnia, which is often caused by anxiety. It's no wonder that lavender is the most popular essential oil on the market!
There are many different ways to use lavender oil. For help with sleep, you can add a few drops of lavender oil to your pillow, or diffuse lavender in your bedroom for half an hour before you go to bed. For a calming effect throughout the day, you can also mix lavender oil with water in a spray bottle and spritz it over your clothes, around your house or even in your car.
Ylang ylang oil: The perfect de-stresser
Straight from the flowers of theCananga odoratatree, it’s hard not to love this floral-scented essential oil. And you’ll fall deeper in love with it when you discover how effective it is at relieving some of the symptoms associated with anxiety.
Some studieshave suggested that ylang ylang oil may help to reduce blood pressure along with reducing levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. Try adding ylang ylang oil into your self-care routine to reduce your stress levels and enhance your mental wellbeing.
Ylang ylang oil is perfect for use in a diffuser when you finally sit down after a long and stressful day. Try diffusing ylang ylang essential oil while you’re relaxing on the sofa or whilst soaking in a bubble bath.
Frankincense oil: For lift and balance
With a warm and rich aroma, frankincense essential oil helps to lift your mood and balance your emotions whilst soothing your mind and body. This makes frankincense oil a great choice to unwind and ease stress after a long day.
Frankincense oil also acts as a sedative, making it perfect for insomnia sufferers. Many people describe frankincense oil as inducing a feeling of peace, relaxation and spirituality within their body, allowing them to have a more restful night’s sleep.
Frankincense oil is a popular choice for diffusing during meditation or yoga as it creates a feeling of inner peace and tranquility. You can also try adding a few drops of frankincense oil to a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and massage it into your skin.
Bergamot oil: Soothing and calming
This citrus-scented oil is great for reducing stress levels and keeping your anxiety under control.
In fact, a2017 studyfound that just 15 minutes of exposure to the aroma of bergamot oil improved the mental wellbeing of patients in the waiting room of a mental health treatment centre.
Anearlier study in 2015 also found that bergamot essential oil may also help to improve negative emotions, reduce fatigue and lower cortisol, which is the body’s primary stress hormone.
Bergamot oil is often added to a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or avocado oil before being rubbed into the skin or added to a bath. However, it may increase your sensitivity to the sun when used topically, so take care not to use it directly before going out into the sun.
This oil is also great for adding to a diffuser or mixing with water in a spray bottle to spritz it around your home for a soothing atmosphere.
Geranium oil: The perfect companion to meditation
Geranium oil has a bright, floral aroma that is hard to dislike. It has an instant calming effect, helping your body to balance its natural hormone levels whilst promoting relaxation.
Some studies have even suggested that geranium oil could help to reduce blood pressure.