Essential Oils for Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the biggest health issues of our time. Modern life is laden with endless stimulation, much of social connectedness happens only online and job security has all but vanished. Added to that comes the fear of missing out, and the pressure to keep up with photoshopped ideals. And the reminders are non-stop – bedside mobile phone checking in the middle of the night, anyone?
As human beings, our brains need quietness to function properly. We need time to stare out into the distance without thinking. We need time to be without considering if someone is watching. We need to be able to ‘be’ without reporting it in social media. Our brains struggle with endless alerts. Yet amid all this ‘connectedness,’ our anxiety levels indicate we're likely more disconnected than ever.
Chill pill alert
One in five people suffer from anxiety in the US. Studies suggest European countries are not far behind. The opioid crisis keeps making headlines. We seem to be medicating ourselves to numbness. Is there an alternative? Yoga and meditation have been recognised as an alternative to prescription drugs, and yoga has been studied in pilot schemes by the NHS as a support of public health. Essential oils are not yet in use by the NHS. They have, however, been a subject of a few studies, whose results were promising.
Unlike some websites and essential oil brands might suggest, essential oils are not a ‘magic bullet’ or a miraculous cure-all. When it comes to severe clinical anxiety, prescription drugs may be appropriate. However, in cases of mild to moderate anxiety, essential oils do work wonders as a pillar to support a lifestyle that aims for moderation and balance. They can provide immediate relief to the symptoms that so many of us struggle with on a day to day basis. Many of their benefits have been studied scientifically, too.
How to use
For best results, diffuse into the air or place a few drops onto a small cloth to breath through in times of anxiety. You can also make a relaxing body oil by mixing one of the below oils with a neutral carrier, such as almond oil or a fragrance free body lotion. Alternatively, mix throughly in sea salt and add to bath water.
Which oils to choose
The below are some of our best bets for reducing anxiety.
Our Relaxing Blend is named after the Greek alphabet that is also used to indicate wavelength in science. Lambda fuses two types of lavender for maximum effect of this powerfully healing and calming herb. Added to the lavender duo is a pinch of May Chang, otherwise known as the ‘Oil of Tranquillity,’ as well as cedarwood and patchouli, both of which have the ability to work with the brain’s fight/flight region to alleviate stress response through the stimulation of dopamine and serotonin.
The most famous ‘chillout’ oil out there, lavender has a good rep and not without a cause. Lavender's ability to calm the nerves is well known and the subject of many scientific studies. Simply inhaling lavender stimulates the same brain regions as those targeted by some harsh pharmaceutical medications.
This woody wonder brings to mind saw-dust, and the impressive trees that the oil is made of. Cedarwood essential oil is balsamic and grounding. Its benefits include its high concentration of sesquiterpenes which have the power to ease stress by stimulating the limbic part of the brain.