Stress is something that everyone deals with from time to time. After all, part of life involves navigating stress. While some basic amounts of periodic stress are understandable, the reality is that excessive or continual levels of stress can cause a number of major health problems.
Stress is associated with a greater occurrence of many health conditions including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, asthma, and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, stress can lead to many day-to-day maladies such as low energy levels, headaches, insomnia, and frequently contracting colds.
In the United States alone, nearly one-third of people experience chronic levels of stress while nearly half believe their stress levels have increased over the past five years. Extreme levels of stress can also lead to anxiety disorders. In fact, there are over 40 million adults (19% of the population) with anxiety disorders while 7% of children have symptoms of high anxiety.
Fortunately, there are many ways that you can address high levels of stress and anxiety. A natural way of relieving stress is to utilize essential oils, which are extracted from plants. In fact, there are many different essential oils that have been shown to help relieve stress and anxiety. Let’s take a look at six of the best essential oils for stress and anxiety.
Have you ever noticed that one of the most popular scents for products is lavender? There is good reason for that. First, lavender has a sweet, floral smell that is very pleasant. However, lavender also has many benefits, including helping improve stress and anxiety when used in essential oils. For this reason, it is one of the most popular aromatherapy oils available.
Lavender was found in a 2012 study to impact the limbic system, which is the portion of the brain that helps control emotions. Additionally, a 2019 review of dozens of studies provided thorough evidence that lavender yields to reductions of anxiety on clinical scales.
Lavender essential oils can be used as aromatherapy or can be used in a warm bath by combining a few drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of a carrier oil such as jojoba oil.
Jasmine is another popular fragrance that is cultivated from many types of shrubs that are related to olive plants. Jasmine has a strong floral scent which is why it is used in a number of perfumes as well as a base for different types of teas. Jasmine is interesting as an essential oil for addressing stress and anxiety because of a fairly unique property. Unlike most other essential oils, it can affect the nervous system without causing sleepiness. In fact, jasmine can cause some people to feel more awake.
Jasmine essential oils have been found to reduce anxiety levels in a 2017 study even in relatively low doses, showing that it is an effective product for helping relieve stress.
Jasmine oil tends to work most effectively when used as part of aromatherapy. Simply put a few drops of oil into a diffuser or even inhale it directly from the bottle. You can also dab a few drops onto a tissue and place it in your pillowcase at night.
Lemongrass is a wiry type of grass that is found in tropical areas. You may know this particular plant for its properties in repelling mosquitos. It has a fresh scent with a hint of lemon, hence the name. It has a long history of being used in naturopathic medicine to treat stomach aches and other digestive issues. However, it is also quite effective in reducing tension.
This essential oil also has research backing. A 2015 study found that people exposed to lemongrass aroma reported reductions in tension and anxiety compared to control groups who were exposed to tea tree oil.
Lemongrass works excellent for aroma therapy. However, you can also use it effectively by combining with a carrier oil to massage it into body parts that are experiencing tension. Rubbing it on your temples can be particularly effective.
If you are one of the many people that enjoy the relaxing effect of chamomile tea, this essential oil may prove particularly useful in helping you relax and ease your anxiety levels. Chamomile is a flowering plant that looks much like a daisy and has traditionally been used in a number of herbal medicines. The flowery smell also contains a number of fruity undertones such as a hint of apple.
Chamomile is particularly good for people who may be overly sensitive to smells as it is one of the most subtle of all essential oils. Research showed that exposure to chamomile essential oil helped restore normal biological indicators of people who were diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, particularly restoring normal cortisol levels.
Chamomile is great for aromatherapy or adding to a bath with carrier oils.
Bergamot oil is derived from bergamot oranges, which themselves are a hybrid between a lemon and a bitter orange. The oil is harvested from the peel of the fruit. Thus, it is well known for its citrusy smell. It is also frequently used as flavoring for some products such as Earl Grey tea.
A 2017 study utilized bergamot oil in the waiting room of a mental health treatment center, finding that it led to an increase in positive feelings and decrease in reported levels of stress.
The best way to utilize bergamot oil is to put a few drops into a cotton ball or tissue and smell the aroma three or four times. While it can be applied topically, it can cause sun sensitivity, so never apply it to your skin if you are going to be outdoors.
How Can Aculief Help?
For those looking to take advantage of essential oils, Aculief provides a number of useful products. Our Relax & Focus Essential Oil Balm contains many effective oils such as chamomile, juniper, and lavender. Meanwhile, our Calm Essential Oil Balm leveraged the natural relief from oils such as lavender and orange. Finally, our Mood Boost Spray contains oils including lavender, chamomile, and others. Feel free to check out these and our other products aimed at producing natural healing.