What Is Anxiety and what are the best essential oils for anxiety? That’s a question I’ve been asked on several occasions and today I will answer these questions and share how to use essential oils to help manage and cope with symptoms of anxiety.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal emotion, however, sometimes a person can feel higher levels of anxiety than usual, resulting in anxiety becoming a medical problem.
Anxiety disorders affect millions of people around the world and are a common disorder for many people to struggle with.
Suffering from anxiety can is defined by The American Psychological Association as “an emotion characterised by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure”.
Being able to tell the difference between natural everyday feelings of anxiety and an anxiety disorder is important and learning to recognise your own anxiety symptoms can really help a patient to better manage their condition.
What Causes Anxiety
There can be many causes and reasons for anxiety. When someone suffers from anxiety there could be a number of reasons or triggers including the following:
- Environmental factors
- Medical factors such as poor health
- Brain chemistry
- Use and withdrawal from illegal substances
Whilst one may have family members who suffer from anxiety, this can increase the chances of developing anxiety yourself, especially when unwell, under added pressure, stress such from relationships, finances, work or school.
When too many factors are combined one can easily develop anxiety symptoms and as a result, suffer from this often debilitating condition.
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
Different people experience different symptoms when suffering from anxiety. Patients can also suffer from different levels of anxiety. Here are some of the common physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety.
- restlessness, and a feeling of being “on-edge”
- uncontrollable feelings of worry
- increased irritability
- concentration difficulties
- sleep difficulties, such as problems in falling or staying asleep
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
Do I Have Anxiety and if So How Do I Treat It?
Working out if you have anxiety can be difficult. One of the main symptoms of anxiety is the tendency to worry and worrying about having anxiety can send you into a panic leading to an anxiety attack or worsening anxiety symptoms.
Medically there are a number of ways to help treat anxiety. These include taking anxiety medication, taking part in talking therapies such as counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy or psychotherapy.
You can also use self-help techniques to manage anxiety. These include learning to manage stress, breathing exercises, journaling, exercises to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, building a support network, and learning new ways to relax
In fact, there are lots of things you can do to help better manage anxiety including using essential oils and enjoying self care activities.
Essential Oils for Anxiety
Having personally experienced anxiety for a number of years I have slowly developed skills to help recognise and treat my symptoms. My favourite method for treating anxiety is to use essential oils. But what are the best essential oils for anxiety and how do you even use essential oils?
Today I will share with you what I have learnt and how essential oils can help the body to relax and become calmer during times of anxiety and stress.
What Is an Essential Oil and What Essential Oils Are Good for Anxiety?
Essential oils are compounds extracted from natural plants. The essential oil has a scent and flavour often referred to as an essence. Essential oils are captured through a distillation process and are used to practice aromatherapy.
Essential oils can help the body to calm down reducing anxiety symptoms, promoting feelings of peacefulness and relaxation.
How to Use Essential Oils for Anxiety
Essential oils can be used to help manage symptoms of anxiety by giving the body a feeling of reassurance and of being grounded.
One of my favourite essential oils for helping reduce feelings of anxiety is Lavender oil. However, do you know how to use lavender oil for anxiety and where to put essential oils for anxiety?
Topically essential oils such as Lavender can be applied to the skin to help promote feelings of calm. Many oils can be applied directly but it is beneficial to apply essential oils with a carrier oil.
How to Use Lavender Oil for Anxiety
- Apply Lavender Topically
The best place to apply essential oils is to the bottoms of the feet. This supports absorption through the skin to more effectively absorb essential oil compounds.
You can also apply oils to the head, temples and neck, to the back, stomach and pulse points. Try experimenting to find the best place to apply lavender and other essential oils for your anxiety symptoms.
The effect of the oil can be heightened if you massage it into the skin once applied. My daughter loved to have lavender massaged into her hands and it really does have a calming effect especially when she is more anxious than usual.
Smelling Lavender Aromatically
Lavender can be very therapeutic aromatically. I have always used lavender for my daughter ever since she was a baby as it helps promote a calming feeling.
One of my favourite ways to use Lavender in the home is to diffuse it in a diffuser. We have a Doterra flower petal diffuser which is amazing and leaves the room smelling wonderful as we sleep.
You can inhale lavender directly from the hands by placing a drop of essential oil onto the palm, rubbing your hands together and then cupping the hands over your nose whilst inhaling.
Lavender can also be added to a bath. Whilst you may want to add a drop to your bath, it is better to add lavender or any relaxing essential oil to bath salts first as oil and water do not mix very well and bath salts can help infuse the oil compound into your water much better.
We have a spray bottle, which is a mix of water and lavender and I often use this to spray the bedsheets, linen and pillows when I am feeling symptoms of anxiety. It helps me to feel much calmer and to fall asleep better.
Internal Use of Lavender
Lavender can be used internally in a safe way that will benefit the body. Essential oils can be ingested by placing a drop under the tongue, on the roof of the mouth or by adding the oil to food.
You can drop lavender into your hot water to create lavender tea. Our favourite way to use Lavender internally is to add it to melted dark chocolate. We make little lavender chocolate drops and they are great as a sweet treat in the evening before bedtime.
What Are the Best Essential Oils for Anxiety?
Whilst Lavender is a great essential oil for anxiety there are so many amazing natural essential oils and essential oil blends that can have a calming effect on the body. Some of my favourite include:
- Bergamot – Which helps reduce stress as well as improve skin conditions.
- Sandalwood – helps to calm nerves and helps with focus.
- Chamomile – This is great for improving mood and relaxation.
- Rose Oil – This helps promote calmness and reduce tension
- Ylang Ylang – An essential oil which a tropical sweet scent that is both calming and uplifting.
- Frankincense – This is the king of oils and can help boost mood and bring emotions into check.
- Geranium – Geranium is great for promoting positive thoughts and helping to feel calm.
- Vetiver – Known as the oil of tranquillity, this oil can help alleviate panic and stress.
Using Essential Oils Whilst Working Out Anxiety Triggers
When you suffer from anxiety, it may be useful to write down the things that are causing you to worry and stress. I like to diffuse calming essential oil blends in my oil diffuser whilst I write as it helps me to feel grounded and less stressed.
Everyone is different and different essential oils and techniques will work for treating your anxiety. Essential oils will work differently for each individual but the one thing that is sure is that taking action to help relax your body when feeling panicked and anxious will ultimately help you to develop techniques to become calm and better cope with the anxiety and stress you experience.
I love to use DoTerra Essential Oils. You can visit here to get a 25% discount on Doterra Essential Oils and products (wholesale price). I am a DoTerra Wellness Advocate, if you buy anything from the above link I may earn a small commission.
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About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!