Essential Oil Blend For Anxiety
When we think about stress, we tend to associate it with negative experiences and emotions, but stress is actually a completely natural and healthy phenomenon that is part of our animal instincts. This biological function is what drives us to accomplish tasks, respond to potential danger, and generally change our circumstances and adapt for the better.
While stress and anxiety are largely related, anxiety is far more detrimental to our overall health and wellbeing. Stress may cause us short-term discomfort, but anxiety refers to the feelings of worry and panic that are disproportionate in relation to the stressor and often fail to subside after the stress or threat has dissipated. The anxious brain is in a long-lasting state of fight or flight mode, leaving us on edge with little or no reason or means of relief.
Many of us will experience anxiety or stress at some time in our lives, however, those suffering from anxiety disorders tend to experience it on a level that has a significant detrimental impact on their daily activities, relationships, and lives. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety are diagnosed and treated medically, along with other mental illnesses that can trigger anxiety such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalized phobia. Anxiety can occur without known factors, or it can be a result of traumatic events, genetics, or brain chemistry.
The effects of anxiety manifest themselves both physically and psychologically. Excessive feelings of tension or fear, panic attacks, sleep interference, shortness of breath, racing heart, dizziness, fatigue, muscle aches and pains, and gastrointestinal issues are among the most common symptoms, and if left unchecked, anxiety and prolonged stress can do great harm to our mental and physical state.
Why Is Anxiety So Prevalent Today?
According to an evaluation of federal health data, it is estimated that 8.3 million Americans suffer from anxiety, and anxiety disorders are the most commonly reported types of mental illness. Why is this? While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason behind this anxiety epidemic, there are many possible factors.
Our awareness of the presence of mental illness, specifically anxiety has significantly increased, but does this mean that we are simply more tuned in to this reality? Not necessarily. It is hard to argue with the fact that mental illness and anxiety disorders are on the rise, yet treatment options and access to care are becoming more and more limited. Budget cuts in the mental health care system are leaving those suffering from anxiety without the healthcare they need. According to recent data, nearly one in ten mentally ill Americans do not have access to medical and psychiatric care.
Aside from the lack of viable treatment options, there are other aspects of our modern society that contribute to daily stress and the increased rates of reported anxiety. As we retreat from holistic healthcare practices and self-care measures, and are faced with more stress than ever before, we turn to pharmaceutical treatments that are often expensive, difficult to access, have long-term negative side effects, and ultimately focus on treating the symptoms of anxiety rather than underlying causes.
Within the rapidly growing realm of modern technology, are we less connected socially and as a community than ever before? Do we rely heavily on social media and other forms of digital communication, leaving us socially awkward and unable to rely on the subtleties of face to face interaction, such as body language, to cue us into social awareness? In the digital age, our consciousness is constantly flooded with ideas of how we should dress, act, behave, what we should eat, etc.
With so much constant external stimulus, does it become more difficult for us to unplug and reset? Are people uncomfortable with the thought of complete alone time, free of digital distraction? Is there pressure and stress upon us to succeed in every aspect of our lives, and we are less and less satisfied by simply getting by? While those before us felt comforted by the idea of simple living (a home, a family, and a decent job) do we find these concepts insufficient and we torture ourselves for financial luxury? All of this could be adding to the stress and anxiety that seems to be on the increase in today’s world.
How Do Essential Oils Work To Treat Anxiety?
For centuries, the use of aromatherapy and essential oils in treating physical and psychological ailments has been seen as a powerful, natural, and holistic approach to wellbeing. Using an essential oil blend for anxiety is not a new practice, but an ancient one. So what exactly is an essential oil blend for anxiety, and why are they so effective?
Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts from the roots, seeds, leaves, or flowers of plants with known medicinal properties. Studies have theorized that essential oils work by utilizing the relationship between the sense of smell and the brain; scent receptors send messages to the limbic system (the part of the brain that deals with basic emotions) by way of the olfactory nerve. This interaction stimulates the production of chemicals in our brain that affects our mood.
To understand how powerful this process is, consider the way that certain smells conjure up memories. For example, a quick whiff of a specific laundry detergent that was used in your childhood home can bring back a wave of nostalgia and familiarity.
Many researchers have studied the incredible benefits of essential oils for anxiety. In a study regarding the use of alternative and complementary medicine including essential oils used to treat stress and anxiety, it was found that patients treated with lavender essential oil reported significant improvements in their symptoms, including less sleep interference, reduced stress, and an overall higher quality of life. Many of these studies have concluded that essential oils can reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) and stimulate the production of feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain.
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, there is no prescription needed for an essential oil blend for anxiety, and they can generally be used safely with less harmful and long-term side effects. Because they are so widely available and easily accessible and can be integrated into a virtually limitless number of self-care regimens, essential oils are an ideal remedy for reducing stress and eliminating anxiety.
Best Essential Oil Blend For Anxiety And Stress
There are a wide variety of essential oils on the market that are known to reduce the effects of anxiety and provide feelings of comfort, relaxation, and many other benefits. These essential oils can be used alone or as an essential oil blend for anxiety to achieve maximum efficiency.
Lavender essential oil is a powerful adaptogen, meaning it easily adapts to any mood depending on its intended use. Its gentle, floral scent and mild properties can reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and insomnia, and improve concentration.
The uplifting, citrusy scent of Lemon oil helps promote positive energy, lift spirits, and stimulate the senses.
Mandarin essential oil is shown to improve mood and provide calm energy. In a study conducted at Mei University, it was found that subjects using orange oil were able to reduce antidepressant use.
The woody, earthy fragrance of Sandalwood oil can be grounding, helping to combat stress, balance emotions and offer a stable mindset.
A popular, natural antidepressant, Clary sage has been proven to influence dopamine levels in the brain for an overall good feeling.
Researchers have found Ylang Ylang essential oil to be as effective as Valium in reducing stress, and to be particularly effective at relieving insomnia.
Frankincense essential oil, one of the most commonly used oils throughout history, is rich in sesquiterpenes (molecular structures that travel quickly through the blood-brain barrier) and offers mild sedative properties to quiet and calm nerves.
There are a number of ways to create an essential oil blend for anxiety that contain combinations of these oils. If you wish you can easily purchase these essential oils for anxiety and blend them yourself at home.
How To Use Essential Oils To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Because there are so many methods for integrating essential oils into your daily routine, they are a must-have staple in any home. All of these oils can be enjoyed through inhalation. Simply add a few drops to a damp washcloth and hold it over your nose and mouth, or place directly in a bowl of warm water and breathe in slowly.
Any oil can also be added to a hot bath, or into a diffuser in the most frequented rooms in your home. Additionally, they can be added to water and poured into a spray bottle, and used to mist sheets, curtains, area rugs, or directly into the air. Because many of these oils have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, they can be used in DIY cleaning products and sprayed onto countertops and other surfaces. Some can even be administered orally or applied directly to the skin, however, it is important to research which specific oils are recommended for this type of use.
What To Look For When Buying Essential Oils
Because not all essential oils are created equal, it is imperative that you purchase a high-quality oil from a reputable retailer if you intend on using them for treating anxiety. While shopping for essential oils, there are several distinguishing features to look for. First, be sure that you are buying 100% pure essential oil with the proper scientific name listed on the bottle.
Quality essential oils are definitely not inexpensive, and they vary in price depending on the type of oil. Organic oils are often intended for medicinal use, while fragrance oils are simply used for their scent. A high-quality organic oil will be free of additives, toxins, and synthetic ingredients, reducing the possibility of negative side effects.
Finally, look for oils packaged in dark-colored, glass bottles. Clear glass bottles are an indicator of poor quality, as are plastic ones. Plastic bottles or bottles with included plastic droppers can quickly degrade if the oil is concentrated enough, leaving harmful chemicals behind.
Side Effects And Warnings
Before treating anxiety at home, it is important to check with your healthcare provider. While essential oils can be extremely beneficial, they are not without their own list of side effects and cautionary measures. If you are taking any medications or supplements, be sure to research which essential oils may have negative interactions. Never ingest an essential oil unless it is specifically designed for this purpose (GRAS), and check beforehand on appropriate doses.
When using essential oils on your skin, always dilute them with a carrier oil such as jojoba, almond, coconut oil or olive oil to avoid skin irritation. If irritation does occur, cease use immediately. Finally, take some time to familiarize yourself with which essential oils are pet safe and child-friendly, and use discretion when diffusing or adding these oils to household products. Before using any essential oil, take some time to learn everything you can about proper usage and possible side effects.
Find The Essential Oil That Works For You
If you’re ready to take control of your health and emotional state by using essential oil to reduce anxiety and stress, get ready to harness the power of nature and the wisdom of ancient practices. By finding an essential oil blend for anxiety that works best for you, you have the ability to be proactive about your physical and mental health while embracing holistic treatment. Essential oils can help you combat stress and anxiety while reducing fatigue and increasing energy in order to be the best you.