This article on the best essential oils for anxiety is brought to you through a partnership with Goddess Garden. I’m sharing tips on what is working for my anxiety and stress reduction. All opinions are my own.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an intense and excessive worry and/or fear about everyday situations. Everyone worries. Worry can actually to helpful to push you to do better. However, anxiety is very different. It's a constant worry that is difficult to turn off. Here's an example.
“Where is that?”
“How far away is that from my house? With traffic, how long will it take to get there?”
“Is there someone there that is expecting me to get there? Will they notice if I don’t get there? What if I can’t make it there? What if I have a panic attack while I’m trying to get there? What happens if I get stuck and no one can come get me? What happens if I get into a wreck? Who will get the kids from school?”
“I need to calm down. I need to remain calm! Why can’t I calm down? I need to get there. Why can’t I stop and get out of my head!………”
Let me get personal with y’all for just a second. This internal dialogue goes through my head most times I think about driving somewhere. I suffer from anxiety; this intense, and excessive worry and/or fear about everyday situations. Specifically, I have generalized anxiety disorder with stressors related to driving a car with my children and traveling with them or solo.
Up until now, only my close friends and family know this about me. “I suffer from Anxiety.” There I said it! Those few words are really hard to say because it’s embarrassing, extremely personal, not the image of strong person I want to portray. As a travel blogger, I travel for a living but I’m afraid to drive in areas that are unfamiliar to me. Just the thought of driving sends me reeling. The anxiety/fear of getting “stuck” somewhere got so intense that I’d suffer a panic attack. This anxiety/fear often resulted in me refusing to leave the house.
After seeking treatment for my anxiety, I learned that I was not alone. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 40 million adults in the US ages 18+ are affected by an anxiety disorder. There are a number of treatments available that help people with anxiety including therapy, chiropractic care, medications, yoga, meditation, and the use of essential oils.
How Can Essentials Oils Help Anxiety?
Our sense of smell is the strongest sense we have. When we inhale, olfactory nerve cells at the top of the nasal cavity send signals to the brain. This area of the brain is the same region responsible for memory formation and mood. If you consider some of your fondest memories, you can probably remember a smell associated with that: your grandmother’s perfume, the smell of cinnamon walking down Main Street at Disneyland, the salt air at the beach, etc. It’s all tied together. Smells affect your memories and mood.
Essential oils also directly affect the body. When we breathe in an essential oil scent/vapor, the particles enter our lungs and transfer directly into the bloodstream. If you apply an oil directly to the skin, the oil is absorbed and transferred into the bloodstream that way. While in the blood, the oil’s properties can impact the endocrine system which regulates your hormones.
Essential oils are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Therefor, it’s important to understand where ingredients are sourced to avoid toxins. More attention is being paid to this since Hawaii officially banned chemical sunscreens oxybenzone and octinoxate in the summer of 2018. It shed a light on the need to clearly identify ingredients as they could have a harmful effect on people and the environment. With the case of chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone, research has shown it kills coral reefs and make them more susceptible to other environmental stressors. For more information, read this article from Goddess Garden, What Is Octinoxate and Is it Safe in Sunscreen?
Unfortunately, oxybenzone is used in more than just sunscreen. It is also used in nail polish, hair spray and cosmetics as a photostabilizer. It can also sometimes show up in fragrances where it won’t be listed among the ingredients because fragrance ingredients aren’t required to be disclosed. One way to ensure that the products/essential oils you are using are pure is my using those that are certified organic. With that certification, you know that the oils are not contaminated with chemical additives and are pure.
Best Essential Oils for Anxiety
When looking for the best essential oils for anxiety or other ailments, look for a brand offering certified organic products. I am using the new line of oils from Goddess Garden. At first they only offered diffuser jewelry and a limited offering of oils. But now, they offer a wide variety of oils including these recommended for calming and relief of anxiety. I like to diffuse them directly into the air, but you can always dilute with a carrier oil into a roll on.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is calming and helps one mellow out. It relaxes muscles, lowers cortisol levels, and lowers blood pressure. Plus it can help you sleep. Try adding a few drops directly into a hot bath with some epson salt for a great stress reliever.
Chamomile Essential Oil
A hot cup of Chamomile tea has been my go-to for relaxation for years. Chamomile essential oil has a similar effect for general calming and relaxation.
Sage Essential Oil
This earthy scent reminds one of a great Italian meal. Sage us available in several forms, but they all help with hormonal balance and has been shown to reduce cortisol levels.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon oil is a natural and effective cleanser which is why it’s in many households natural cleaners. It’s anti-bacterial properties purify the air but also lift your spirits. It’s bright and uplifting like a new day.
Goddess Garden created this blend with bergamont, lemon, and white grapefruit which does a great job to relieve anxiety. Bergamont's bright citrus scent, ike other citrus oils like lemon, grapefruit, and orange, has been found to improve mood and relieve anxiety.
Clove Bud Essential Oil
Clove bud isn’t an oil normally thought of as having a calming effect. It is effective as a memory boost with its warm scent that reminds me of fall. That warm feeling helps me stay calm and grounded when I need it.
Those are 6 of the best essential oils for anxiety that I have found. There are other oils out there like vetiver and ylang ylang that do work. I just am not a fan of the scents. For all purpose essential oils, I really like the Goddess Garden Story Starter Kit. This kit gets you started with Rosemary, Lemon, Clove, and Eucalyptus Radiata essential oils. I love their products and recommend them to all my friends and family. If you haven't already made the switch to a mineral sunscreen, I urge you to do it now for your health and that of the environment.
If you suffer from anxiety, always check with your doctor first to see what treatment plan is right for you. For me, together with regular exercise, therapy, and these essential oils have helped me reduce the occurrence of worry and allow me to do more.