Even if you're not normally an anxious person, most likely there are times you'd benefit from some calming essential oils. Readers of this blog probably already know how helpful some essential oils can be for soothing anxiety, but in case you're new to aromatherapy, consider this:
A 2011 study reported that schoolteachers working in a high-stress environment who used a bergamot essential oil spray experienced marketed changes to their symptoms. Stress and blood pressure reduced, work-life balance was enhanced and they felt a lot better after simply using a bergamot spray! Check out the study to get the full details.
Here are some other evidence based tips from ourfriends at AnnmarieGianni.com….
According to an article in Today, as many as 117 million adults in the U.S. report high levels of anxiety. In fact, prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications grew 16 percent between 2002 and 2006. It's no mystery that our modern-day lifestyles are contributing to this increase in chronic anxiety that we're seeing.
There's no shortage of research out there to support the amazing benefits of calming essential oils. In the sources section at the bottom you'll find several studies that present some of the science behind the ‘magic' of essential oils.
Today we have 5 calming essential oils that calm the mind and promote peace.
1. Lavender – Calming Essential Oils For a Clear Mind
You may already love lavender's light floral fragrance. And it's no wonder because its benefits are abundant. Among lavender's many offerings is its proven calming effect.
Though lavender helps people get to sleep, it usually doesn't have unwanted sedative effects if ingested. (source) This makes it perfect if you want to go into your day with a calm and clear mind. If inhaled, it has minor sedative effects and we recommend putting some lavender in your diffuser while you get ready in the morning or even using a lavender water spray to scent your clothing if you're anticipating a stressful day or drive to the office.
Even better: try lavender oil in a massage for double the benefits. Some studies have shown that massage with lavender oil seems to reduce stress more than massage alone.
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2. Frankincense – Calming Essential Oils For Emotional Well Being
Frankincense has had its moments in history, but it's certainly not a thing of the past.
Just back in 2008, a study looked at the areas of the brain affected by frankincense, which is the resin from the Boswellia plant. Their research found that when frankincense incense was burning, it seemed to have an effect on the areas of the brain involved in emotions.
Indeed, frankincense is one of the popular calming essential oils for easing tension and relieving anxiety. It's said to create a sense of euphoria when used as incense, but you can also add 5-6 drops in your diffuser, or simply add a bit to a pan of boiling water and then inhale the steam.
3. Peru Balsam – Calming Essential Oils For Comfort
This oil comes from an evergreen tree native to Central America. It's said to be extremely uplifting and refreshing, helping to improve your mood while calming you down at the same time.
With an aroma somewhat similar to cinnamon and vanilla with a twist of clove, Peru balsam has been found in some studies to help boost the immune system, and to help speed up the healing of burns when applied topically. It's also effective against bedsores, eczema, and chapped skin. (Always test on a small area first—this oil can cause skin reactions in some people.)
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4. Cedarwood – Calming Essential Oils To Wind Down at Night
You may have heard that cedarwood makes a great natural insecticide, so it may seem strange to see it listed here, as an anti-anxiety oil, but that's the wonder of nature! This oil is considered an excellent sedative, something that can help calm you down when you're feeling anxious and stressed.
Many herbal practitioners recommend this one to help cure insomnia, since it can enhance relaxation before sleep. That may be because it's a good source of “sesquiterpenes,” compounds we know help stimulate the brain, elevate mood, and encourage relaxation.
To help yourself slip into sleep, add just a drop of cedarwood oil to a carrier oil that works for your particular skin type. Massage your cheek bones, between your eye brows, and the sides of your temples. This is also a fun thing to do with a partner. You'll be gliding into dreamland in no time.
5. Vetiver – Calming Essential Oils To Ease Restlessness
This oil comes from a perennial grass native to India that has tall stems and long leaves, with brownish-purple flowers. The oil is actually distilled from the plant's roots, and has a strong, woody aroma.
This oil is a star when it comes to relieving anxiety. It's been studied as recently as 2015, when researches compared it with the anxiety drug diazepam. Results showed that both the medication and the oil helped reduce anxiety.
Similar to cedarwood, vetiver is very high in sesquiterpenes. In a study led by Terry Friedmann in 2001, children's behavior was measured before and after a 30 day period during which they smelled a certain essential oil three times a day -either cedarwood, vetiver, or lavender. By the end of the 30 days, significant behavior improvements were seen in the groups that were smelling vetiver and cedar, the two essential oils that are both high in sesquiterpenes.
In fact, herbalists recommend combining vetiver with cedar wood and even a little juniper to calm restless anxiety and ease symptoms like unease, a racing heartbeat, and a lump in the throat.
We recommend using vetiver at work to help you relax while also being productive.
Do you use aromatherapy with one of the calming essential oils to keep yourself calm? Please share any tips you may have with our readers.
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- Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine – Aromatherapy Benefits Autonomic Nervous System Regulation for Elementary School Faculty in Taiwan
- Phytomedicine – A Multi-center, Double-blind, Randomised Study of the Lavender Oil Preparation Silexan in Comparison to Lorazepam for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- University of Maryland Medical Center- Lavender
- The FASEB Journal – Incensole Acetate, an Incense Component, Elicits Psychoactivity by Activating TRPV3 Channels in the Brain
- Terry S. Friedmann – Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Natural Product Research – Anxiety-like behaviour and C-fos Expression in Rats that Inhaled Vetiver Essential Oil