Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or just can’t deal? Essential oils can help. Here’s a list of the 10 Best Essential Oils for Stress.
Many people spend lots of time and money eating a healthy diet, taking all the right supplements, and getting enough exercise – all in the name of becoming healthy. But one thing that doesn’t get the energy that it deserves is stress management.
It is now becoming the norm for people to walk around feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, and totally frazzled. With our impossibly busy schedules, stressful jobs, financial worries, daily car commutes, and the non-stop stimulation from media, our bodies and our adrenals are feeling it.
No mater how well you eat, how many awesome supplements you take, or how much you exercise, if you are not managing your stress levels, you are putting yourself at increased risk for chronic and degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease, autoimmune issues, thyroid problems, and diabetes.
What is Stress?
Stress is your body’s response to anything that disrupts your normal life and routines- meaning anything that throws you off balance. When our bodies get off balance, disease occurs.
The effects of stress can be emotional, psychological, and physical. Irritability, depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate, sleep issues, problems with memory, digestive issues, headaches, and sugar/caffeine cravings have all been linked to stress. And living with chronic stress can lead to a whole host of chronic health issues that are making us sicker and sicker as a culture.
How to Manage Stress
There are many areas in our lives where we can reduce and manage stress. Here’s a few questions to think about:
- How can I avoid unnecessary stress in my life?
- Can I set limits by saying “no!”?
- Can I avoid people and situations that stress me out?
- Can I limit media and stimulation, especially in the evening?
- Can I let go of my strong opinions and just go with the flow?
- Can I practice acceptance for the way things are?
- Are there lifestyle changes I can make to feel better- like exercise, better food, less sugar?
- Can I get more organized with my time by getting important things done first and not stressing about the rest?
- Are there other physiological factors that are causing stress in my body like food allergies/intolerances (gluten!), anemia, thyroid issues, essential fatty acid deficiencies, and environmental toxins?
- Can I cultivate the attitude of gratitude in my life. I have found it impossible to be unhappy when I feel grateful.
Stress is very individual for each and every one of us. I highly recommend that we all take a look at our lives to see where we can make a few little tweaks and changes to decrease the stress we feel on a daily basis.
For me personally, it has meant making a major career change, making my family a priority, sleeping more, more yoga, and getting out and having more fun. I have also started using high quality essential oils to help with stress management. Now I use them on a daily basis. They have become a wonderful, fragrant, and effective way for me to manage my stress.
How to Use Essential Oils for Stress:
Essential oils can be used both topically and through inhalation to manage stress.
- The easiest way to receive the benefits of essential oils is through diffusing them. I have a cute little home diffuser that came with my starter kit from Young Living Essential Oils. I also like THIS home diffuser. It disperses the essential oils molecules into the air and allows you to inhale them. The molecules of the essential oils are so small that they easily enter the olfactory nerves inside of your nose and into the limbic system, which is the seat of emotions in the body. Diffuse oils 30-60 minutes to manage stress.
- If you do not have a diffuser, you can place a drop or 2 of essential oil in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, cup them around your nose and inhale deeply. Do this for several minutes. I have found this an effective way to use many of my essential oils.
- You can also rub 1-2 drops of essential oils on the bottoms of your feet, shoulders, back of your neck or stomach. I often use a bit of carrier oil like coconut or jojoba to help it spread.
- Mix 3-6 drops of essential oil with Epsom salt or baking soda and add to a hot bath water while tub is filling. Soak in bath for 20-30 minutes.
- Rub 1-2 drops on the temples and back of neck several times a day. You can easily make a personal roller to take with you on the go by adding 2 tsp of carrier oil and 2-6 drops of your favorite stress oil to a glass perfume roller. Apply in the car, at the office, or when your kids are driving you crazy.
- Place a warm compress with 1-2 drops of chosen oil on the back.
A word about quality:
Please note that I am only talking about 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. Only about 2% of essential oils sold are considered therapeutic grade. There is no standard for essential oils, and so many of the oils you find may be adulterated and can actually contain harmful ingredients.
My essential oil of choice is Young Living Essential Oils. They own their farms and they run a very tight supply chain. I trust their essential oils above all others because they are pure and unadulterated and are manufactured for therapeutic use not just for smell.
I am a wholesale member, meaning that I save 24% on all of my essential oils. Read more here about why I choose Young Living.
10 Best Essential Oils for Stress
Lavender has a fresh, sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that is soothing and refreshing. It is very calming and can be good for nervous feelings. Lavender is an adaptogen, and therefore can assist the body when adapting to stress or imbalances. It is a great aid for relaxing and winding down before bedtime, yet has balancing properties that can also boost stamina and energy.
Cedarwood has a warm, balsamic, woody aroma. It is relaxing and soothing and allows the brain to stop processing. Cedarwood can be helpful in improving focus and concentration.
Valerian has been used for thousands of years for its calming, grounding, and emotionally balancing influences. During the last three decades, it has been clinically investigated for its relaxing properties. Researchers have pinpointed the sesquiterpenes, valerenic acid, and valerone as the active constituents that exert a calming and restorative effect on the central nervous system. It is calming to the nervous system and helps with restlessness.
4. Roman Chamomile:
Roman Chamomile has a warm, sweet, herbaceous scent that is relaxing and calming for both mind and body. Its gentleness makes it especially valuable for restless children.
5. Stress Away:
Stress Away is a blend of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Lime, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender. It brings feelings of peace and tranquility and helps to relive daily stress and anxious feelings. It also promotes relaxation and restores equilibrium.
6. Peace and Calming:
Peace and Calming is a blend of Blue Tansy, Patchouli, Tangerine, Orange, and Ylang Ylang. It promotes relaxation and a deep sense of peace and emotional well-being. It can also helps release negative emotions. This blend is particularly wonderful for children
Orange lifts the spirit while providing a calming influence on the body. It brings peace and happiness to the mind. It is rich in the powerful antioxidant d-limonene and aids in maintaining normal cellular regeneration.
8. Ylang Ylang:
Ylang Ylang has a sweet, soft, flowery fragrance. It is extremely effective in calming and bringing about a sense of relaxation, and it may help with releasing feelings of anger, tension, and nervous irritability.
Vetiver relaxes the nervous system and helps with overstimulation. It is psychologically grounding, calming, and stabilizing.
10. Idaho Balsam Fir:
Idaho Balsam Fir has a warm aroma that soothes and rejuvenates body and mind. It is believed to create an uplifting sense of well-being and calms irritability and restlessness.
Many of these oils can be helpful to improve quality of sleep. Be sure to check out my post on 9 Best Essential Oils for Sleep.