Anxiety is a very common problem and many suffer from it, including me.
Anxiety is constantly there, even though I may appear outwardly calm. Any simple change in my daily schedule can cause stress or even panic. Social activities are especially difficult because I am anxious about what they entail. For many people, simple events like meeting for coffee are easy and carefree, but for someone with anxiety, it can be quite stressful.
Although prescribed medicines are effective in treating the condition, they can also have side effects such as:-
- Slowed reflexes
- Slurred speech
- Confusion and disorientation
- Impaired thinking and judgment
- Memory loss
- Blurred or double vision
Fortunately for me, the only side effects I have experienced from my medication are afternoon drowsiness and occasional light headedness. The drowsiness can be dealt with by going for a walk and a few slow breaths ease the dizziness. All good.
A lovely way to ease the anxious feelings though, is by using Essential Oils.
These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Essential Oils have been used for centuries to treat all manner of conditions.
There are many excellent brands of Essential Oils available today. This info-graphic from the Herbal Academy of New England shows what to think about when you are buying your oils.
Treating Anxiety with Essential Oils
While essential oils can be used topically, aromatherapy, or the inhaling of essential oils, is the most powerful way to treat anxiety.
Inhaling the fragrance of the oils sends signals to the limbic system of the brain which rules the emotions. The aromatherapy can therefore bring about a sense of peace, joy, contentment or excitement.
Besides triggering emotions, the limbic system is directly connected to the parts of the brain that control blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance. Feeding the limbic system with healing essential oils balances emotions and the functions that the limbic system controls.
Use an aromatherapy diffuser to spread the oil’s scent in the room or inhale by rubbing a few drops in your hands, rubbing them together to warm the oil and cupping your hands to your face.
Oil rollers are another way to carry the oils with you to apply to your wrist or temples.
A warm bath containing a few drops of essential oil is a delightful end of day ritual to encourage relaxation.
The Top 3 Oils for Easing Anxiety
- Lavender.Lavender aromatherapy has been shown to reduce serum cortisol. Serum Cortisol is a key player in the body’s response to stress.Lavender is great for relaxation, heart health and well-being in general. There are many studies proving the effectiveness of lavender on stress, depression and anxiety.
Bergamot is part of the citrus family and is fresh and uplifting. A study of teachers conducted using bergamot essential oil concluded that even ten minutes of weekly inhalation of bergamot oil resulted in a significant reduction of blood pressure and heart rate, while balancing nerves and reducing anxiety.
3. Clary Sage
Clary sage essential oil provides a clearing of the mind. It is known to make users feel uplifted and euphoric. Added to a warm bath or diffused before bed, it can calm and clear the mind. A research study in Korea found that Clary Sage oil has antidepressant-like effects useful after highly stressful situations and that may even be more powerful than lavender for anxiety treatment in women.
Besides being effective treatments for Anxiety, essential oils provide a wonderfully soothing atmosphere in your home.
Their uses are many; cleaning, soothing bruises, freshening your laundry, repelling insects, eliminating mould, freshening the refrigerator, and as aid to focus and concentration to name but a few.
Disclaimer: I am not a representative for any Essential Oil company.
Do you use Essential Oils? Have they proved beneficial for you? How do you use them?