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Relaxing Anxiety Essential Oils to Soothe Stress

In today’s world, it is difficult to avoid stress and anxiety. Both are ever present in everyday life, whether it be from relationships, finances, career, or health. If you don’t face and manage these sources of stress, you may find your overall health becoming compromised. This truth has inspired many people in their search for new ways to reduce the stress and anxiety in their lives. One of these ways is by using relaxing oils. These anxiety essential oils can encourage a sense of calm and lower stress and anxiety levels.

Understanding Stress and Anxiety

Relaxing essential oils for aromatherapyStress and anxiety affect everyone and there are numerous causes of stress. For starters, there are environmental stressors, which include stressors from your home, work, and community. You may also experience stress because of trauma or abuse. Major life events such as childbirth, marriage, or losing a family member can also trigger significant stress levels in the body.

When you get stressed, reactions occur throughout your body. This is a very familiar problem in the modern world and around 43 percent of adults in the US suffer from various health effects because of stress. This is why the use of anxiety essential oils have been on the rise recently.

Some common physical symptoms of chronic stress are:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Faintness, dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Neck ache, back pain, or muscle spasms.
  • Frequent infections
  • Stomach upsets
  • Sleep problems
  • Colds
  • Allergy attacks
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation or diarrhea.

Mental and Emotional Symptoms

When you’re anxious or stressed, you may feel as if something is not quite right mentally. You may have racing thoughts and concentration difficulties. You may become disorganized, forgetful, irritable, or confused.

As a result, your work productivity and efficiency may suffer. You may also have problems communicating when you’re under stress which will affect your work life and your personal life.

At the same time, your behavior may also be impacted by stress. Without realizing it, you may already be experiencing angry outbursts. You may have become socially withdrawn or have started abusing alcohol, drugs, and tobacco in an attempt to feel better or to numb yourself. The effects of anxiety depend on its severity. Some people feel restless, nervous, and irritable. You may also experience trouble sleeping or concentrating. In the case of extreme anxiety, the effects can be even worse. Some more frightening but common symptoms include chest pains, rapid breathing, palpitations, excessive perspiration, shortness of breath, trembling, numbness, and coldness. You may also experience an ongoing sense of doom or danger, making it difficult for your body to relax and settle down.

As you can see, stress and anxiety are very uncomfortable. They can also damage your health in the long term by causing your adrenal glands to become overworked. That’s why gentle and effective anti-stress strategies such as anxiety essential oils can be so valuable.

Stress, Anxiety, and Adrenal Health

The moment your body perceives a stressor, your brain sends a signal to your adrenal gland to start releasing epinephrine. Also known as adrenaline, this is a hormone that is released when you experience strong emotions such as anger or fear. It is also responsible for raising glucose levels in your blood while increasing your cardiac output.

Relaxing essential oils and epinephrineDuring times of acute stress, epinephrine stimulates the body to prepare for a flight-or-fight response. Once adrenaline kicks in, you may feel an increase in heart rate. Meanwhile, resources are moved to critical areas of your body while less important bodily functions are slowed down. At the same time, your pupils become dilated to give you improved vision. Essentially, this is how your body prepares itself to face danger.

Ideally, the adrenal glands should be given enough time to recover after every anxiety or stress episode. Unfortunately, when stress and anxiety are continuous, the adrenals glands become overworked.

As a result, you may suffer from an overproduction of hormones in your adrenal glands. This is how your body’s NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response gets disrupted. Because of this, your body becomes imbalanced, leading to all sorts of serious health problems. If the problem isn’t alleviated, your body becomes depleted of the hormones it needs to handle stress and anxiety. That’s why strategies that alleviate stress such as anxiety oils can be so valuable.

When Stress Leads to Adrenal Fatigue

When you’ve been stressed for a long time and your body has reached its maximum hormone production capacity, the supply begins to dwindle. This means that your body no longer has what it needs to fight off a stressor or source of anxiety. In other words, you feel weak and your adrenal hormones can no longer meet your body’s demands.

If nothing is done to mitigate the situation at this point, chronic stress can develop into Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). This comes with several health problems including an increased susceptibility to colds and infections because of a compromised immune system. At the same time, your tiredness may lead to fatigue and the breakdown of your muscles.

In some cases, adrenal fatigue can also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. The excess cortisol produced because of stress also causes an increase in blood pressure. In fact, studies show that as much as one-third of people suffering from hypertension also have significantly high cortisol levels in their body. AFS can also lead to truncal obesity, which puts you at higher risk of heart disease. Another study linked increased cortisol levels with higher risk for renovascular disease.

On the other hand, having low cortisol levels can be quite dangerous too. It can lead to low blood pressure, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and vomiting. Low cortisol levels have also been linked to sexual dysfunction and a host of reproductive problems including infertility.

How Anxiety Essential Oils can Reduce Stress

Many experts agree relaxing essential oils can be effective in helping bring down stress levels in the body and may even help relieve adrenal fatigue. The phytochemicals present in anxiety essential oils are similar to those present in many medications and may have a direct effect on the cells of the body.

How this works isn’t fully understood, but one study conducted by the Youngnam Foreign Language College in Gyeongsan, Korea found that anxiety oils resulted in lower stress levels among high school students. The same result was also achieved by a similar study conducted for an undergraduate thesis at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana.

One possible cause for this effect is due to the fact that some compounds found in certain anxiety essential oils are similar to cortisone. These may be able to help stimulate the cortex in the adrenal glands and encourage it to produce more cortisol. These anxiety oils may also mimic the action of cortisone by modulating the adrenal cortex activity.

How to Use Anxiety Oils

Essential oils are used in aromatherapy to help alleviate symptoms and encourage relaxation. You should never try to ingest these anxiety oils as there isn’t enough evidence to support this practice. You also need to be careful when buying essential oils. They should be therapeutic grade oils without synthetic fragrances. After all, it’s the smell that’s the most important part, so make sure you aren’t breathing in ‘fake’ smells.

Anxiety essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil before they’re applied to the skin to avoid irritation. Good carrier oils include coconut, almond, or jojoba oil. Mix one ounce of your chosen carrier oil with 15 drops of the essential oil you’ve chosen. These oils should not be used on children except with a medical professional’s supervision. You will also need to change the ratio of carrier oil to essential oil for children and use only 3-6 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

And then it’s time to decide which anxiety essential oils will work best for your body.

The Best Anxiety Essential Oils

These stress remedies using anxiety essential oils can be made at home. An aromatherapy regimen may have an excellent capacity for reducing stress and producing feelings of pleasure, which will enhance your health and quality of life further.

However, as with anything new you do for your body, it’s best to research thoroughly beforehand to make sure that any anxiety essential oil you use is safe. Some people can have allergic reactions to essential oils, greater sensitivity, or other reactions. If you experience any of these symptoms, then discontinue use of the anxiety oils immediately: pain, itchiness, rashes, hives, swelling or tenderness of the skin. And if you have preexisting conditions, it’s best to consult with a physician first before trying aromatherapy.

That said, here are some effective anxiety essential oils you can try out today:

Lavender Essential Oil

Relaxing essential oils: Lavender oilLavender has long been known for its curative and therapeutic effects. In fact, according to one study, lavender oil can be an effective mood stabilizer as well as a sedative.

Both rosemary and lavender essential oil can make a relaxing blend. One study done by Meikai University in Japan found that combining these can lead to a decrease in cortisol, which helps protect the body from oxidative stress.

When blending anxiety essential oils together, it’s always best to start with a 1:1 ratio first. You can make adjustments later on depending on the kind of scent that works best for you.

Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot essential oil has long been known to be a great mood improver. A study conducted by several medical and educational institutions in Taiwan found that patients who underwent aromatherapy using bergamot essential oil had a significant reduction in preoperative anxiety levels. In addition, an animal study also found that bergamot effectively reduced the corticosterone response to stress.

Orange Essential Oil

Relaxing essential oils: Orange essential oilOther citrus scents such as orange essential oil has also been known to help ease various anxiety symptoms. In fact, one study conducted by institutions in Iran found that orange essential oils can significantly reduce a child’s anxiety before undergoing dental procedures.

Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine oil has traditionally been used for various problems, including low libido, insomnia, and depression. A study conducted by the Chia-Nan University of Pharmacy and Science in Taiwan found that inhaling jasmine essential oil can help people become more relaxed, lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Another study conducted by Mahidol University and Srinakharinwirot University in Thailand found increased feelings of activeness, romance, and well-being after inhaling jasmine oil.

Rose Essential Oil

Rose essential oil is one of the most effective anxiety essential oils. It’s said to be effective in promoting peace and calm from within. One study done by Srinakharinwirot University found that inhaling rose oil resulted in a lower breathing rate, reduced systolic blood pressure, and better blood oxygen saturation. Another study conducted by Birjand University of Medical Sciences and Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences in Iran found that rose water aromatherapy helped reduce anxiety among hemodialysis patients.

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Relaxing essential oils: Sandalwood oilSandalwood essential oil is an excellent way to calm yourself down. According to a study done by Thames Valley University in the U.K., this oil was especially effective in reducing anxiety levels among palliative care patients. Another study found that sandalwood essential oil can help decrease blood pressure, further indicating reduced stress levels among participants. In addition, it was also found that sandalwood essential oil can increase your alertness levels.

Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile essential oil has long been known for its sedating and relaxing properties. Its scent is also quite appealing, making it a popular choice for massage therapy. According to research, this oil has anti-anxiety benefits, helping relieve stress while calming an overactive mind. In fact, it is also a popular natural remedy for insomnia and headaches.

The Takeaway

Any of these anxiety essential oils can help you fight off stress and anxiety. As you become calmer, you will probably notice that your stressful thoughts and feelings begin to fade. These oils may also improve your energy levels, give you more drive, and encourage you to rest when you need it. Here’s how to get started with aromatherapy oils:

  1. Make sure you visit a medical professional first to ensure that your symptoms aren’t indications of something more serious.
  2. Talk to your doctor about whether essential oils could cause problems with any existing health conditions you have.
  3. Buy a good quality carrier oil and try some oils such as lavender, chamomile, rose, or jasmine.

If you struggle with anxiety as part of AFS then, contact our team on +1-626-571-1234. You can also use the Ask The Doctor system to ask a question by clicking here.

 
© Copyright 2020 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Lam's Key Question

Over the years, various studies and medical research have shed light on the calming effects of relaxing essential oils. When used in aromatherapy, these can help significantly bring down both stress and anxiety levels. They are also effective in helping to prevent adrenal fatigue.

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