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Essential Oils and Anxiety: Aromatherapy to Relax the Nervous System

by Freya Parker
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Anxiety is a widespread mental health issue that impacts millions of individuals globally. It can take many different forms, including panic disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and particular phobias. Although there are medications that can be used to address symptoms, many people look for non-pharmaceutical solutions. The use of essential oils in aromatherapy, in particular, has grown in popularity as a natural method of reducing anxiety and encouraging relaxation. In this piece, we investigate the connection between anxiety and essential oils, looking at how well they work to soothe the nervous system and enhance general wellbeing.

Knowing About Anxiety

It’s important to comprehend the nature of anxiety before exploring the potential advantages of essential oils for this mental health issue. Anxiety is characterized by a spectrum of emotions, including worry, fear, and uneasiness. While it’s common to occasionally feel anxious in reaction to stressful events, persistent anxiety can have a major negative influence on day-to-day activities and overall quality of life.

Typical signs of anxiousness include:

Overly concerned

Feeling agitated or irritable

inability to concentrate

Tension in the muscles


disruptions to sleep

Attacks of panic

In addition to impairing immune system function, digestive disorders, and elevated blood pressure, chronic anxiety can also cause numerous health concerns.

Essential oils and aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a holistic approach to healing that makes use of essential oils, which are the fragrant molecules found in plants, to support mental, emotional, and physical health. Essential oils are extracted using techniques like distillation or cold pressing from a variety of plant parts, such as flowers, leaves, bark, and roots. Concentrated plant components with medicinal qualities are present in these oils.

Essential oils have the ability to affect the limbic system, which is involved in emotions, memory, and arousal, whether they are applied topically or breathed. Numerous physiological reactions, including those related to relaxation, stress reduction, and mood enhancement, might be triggered by this interaction. Furthermore, research has been done on the possible anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties of several essential oils.

Essential Oils for Reducing Anxiety

Many essential oils are now well known for their ability to reduce anxiety and promote calmness. Incorporating essential oils into your self-care routine may help reduce anxiety symptoms and foster a sense of calm, but individual responses may differ. The following are a few of the most widely utilized essential oils to reduce anxiety:


Probably one of the most well-known essential oils for stress relief and relaxation is lavender. It has been demonstrated to lower anxiety levels and enhance the quality of sleep. Calming and relaxing effects can be achieved by applying diluted lavender oil topically or by inhaling the oil.


The essential oil of chamomile, which is derived from the plant’s flowers, is highly valued for its calming characteristics. It is helpful for lowering anxiety and fostering relaxation since it includes substances with sedative and anxiolytic properties.

The peel of the bergamot orange is used to make bergamot essential oil, which is prized for its energizing citrus aroma. According to studies, bergamot oil inhalation may lessen anxiety and elevate mood by influencing the brain’s neurotransmitter activity.

Ylang Ylang:

 This essential oil is highly regarded for its ability to relax and elevate mood. It has a sweet, flowery scent. When diffused or applied topically, it can aid in reducing sensations of tension, worry, and anxiety.


Due to its relaxing and grounding qualities, frankincense essential oil has been utilized in traditional medical practices for generations. When used in aromatherapy, it can boost spiritual well-being, reduce anxiety, and encourage relaxation.


Rose essential oil is highly valued for its beautiful scent and psychological advantages. It is extracted from rose petals. Rose oil inhalation has been shown to improve mood, lower anxiety, and encourage acceptance and self-love.


The rich, earthy aroma of vetiver essential oil, which is derived from the plant’s roots, is calming and grounding. When diffused or applied topically, it can aid in the reduction of anxiety, uneasiness, and overwhelm emotions.

How to Safely Use Essential Oils

While using essential oils therapeutically can help reduce anxiety, it’s important to use them carefully to prevent negative side effects. The following advice can help you use essential oils sensibly and effectively:

Essential oil dilution: 

Due to their high concentration, most essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil (such sweet almond or coconut oil) before being used topically. Use 1-3 drops of essential oil for every teaspoon of carrier oil as a general guideline.

Before using a new essential oil, conduct a patch test. Apply a little amount to a discrete region of the skin, then wait a day to see if there are any negative reactions.

When using essential oils around children or during pregnancy, exercise caution as some may not be suitable for use around small children. Prior to using essential oils in these groups, always get medical advice.

Steer clear of ingesting essential oils: 

Unless directed by a licensed healthcare professional, ingesting essential oils can be harmful.

Essential oils should be kept out of direct sunlight and heat in a cool, dark place to maintain their potency and quality.

Including Aromatherapy in Your Daily Activities

Aromatherapy can be incorporated into your everyday routine in a number of ways to help you relax and feel less anxious. Here are some recommendations:


To spread the scent of the essential oil of your choice throughout your home, use an essential oil diffuser. This can help reduce anxiety and create a peaceful environment.


Take a few deep breaths after adding a few drops of essential oil to a cotton ball or tissue. Alternatively, you can inhale the steam by adding a few drops to a bowl of hot water.

Topical application: 

.Apply essential oils to pulse spots on the body, such as the neck, wrists, and temples, after diluting them with a carrier oil. To encourage relaxation, you can also massage the oil into stiff body parts.


To unwind the body and mind, add a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath and soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meditation and mindfulness: 

Apply or diffuse essential oils topically prior to starting your meditation or mindfulness practice to include them into your routine.

In summary

The quality of life can be greatly impacted by anxiety, but there are natural ways to manage the symptoms and encourage relaxation, such aromatherapy with essential oils. People can safely and effectively boost their mental and emotional well-being by utilizing the therapeutic characteristics of specific essential oils. But it’s important to use essential oils sensibly, and if you have any worries or pre-existing medical disorders, get professional advice. When used appropriately, aromatherapy can help reduce anxiety and promote balance and serenity in day-to-day activities.

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