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.
Even if you’re not normally an anxious person, likely there are times you’d benefit from something calming. 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 measurable changes to their symptoms.Check out the study to get the full details.
There’s no shortage of research out there to support the amazing benfits of essential oils. In the sources section below you’ll find several studies that present some of the science behind the ‘magic’ of essential oils.
Today we have 5 essential oils that calm the mind and promote peace.
1. Lavender – 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 doesn’t have a sedative effect. This makes it perfect if you want to go into your day with a calm and clear mind. 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.
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.
2. Frankincense – 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 a popular oil for easing tension and relieving anxiety. It’s said to create a sense of euphoria when used as incense, but you can also add two-three drops in your vaporizer, or simply add a bit to a pan of boiling water and then inhale the steam.
3. Peru Balsam – 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.)
4. Cedar Wood – To Wind Down at Night.
You may have heard that cedar wood 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 cedar wood 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 – 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 cedar wood, 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 cedar wood, 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.