Essential Oils for Anxiety, Depression & Stress…Aromatherapy to the Rescue!
There are so many people who suffer from anxiety, depression and stress. Statistics show millions, and that is just the ones diagnosed with anxiety and depression. We are fast paced, technologically advanced society who tries to get so much done in a short period of time. Obviously, this places physical, mental and emotional stress on a person, causing them to feel overwhelmed and overtaxed. You feel like you are carrying the weight of the world. When this goes on for a certain period of time, it can build up inside, which will exasperate the anxiety, depression and stress responses. Often times, it can be debilitating making you miss work, social events and family gatherings. Having a strong support system, coping skills and will power to stay motivated during these tough times is very important.
Most people seem to hide their feelings, thoughts and stresses. For whatever reason, they don’t share what they’re going through with others. This increases the burden that you carry inside which can make you feel defeated, alone, like a failure, and unworthy of help. Quite the contrary. In talking with several of my girlfriends recently, we all have experienced anxiety, depression and stress, either on a daily basis or at some point in our lives. We feel like we are alone. That no one will understand or that none of our friends have the time to listen to us (because we are all busy). That is not true. Never be too busy that you can’t help a friend. And never be too humble to ask for help. We must band together as friends and acquaintances, to help each other through those tough times so that we all can rejoice in the good times together. When we are there for each other, you will see, that we actually have more in common than you know.
What is Stress, Anxiety & Depression?
Stress, by definition, is the physical (and emotional) pressure, pull, strain or other force exerted on one thing or person by another. It is a specific response or action by the body and mind to a stimulus, such as fear or pain, that effects, disturbs, strains or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium. Think about that, it is a response. So, what if you have the skills to handle a stressful event? Think back, what situation did you experience for the first time? And then think about an experience that was stressful but that you knew how to handle because of that first experience. This is called stress practice. When you experience something for the first time, of course that is intimidating. But if you have to handle the same situation or something similar at another time, it’s not so bad because you have the experience from the first event. That’s why athletes practice their sport, public speakers practice their speech an actor’s practice their performance. Practice boosts confidence. Confidence reduces stress.
Stress is imposed by another, if we let it. Learn to repel outside stresses and don’t invite them in. Managing stress means to manage your reactions to it. Create healthy “stress management habits” for yourself. Meaning, if you are confronted with the stress, you have a go to strategy such as deep breathing, meditation or taking a walk before you react or respond. Teach your body to respond positively to uncomfortable stresses and stimuli. Establish stress limitations and guidelines for yourself in an effort to manage your stressful situations.
Anxiety is an “effect” derived from a perceived or anticipated stress. It is an expectation of a future threat. An unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, shaking hands, erratic breathing and heart palpitations. Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat. Anxiety can also be heightened when the blood sugar is not balanced. Having some protein and essential fatty acids can be helpful. If you seem to have a pattern to your anxiety, such as a time of day, month or specific situation, make sure you’re feeding your body with protein and EFA’s beforehand.
According to the Mayo Clinic, depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave. People experiencing depression often suffer in silence. Especially if it is the first time they are going through it. If you know somebody who doesn’t seem to be themselves, take time to talk with them. Let them know you are around. Give them the opportunity to ask you for help, as they may be too shy to ask otherwise (even if they are normally very extroverted).
How Can Aromatherapy Help Anxiety, Depression & Stress?
Aromatherapy has been a part of health practices for centuries dating back to Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Indians and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) eras. We have learned a lot from our ancestors as to what to use for certain health concerns. For example, sage was used as a memory enhancer and for liver issues by Greek physicians. TCM, past and present, use cardamom to help with digestive issues.
We know from science and experience that aromatherapy can help balance emotional concerns (anger, fear, grief, joy) mental performance and stamina (focus, concentration, memory), physical wellbeing (pains, muscle tension, skin issues), spiritual connection and environmental challenges.
Stress Management Techniques
Unfortunately, time is not elastic. We can’t stretch it out to be any longer, So, we have to find ways to manage time demands and reduce stresses. Situational stress is a fact in everyone’s life, every day. It’s not necessarily the stress that is so bad, but our reaction to it, like anxiety, fear, anger and depression. This affects the health of our mind and body’s the most. A healthy mind can feed a healthy body, and vice versa.
What are some major factors that can contribute to our stress responses, whether it’s good or bad?
- Sleep: Getting enough sleep. Studies show that chronic sleep deprivation can cause depression, anxiety, weight gain, diabetes and a long list of other health concerns.
- Food: Eating good, nourishing foods with protein, good fats and antioxidants.
- Water: Staying hydrated with water (not soda, tea or coffee). Drink 50-75% of your body weight in water, daily. Do not guzzle more than 4 ounces at a time.
- Fun: Daily stress management practices such as walking, swimming, running, gardening, meditation, yoga or something that quiets your mind from focusing on the stress. Engage in a hobby at least once or twice a week.
- Movement & YOUvement: Move your body and move your mind! Movement helps the mind and body from feeling stuck, congested and unmotivated. Grapefruit essential oil is a great mental mover and shaker.
- Routine: stick to a schedule, create a routine
- Self-Care: include a “me time scent break” on your daily schedule and DO NOT cancel with yourself!
- Daily rest breaks: take a break periodically, step outside and enjoy the sunlight and fresh air
- Deep Breathing & Exercise: stretching at work with chair exercises, after-work exercise routines to release pent up stress.
- Personal Rewards: treat yourself and reward yourself at least monthly to a massage, facial or special event
- Aromatherapy! Diffuse a blend of essential oils at some point during your day to purify the air, create an enjoyable ambiance and help relieve nervous tension, anxiety, tense muscles and improve mood
- Upgrade Your Personal Products & Foods: Include higher quality bath and body products and foods to nourish your mind and body (Remember, anything that you put on your body and gets absorbed in your body)
- Safety Guidelines: Aromatherapy responsibly. Read about safety tips and guidelines here.
- Choose high-quality that is NOT unadulterated or fragrance oil (not pure).
- Ways to apply and use aromatherapy –
- Inhalation: use a diffuser to get the scents into the air. Breathing in scents can enhance your immune function and rejuvenate your mind.
- Topical use: Make your own body lotions, massage oil, bath salts and perfumes. Add essential oils into a carrier before using on the skin.
- Compress: Essential oils do not mix with water. Therefore, you need to mix it with a carrier first before using them. You can use a compress to help alleviate muscle soreness and headaches. Simply add a couple drops of essential oil to Epson salt or sea salt. Mixed together. Then, add this mixture into a bowl of hot or cold water. You will dip your cloth into this water solution, wring it out and apply to the area that needs it.
11 Must Have Essential Oils for Anxiety, Depression & Stress
Here are some of my favorite essential oils to help with daily stresses like multi-tasking, coping with daily challenges and demands with ease, and handling the many personalities you will experience in a day.
Bergamot, Citrus bergamia
Scientifically shown to have antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. A good mood elevator and energy pick me up. Buy bergamot essential oil.
Chamomile, Anthemis nobilis; Chamaemelem nobile
Its nickname is the “mother herb” as it provides caretaking and nurturing benefits. It calms anger, and helps you feel like you belong and are loved. Buy chamomile essential oil.
Cinnamon, Cinnamomum zylancium
The nickname I have for cinnamon is “hug in a bottle”. Its historical significance helps one feel safe and secure. It promotes happiness and contentment. It can also fight off negative thoughts. Buy cinnamon essential oil.
Clary Sage, Salvia sclarea
Known as the “aromatherapy tranquilizer”. It has a euphoric affect, to calm excessive worry, anxiety and fear. Buy clary sage essential oil.
Geranium, Pelargonium graveolens
This one helps to balance out emotional stress and calms nerves in children (separation anxiety). Buy geranium essential oil.
Jasmine, Jasminum officinale
Has a powerful effect on emotions, anxiety, depression, fidgety and nervousness. Instills confidence and optimism to overcome depressive feelings. Buy jasmine essential oil.
Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia
This is my “Jack of All Trades Oil”. It helps with just about everything from calming the mind, bringing harmony to emotions and alleviating physical pains. Buy lavender essential oil.
Lemongrass, Cymbopogon flexuosus
You can’t help but smile when you smell lemongrass. It has a protective nature to help you set healthy boundaries, while enjoying healthy relationships. Buy lemongrass essential oil.
Neroli, Citrus aurantium var. amara
Nourishes the adrenals to help you overcome exhaustion, fatigue and feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities. Buy neroli essential oil.
Sweet Orange, Citrus sinensis
This one is for the “adrenal junkies” to help you stay energized, with a clear head and heart. It provokes creativity while refreshing your mind and thoughts. Buy sweet orange essential oil.
Peppermint, Mentha x piperita
Need a brain booster to keep you positive, overcome shyness and break out of your anxiety shell? Peppermint to the rescue. Buy peppermint essential oil.
Aromatherapy DIY Recipes
Here are some helpful DIY recipes you can make on your own or gather a group of family and friends for an aromatic blending session. If you need someone to make it up for you, we are here. You can check out our products here that provide self-nourishment.
Anxiety Reducer Roll-on, 10ml
- 6 drops Bergamot, Citrus bergamia
- 3 drops Cinnamon, Cinnamomum zylancium
- 2 drops Ylang Ylang, Canaga odorata
- 1 drop Roman Chamomile, Anthemis nobilis
- 10ml of a carrier oil (almond, apricot, olive, sunflower)
- Have JennScents make it for you
Calm my Nerves & Boost My Energy Aromatic Spray, 2oz.
- 8 drops Lemon, Citrus limonum
- 3 drops Clary Sage, Salvia sclarea
- 2 drops Geranium, Pelargonium graveolens
- 5 drops Frankincense, Boswellia carterii
- 2-ounces distilled water or plant enzymes
- Have JennScents make it for you
Nervous Stomach Oil, 10ml
- 6 drops Peppermint, Mentha x piperita
- 4 drops Marjoram, Origanum marjorana
- 2 drops Sweet Basil, Ocimum basilicum
- 10ml unscented massage oil
- Have JennScents make it for you
Stress Relief Nasal Atomizer
- 5 drops Lime, Citrus medica
- 5 drops Grapefruit, Citrus paradisi
- 5 drops Chamomile, Anthemis Nobilis
- 3 drops Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus globulus
- 1 drop Jasmine, Jasminum officinale
- Have JennScents make it for you
- Adaptogens: Adaptogens help the body deal with stress. Includes St. John’s Wort for nourishing and calming upset stomach/intestinal issues
- Probiotics: Probiotics can help the body produce its own B vitamins as well as repair and strengthen the lining of the intestines (helps to combat excessive worry). My favorite one has bacopa which enhance the ut-brain communication system for better mental health.
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s): A well balanced omega blend coupled with intestinal support (to enhance absorption) can coat, repair, rebuild and strengthen nerves in the body so messages can be delivered properly.
- Enzymes: Digestive Enzymes calm (nervous) stomach, help one “digest” food and any situation, neutralize foreign invaders
- Minerals: Minerals allow the body, hormones nd neurotransmitters to communicate. They nourish body functions, electrolytes and blood sugar balance.
- Passionflower: Calms nerves and anxiety, helps manage stressful situations – physically, mentally and emotionally
- Chamomile tea or capsules: calming, relaxes the nervous system, soothing both physically and mentally, quiets mental chatter and excessive worry
- B-Complex: Supports so many physical and mental functions; aids in calcium absorption, adrenal fatigue and boosts energy
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about how to use phyto-aromatherapy and herbal remedies for anxiety, depression, stress and other mind-body needs, check out our Phyto-aromatherapy for Gastrointestinal Health and Phyto-aromatherapy for Mind-Body Health classes. We explore and expand on this conversation with knowledge, experience and evidenced-based studies, as well as share solutions, recipes and personal growth tips.
Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prescribe. It is recommended that if serious health issues exist, you consult a licensed medical provider. JennScents does not assume liability or responsibility for the use and/or misuse of this information.
References: This blog contains excerpts from JennScents Aromaversity Certification Courses and the JennScents Holistic Aromatherapy Comprehensive Guide.
Article References: JennScents Holistic Comprehensive Guide, JennScents Aromaversity Classes, JennScents E-books and Reference Material
Author: Jennifer Pressimone, Entrepreneur, Formulator, Author
Jennifer Pressimone is an aromatherapy entrepreneur (an Aromapreneur™). She is the founder and President of JennScents®, Inc. and the JennScents Aromaversity®. She is the Vice-President and Regional Florida Director of Central Florida for the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). Jennifer has build, managed and maintained several health and wellness businesses over the last 20 years. She is an incredibly gifted essential oil formulator, aromatherapy educator, public speaker, herbalist, author and philanthropist. She leads with passion, experience and heart to inspire, empower and motivate others to not only follow their dreams, but crush it, realizing more than they ever imagined possible. Jennifer is a life coach and business mentor. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida, and has thousands of hours in continuing education in many health and wellness topics. Her specialties include mind-body health, gastrointestinal health and cognitive aromatherapy for humans and pets.
Disclaimers: Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prescribe. It is recommended that if serious health issues exist, you consult a licensed medical provider. JennScents does not assume liability or responsibility for the use and/or misuse of this information.