I’ll admit, I didn’t really become interested in essential oils until my panic attacks started. Growing up, my mom always had bottles of essential oils on the counter, but I always thought of them as “fragrance,” and not as the powerful, natural healing tools that they are.
Once panic came along, I was willing to try anything and everything, so I quickly discovered the benefits of essential oils. I never left the house without a small bottle of lavender in my purse. When I was feeling dissociated, I’d grab some grounding oils and sprinkle them in a diffuser.
Made from aromatic compounds from plants, essential oils are nature’s healers.
Here are some of my favorite essential oils for anxiety, and how I like to use them.
Lavender is my all-time favorite essential oil and my “go to” for anxiety. In studies, inhalation of lavender has been shown to significantly reduce cortisol (the fight-flight hormone), blood pressure, and stress.
At home or in the yoga studio, I’ll put a few drops in a diffuser and allow it to fill up the room.
I also love placing a few drops in a warm bath or shower.
If I’m out and about, and I feel myself starting to get anxious, I’ll rub some on the insides of my wrists and a little on my neck. There are also roll-on sticks to make this easier.
-Clove and Frankincense
Clove and Frankincense are my two favorite oils for grounding. When I was constantly panicking, I felt so ungrounded and dissociated. I was entirely up in my head and not connected to my body or the earth.
These two root chakra essential oils can help ground us back into our bodies, to the earth, and into the present moment.
For those difficult, ungrounded days, I used my diffuser and placed a few drops of each inside.
I love peppermint essential oil for the physical aches and pains that accompany my anxiety, including digestive tension. Though it’s hard for me to notice sometimes, I tend to clench up my muscles when I’m anxious. I get really bad neck and shoulder pain, along with headaches, stiff joints, and an upset stomach.
I’ve found that peppermint oil is really helpful for relaxing tension in my body. I’ll usually dilute a few drops of peppermint in a little bit of oil (avocado, olive, coconut, whatever you prefer), and I’ll rub some on my temples, down my neck, and into the tops of my shoulders.
If I have an upset stomach, I’ll use that diluted mixture and rub it on my belly. (Drinking peppermint tea is great for digestion as well). I also have a roll on stick for headaches that I’ll whip out and rub on my neck and temples.
Have you ever tried essential oils for anxiety? Which ones seem to help you?