Anxiety is becoming increasingly common today, many of the women I work with experience anxiety or have done historically and fear it’s return.
If you’ve ever experienced anxiety, you’ll understand it can be completely debilitating and can often feel like it comes from nowhere.
Over my 18 year career in mental health services I’ve worked with so many women, children, and men, all of which have experienced mild to severe anxiety symptoms… nobody is immune, it can and often does happen to us all on some scale.
Sadly, for others it can be more extreme and completely debilitating, even effecting their daily lives so they struggle to work, leave the home or enjoy every day activities with friends.
When working with someone who is experiencing symptoms of anxiety, I have found the best way to treat it is to find its original source and combine spiritual and cognitive psychotherapies to help understand, treat and manage it. It’s not something that simply disappears over night and needs to be worked at to understand, accept, surrender and eventually overcome.
The challenge is when anxiety has a grip over you, it’s really hard to calm and sooth that innate physiological fight or flight response that triggers and causes the feelings of anxiety. This fight or flight response clouds your vision, and really stops you thinking clearly or feeling like you can sit and practice some of the cognitive tools which can help you manage the anxious out of control feelings.
Using essential oils is a fabulous natural way to calm the nervous system which is on over drive when you’re locked in your anxious state.
Using essential oils as aromatherapy, topically or ingesting them can help ground and calm you, helping you regain some clarity and focus.
You can use them in prevention, having them diffused in your home is a lovely way to benefit and also management, keeping a bottle on you to quickly use as a calming remedy when needed. Both ways are extremely effective.
Below are 6 of the most favoured essential oils for the treatment and management of anxiety symptoms:
Lavender is probably the most common essential oil, with the main benefits having a calming, relaxing effect. Lavender helps calm the nervous system and has a restorative effect, it also helps with sleep, restlessness, irritability, panic attacks, nervous digestion issues and general nervous tension in the mind and body.
Rose essential oil is it’s very settling to the emotional heart and is probably the second most preferred essential oil after lavender for relieving anxiety. Rose helps with panic attacks, grieving and shock.
- Ylang Ylang
This wonderful essential oil treats anxiety due to its calming and uplifting effects. Ylang Ylang is known to help with promoting cheerfulness, courage, optimism and while also soothing fearfulness.
It also may calm symptoms of heart agitation and nervous palpitations and is a moderately strong sedative, which can help with insomnia.
CAUTION When using ylang ylang, as it can be irritating to the skin. You’re also cautioned to avoid using in conditions of low blood pressure.
Chamomile essential promotes inner harmony and reduces the feelings of irritability, feeling anxious or an overthinking worrying mind.
Bergamot essential oil is calming and often used to treat symptoms of low mood by providing a boost in energy. It’s commonly found in Earl Grey tea with its distinctive floral taste and aroma.
It can also help with insomnia by inducing relaxation and reduce agitation.
My personal favourite, Frankincense is great for treating anxiety as it provides a tranquil, calming energy while also spiritually grounding you. When used in aromatherapy, it helps deepen your meditation by opening and quietening your mind.
There are 3 different ways to use essential oils in the treatment of anxiety symptoms, ingestion, topically, or aromatherapy.
Many essential oils can be ingested, however, it’s critical to ensure the oils you use are safe and pure. Many oils on the high street may be diluted or blended with synthetics that are unsafe for consumption or ingestion. Always make sure to check and double check. Here’s a link to the oils I personally use and highly recommend. https://www.mydoterra.com/maketimeforme1/#/
Topical application is where you place the essential oil on the skin, hair, mouth, teeth, nails or mucous membranes of the body.
When the oils touch the skin, they penetrate deeply and rapidly.
Since they are so potent, it’s important to dilute and blend with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond, jojoba, olive, avocado or coconut.
You can apply the blend directly to an affected area, on the bottoms of the feet, rims of the ears, using compresses, in baths or through massage.
Aromatherapy is my personal favourite (I have my diffuser going in my home all the time!) it’s also extremely popular in the treatment and management of anxiety because our sense of smell can often trigger a powerful emotional response.
So much is processed through our sense of smell, when the scent of an essential oil is inhaled, tiny molecules enter our nasal cavities and stimulate a firing of mental and emotional response into the limbic system of the brain.
So, these stimulants then are able to regulate the feelings of anxiety and induce a sense of calming through physical responses such as heart rate, breathing patterns, production of hormones and blood pressure etc.
Here’s a link to the emotional aromatherapy kit I use with clients and throughout my yoga and meditation practice. It’s a gorgeous blend of specific essential oils for varying needs, I highly recommend it, and it comes with a fabulous diffuser to get you started.
CAUTION: Never ingest any essential oils or apply undiluted to the skin without proper training or advice. It’s important to understand how best to use them. Always consult a specialist and test the area, proceeding with caution as they may react differently to different individuals, especially children and pregnant women.
I offer a free consultation if you’d like to learn more about how essential oils can help you, simply click here to get in touch and find out more.