Anxiety. It’s difficult for a day to go by without hearing or reading about this modern day epidemic that seems to affect us all in one way or another. Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, and feelings of stress.”
It can also manifest as a sinking feeling, a heavy weight on your chest, a tightness, racing thoughts or a overwhelming sense of dread. If you’ve felt it – you’ll know.
What makes anxiety different from other conditions is that it is not a one-size-fits all diagnosis or treatment.
As humans, it is normal for us to feel anxiety in situations where we are faced with a real life threat. This is not only normal, but necessary for our survival, as this built in mechanism is what triggers our primal ‘fight-or-flight’ response.
When the feelings of anxiety are disproportionate to the actual threat – that’s where the issue lies. In other words, when we experience fear, worry and nervousness about almost nothing. Or at least nothing in particular.
While prescription medication has its place, alternative therapies like aromatherapy have been shown to be extremely effective at alleviating anxiety.
Types of Anxiety
Social anxiety is the irrational fear of interacting with others in a social situation.
The fear often stems from the thought of being negatively judged by other people, causing the sufferer to choose to withdraw rather than be at risk of this perceived judgment.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is known to develops people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.
This debilitating condition can last years, where the sufferer frequently relives the emotional trauma of the event when ‘triggered’ by various factors.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is characterised by a series of recurring anxious thoughts and fears that lead to obsessive or repetitive behaviour.
An overwhelming need for order, fear of germs, or the compulsion to check if a door is locked again and again (and again), are some examples of how OCD manifests.
Anyone who has had to stand up and speak to crowd full of people for the first time will most likely have experienced situational anxiety.
This is the type of anxiety that occurs when faced with unfamiliar situations or events. Going for a job interview, public speaking or awaiting an important test result can all trigger an anxiety response.
Stress is considered part and parcel of living in our modern day 21st century world, but is also a form of low-level anxiety.
If not properly managed, stress can wreak havoc on the body and mind, leading to burnout, depression or even GAD.
How to use Essential oils for Anxiety
Research has shown that inhaling essential oils can help alleviate all types of anxiety. The unique properties of specific essential oils calm the nervous system by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing the body to rest and digest.
There are many ways you can use essential oils to help.
- Try adding a few drops of essential oils to your pillow can help you sleep at night.
- Create a blend and add to a diffuser or oil burner.
- Dilute with a carrier oil and massage your neck, temples or soles of your feet.
- Simply add a drop to your wrists and inhale.
- Add a few drops to your bath water.
Best Essential Oils for Anxiety
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is the most popular and most studied essential oil for anxiety. It has been shown to reduce anxiety and promote a sedative effect, making it a perfect bedtime companion.
Rose Geranium Essential Oil
The floral scent of Rose Geranium promotes a sense of calm and wellbeing. It reduces anxiety by uplifting the spirits and instilling a sense of peace in the mind and body.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil‘s rich, warm aroma will lift your mood by bringing your emotions back into balance. This oil has an exceptionally high frequency, which connects you with your divine essence and brings about a sense of clarity and calm.
*The information in this post does not constitute as medical advice. Please check with your doctor before changing or adjusting your prescribed medication.