Top 3 Essential Oils for Stress Relief, Anxiety & Sleep

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

Are you experiencing increasing levels of stress? Learn how essential oils can benefit you with a touch of these powerful oils from nature. Which oils can you start to try today? Learn how to deal with your stress.

Increasing levels of stress

What an age we live in today. We have access to so much information at any given moment, right at the tip of our fingers. It's such an advantage to have this level of technological advancement, but it can lead to its own share of problems, including increasing levels of stress. Modern-day life gives us access to many things that are causing us unneeded stress; hearing the news constantly, time schedules, cyberbullying, comparing to others' lifestyles, body image, fake news & much more. Technology has become such an integral part of our lives that we hardly get time to concentrate on anything else. Despite the problems that have come from technological developments, the good that technology can bring to people outweighs the negative effects. Long term stress can lead to lots of negative side-effects, such as high blood pressure & heart rate, anxiety, sleep problems, mood swings & unsteady emotions. So with that said, the ever-increasing need for gentle forms of relief needs to be addressed, which is why I want to share more about natural ways to promote relief from stress; use essential oils.

How to naturally relieve stress with essential oils

Essential oils are made up of micro-particles that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, unlike some other medication. This means the oils are able to get into your limbic system, the part of your brain that deals with emotions. This can help reduce stress & relieve anxiety by inducing feelings of calm, relax the body & ease the mind.

'Essential' in that it is the essence of a plant's fragrance from which it is extracted. Essential oil is typically obtained by steam distillation or cold pressing. Essential oils have been used for centuries as staples in Egyptian & Chinese households for medicinal, therapeutic, & aesthetic purposes. Ancient Egyptians used essential oils for their mummification process, while the Chinese incorporated these oils in treating a large range of conditions. 

Most people would agree that reducing stress can be a challenge. If you find yourself having trouble dealing with everyday stressors, feel under a lot of pressure, or have a heavy workload, you may be looking for an alternative to prescription drugs to use for the long term rather than opting for a quick fix. Beneficial alternatives to pharmaceuticals are natural supplements, herbs, & essential oils. These products are usually safer & less expensive than some medications. They also have fewer side effects, in fact, experts recommend that natural supplements should be taken for the long term. While you may be able to use some natural treatments to alleviate your symptoms, you should always seek professional help if you need it & build up a support network for your daily life challenges.

What scents are good for stress?

Essentials oils can help relieve stress, but you should take special care in choosing the right one for your health. Make sure you buy raw, unaltered ingredients that haven't got additional oils added that dilute the purity & benefits. Brands such as Doterra thoroughly test for quality, which takes the guesswork out of the value of their oils & why I choose to use their products. For more information on the science behind DoTerra oils, you can click the link here.

Some medical products can contain powerful, addictive chemicals. The use of essential oils takes away this concern & adds the benefits of nature. However, before attempting any remedies, it is recommended that you do your research & learn about the products that are most suited for you personally. This includes learning about how the oils work with other ingredients, especially if you are currently taking other medications. Some essential oils such as clary sage oil & rosemary can interfere with your hormones.

There are so many oils out there, I hear you! So which are the best essential oils for stress? Here is my list of the top 3 essential oils for stress-relief:

Bergamot - Citrus bergamia

When choosing an oil blend to use for stress, I recommend selecting one that has a high percentage of Bergamot oil. Bergamot orange oil is extracted from the peel of the fruit, it has a light citrus scent with floral notes that are said to have healing properties. It is the flavour found in one of the most recognised tea in the world, Earl Grey. It is similar to grapefruit & orange essential oil; said to have properties that are antiseptic, antispasmodic, & analgesic.

This particular oil has both calming & uplifting abilities. It has been shown to improve the mood of patients suffering from depression. It contains vitamin E & other effective antioxidants that can help boost the immune system. Although we can not claim that Bergamot can cure ailments, it will leave you feeling more alive; in fact, you may find that it does more than help you destress. It can help you feel more energised, focused & mentally alert. Some people experience more positivity & are more productive when they smell & use bergamot oils. When used in combination with relaxation techniques, it can make you feel better about yourself & your situation. You can combine Bergamot to create a relaxing aroma, for example, with Lavender. The combination can aid to calm your nerves & heighten the feeling of relaxation.

Caution: Despite its potential benefits, bergamot oils may cause side effects, particularly when used in excess. Avoid sunlight & UV rays for at least 12 hours after applying Bergamot or any citrus product.

Lavender - Lavandula angustifolia

Another essential oil you can use for stress relief is lavender oil. It is often recommended as a popular treatment for stress, anxiety, & to assist relaxation. It can be found in lots of bath & shower gels, as well as creams & sleep aids. The wonders of Lavender were even used back in ancient times. The dried leaves, in tea form, were used by ancient Egyptians for treating wounds. Dried lavender was put inside pillows in folk medicine to facilitate falling asleep & to minimise stressful situations. During World War 1, civilians were encouraged to gather all the lavender they could to send to the soldiers on the frontline, where the medicine

was in heartbreakingly short supply.

Lavender essential features a slightly deep note & a herbaceous tone, yet rich, mellow & fruity. It takes 150 pounds of flowers to provide only 1 pound of oil. Once collected the flowers are steam distilled to extract the Lavandula Angustifolia oil. Its name derived from the Latin lavare, to wash, hence why it is used in so many soaps. The essential oils from this plant are known to possess a soothing & calming effect.

Lavender is the most popular ingredient used in aromatherapy & massage. It is said to stimulate the areas of the brain associated with memory, verbal reasoning & concentration. According to this article from studies of lavender essential oil, reviewed that it has sedative effects that can allow you to let go & relax. Lavender is said to stimulate the release of acetylcholine, a chemical involved in the transmission of nerve impulses, particularly nerves in the brain and central nervous system. This is why Lavender is a good way to naturally relieve stress & sleep aid, especially when combined with chamomile essential oil, vetiver or perhaps ylang ylang essential oil.

Lavender is well valued for its soothing properties, & its ability to assist relieve stress, anxiety,& nervous tension. It’s also thought to reduce pain, enhance blood circulation, & assist respiratory problems. Plus it’s identified as safe to use on children (when diluted), adults, & also the elderly. In skincare, Lavender Oil features a reputation for its antiseptic, cleansing, & detoxifying properties, together with being a superb agent for dry, sensitive, & irritated skin. It’s said that Lavender is one amongst the foremost beneficial oils within the treatment of acne, as well as other skin complaints such as eczema, psoriasis, scarring, wrinkles, & even hair regrowth; all of which can be caused by daily stresses in our lives.

Caution: May cause possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. Make sure you consult your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing. Avoid contact with your eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

Peppermint - Mentha Piperita

My third recommended essential oil for stress is peppermint. Peppermint is well known for its calming effects, as well as it's many other beneficial properties, from increasing circulation & relief from feelings of nausea. Peppermint has been used in aromatherapy for many years. It is said to help with the overall feel of aches & pains associated with the flu season. Peppermint is known for its healing properties, to help calm the nervous system, reduce muscle tension, thus relieving the stress held within the body.

Peppermint is a naturally occurring hybrid of Water Mint & Spearmint. It is a light, herbaceous, & fresh scent. Peppermint essential oil has many purposes, earning the reputation of being one of the most well-rounded oils in the world, along with Lavender oil. Peppermint can be one of the best anti-stress aids & is also commonly used to help with depression and exhaustion. The great thing about using peppermint for stress relief is that it has many positive effects. This includes helping to get rid of headaches, fever, & stomach upsets. The best part is that you don't need any prescription drugs to use it.

Caution: A word of caution, make sure that you don't overdose on this product. Stick to the recommendations for dilution: Dilute with a carrier oil to minimise any skin sensitivity. Just one drop in 120ml of liquid if you ingest it.

How to use essentials oils for stress

A great thing about essential oil is that you can use them in practically any recipe you can think of for so a variety of uses. Experiment with various natural remedies and see what works best for you. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Relax Spray - Make your own stress spray by combining your favourite oils & spray in the air around you, on your wrists, or even apply over your clothing or pillow, to be inhaled during the night. See my recipe here or contact me now to purchase my spray.

2. Rub oil onto pressure points. 1 drop in palms, dab onto fingertips to rub onto temples, feet, neck or wherever you feel the need to promote relaxation, relieve stress & anxiety.

3. Diffuse. add a few drops into a diffuser in your home or workspace to inhale throughout the day to promote focus or it may help reduce anxiety & relieve tension.

4. Add a drop of oil into your shampoo or you may also like to use oils in a foot bath which may help feeling calm & refreshed.

5. Drop directly under the tongue. Oils that are safe for consumption such as frankincense, lemon, orange, (most citrus) clary sage essential oil.

For safe & useful ideas & recipes, check out my DIY page on the website or research on the DoTERRA site.

Be sure you read the Essential Oils safety guideline before use.

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