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Essential Oils to Banish Stress

Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful tools we have to combat the negativity of stress.
An ocean breeze, the fresh smell of the forest after a rainfall, the pristine scent of a crisp winter morning – all of these uplift our spirit.

Essential oils allow us to bring the exhilarating scent of the outdoors into our indoor lives. Try one of these combinations when you feel the hassle of modern day living getting to you.

Some of the most common essential oils for stress relief

  • Lavender: Known for calming and relaxing properties, lavender oil can help reduce anxiety and promote better sleep.
  • Bergamot: This citrusy oil can reduce stress and enhance mood.
  • Chamomile: This calming essential oil helps quell anxiety and promotes relaxation.
  • Ylang-Ylang: The floral oil ylang-ylang can reduce stress and encourage relaxation.
  • Frankincense: Frankincense oil has been used for centuries to induce relaxation and as an effective way to manage stress.

My Top 12 Essential Oils for Stress Relief

1. Lavender: The calming classic Stressed out? Take a deep breath and reach for lavender essential oil. This popular oil has been used for centuries for relaxation and anxiety. Lavender contains compounds like linalool and linalyl acetate that have a soothing effect on the nervous system. These compounds interact with neurotransmitters in the brain to regulate mood and emotions, helping to reduce feelings of stress.

Research has even suggested that inhaling lavender essential oil can lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress, resulting in an overall sense of calmness.

2. Bergamot: A relief for your nerves Derived from the peel of the bergamot orange, Bergamot essential oil is known for its uplifting and calming properties. The citrusy scent of bergamot oil helps reduce anxiety, stress, and even symptoms of depression. The unique combination of stimulating and relaxing effects makes it an ideal choice for those seeking mental balance during stressful times.

3. Sandalwood: A scent for tranquility Known for its deep, woodsy fragrance, sandalwood essential oil has been utilized throughout many cultures to boost peace and intellectual sharpness. Sandalwood essential oil’s soothing qualities make it an excellent option to combat anxiety and stress.

4. Frankincense: The ancient stress solution.
Olibanum, or frankincense, is a fragrant resin extracted from the Boswellia tree. It’s been used for hundreds of years in traditional medicine and religious rituals for its calming and grounding properties. Today, frankincense essential oil is recognized as a powerful tool to help alleviate stress and anxiety. The primary active compounds in frankincense essential oil are boswellic acids, which have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects that can contribute to overall relaxation. Additionally, research suggests that inhaling frankincense can help reduce heart rate and high blood pressure — common symptoms of stress.

5. Lemon: A refreshing way to reduce anxiety. The refreshing, zesty scent of lemon essential oil can help you feel more relaxed and tranquil while boosting your mood. Lemon oil can help alleviate stress and anxiety by promoting mental clarity and focus. The fresh, citrusy aroma is an instant mood boost that makes you feel more relaxed and positive. Research shows that inhaling lemon may have a significant impact on reducing stress levels.

6. Clary sage: A herbal help for relaxation. If you’re stressed, clary sage essential oil is the way to go. This natural remedy has been used for centuries to promote relaxation and mental clarity. Its earthy, slightly sweet scent is known to have a calming effect on the mind and body. Clary sage has been shown to significantly decrease cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for stress. By reducing cortisol levels, it can help manage feelings of anxiety and tension.

7. Chamomile: A soothing solution for stress. Chamomile is an herb used for centuries to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Its calming properties make it one of the best essential oils for alleviating anxiety and promoting mental well-being. Chamomile essential oil is derived from the flowers of either German or Roman chamomile plants, which have similar effects on the mind and body. Research has found that inhaling chamomile essential oil can help decrease symptoms associated with generalized anxiety disorder.

8. Orange: An uplifting and stress-reducing. Orange essential oil is a citrusy scent that has been used for centuries to improve mental health and reduce anxiety. The secret to orange essential oil that relieves stress lies in its main component, limonene. According to research, limonene has anti-anxiety effects on the central nervous system, making it an excellent choice for those looking to improve their mental well-being.

9. Rose: A floral serenity for the mind.
The next time you’re stressed, take a whiff of rose oil. This essential oil is known for its calming and soothing properties, making it a great choice for calming anxiety and encouraging relaxation. Extracted from rose petals, this calming essential oil is  commonly used in aromatherapy to improve mental well-being.

10. Jasmine: A relaxation for your senses. Derived from the jasmine flower, jasmine essential oil is known for its exotic and uplifting scent. Jasmine’s calming properties have been used in aromatherapy to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Its sweet aroma can evoke feelings of happiness and positivity while promoting a sense of inner peace.

Some research found that jasmine oil may have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects on the central nervous system by interacting with GABA receptors in the brain. This interaction helps regulate mood and increase relaxation, making it one of the most effective and natural stress management techniques.

11. Marjoram: A warm comfort for the nervous system. Marjoram essential oil, a less renowned fragrant substance, has been used for years to reduce tension and uneasiness. Its warm, comforting scent is reminiscent of sweet herbs. It can provide a sense of calm when inhaled or applied topically.

12. Patchouli: An earthy ease for anxiety. Originating from the leaves of the patchouli plant, this essential oil is known for its earthy and musky scent. Patchouli has been used in traditional medicine to help alleviate stress and anxiety due to its calming effects on the mind. This essential oil promotes relaxation by easing tension in both body and mind. Its soothing properties effectively reduce restlessness and encourage better sleep quality.

Tips for using essential oils safely and effectively

Essential oils can be a powerful tool for stress relief when used safely and effectively.

  • Dilute properly: Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil (like coconut or almond oil) before applying them directly onto the skin. Use 1-2 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.
  • Inhalation: Use an aromatherapy diffuser or simply breathe in the scent from the bottle to enjoy the benefits of essential oils through inhalation.
  • Bath time relaxation: Add a few drops of your favorite stress-relieving essential oil(s) to a warm bath for an immersive, relaxing experience.
  • Massage therapy: Combine diluted essential oils with massage techniques to help relieve tension and soothe anxiety.

Here are some stress relief blends with essential oils

Create your custom blend by combining two or more stress-relieving essential oils. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Rose & Lavender: Mix equal parts rose and lavender for a calming floral blend that promotes relaxation and emotional balance.
  • Jasmine & Ylang-Ylang: This exotic oil blend helps reduce anxiety while promoting happiness and well-being.
  • Marjoram & Bergamot: A comforting blend that eases nervous tension and promotes a sense of calm.
  • Patchouli & Frankincense: This earthy mix helps ground your emotions, alleviating anxiety and promoting relaxation.

Use these essential oil combinations in your daily life – just see the difference in how your mood changes!

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