Essential oils provide health benefits that range from relieving the symptoms of chronic pain conditions to reducing anxiety. In order to reap their benefits, however, you have to know which oils help with stress relief, as well as how to use them.
Particularly for people who spend more time at home these days, having essential oils on hand can be a godsend. They can’t cure the root cause of stress or slow down your busy week, but they can make you feel supported and strong. I use these 4 essential oils to give my mind the serenity it needs to handle the week calmly and professionally. Hopefully, you will too.
How to Use Essential Oils
Essential oils require a little guidance, so before I get into the types I use, here’s a little advice on how to use them.
In general, you can use essential oils in three ways: as aromatherapy, as a topical, or as an oral supplement. You may have seen diffusers at a spa or therapist’s office, those little machines that pump out soothing steam. They contain essential oils to give the room calming energy and you can use them in your house as well.
As topicals, many essential oils cannot be applied directly to your skin. Most require the use of a carrier oil such as coconut or almond to dilute them. So, if you plan on massaging these oils into your skin for pain or stress relief, be sure to mix a few drops with a good helping of organic oil.
Finally, if you plan on taking them internally, be sure to research which oils were made for this purpose. Many of them must be restricted to external use.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get into my 4 favorite essential oils for stress relief.
Lavender has been known for centuries for its relaxing properties and that’s no different in the modern age. Lavender can support and restore your nervous system by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, calming your nerves, and giving you a sense of serenity. This is why lavender is often touted as a sleep aid.
By mixing a few drops of lavender essential oil with almond oil and rubbing it into your wrist or the sides of your head, you can get a good night’s sleep or just calm down in the middle of a busy day.
Bergamot is a citrus fruit bred by combining lemons and limes. It’s a favorite for Chinese herbalists because of its ability to support digestion, but it’s even been used as a mild antidepressant. This is because bergamot improves circulation and helps balance your hormones. This enhances your mood at the same time as it supports digestion.
Bergamot essential oil produces feelings of joy as a result of that balance, which is why it’s a perfect aromatherapy treatment to freshen up your home and relieve stress.
Rose essential oil can soothe me even when others can’t, especially if I have a bad headache. It comes from rose petals, so maybe there’s a bit of a romantic Pavlovian response going on where it just makes me happy to smell them. But regardless, rose essential oil soothes tumultuous emotions and balances me out.
Those who suffer from depression could greatly benefit from baths that include a few drops of rose oil (don’t forget the carrier).
Chamomile tea is a commonly prescribed antidote to stress and sleeplessness. The essential oil provides similar calming effects to your nervous system, as well as reducing inflammation and improving digestion. These things combine into the stress-relieving and mood-balancing effects that have made chamomile famous (and rightly so).
Essential oils provide relief from chronic pain, inflammation, digestive troubles, and even anxiety. All these things together add up to a life with way less stress. When I feel something coming on, I use one of these 4 essential oils (or several) to get ahead of my mood and balance my life. The calming presence of aromatherapy or a nice warm rose oil bath cannot be overstated at the end of a busy week.
Just be sure to use carrier oils to dilute them so they don’t cause a skin reaction. If you use them safely, essential oils provide natural, effective stress relief, both for those who need a boost to start the day and those who need mental support to get to sleep.