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Aromatherapy for Stress and Anxiety

In our fast-paced world, stress and anxiety are rapidly on the increase. Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, socialized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. In the United States alone, around 40 million adults are affected by some form of anxiety disorder. They comprise the most prevalent mental health problems in America, and tend to affect women almost twice as frequently as they affect men.

In your everyday life, it is inevitable that you are going to be confronted with problems; some will be easy to solve, others will cause pressure and stress. Stress is not always a bad thing. Beneficial stress (eustress) is the kind that gets you fired up for a new project and gives you a buzz when you achieve your goal. However, when negative stress (distress) and anxiety build up, you may start to feel overwhelmed; particualry if you do not believe you have the strength or resources to deal with your issues.

Everyone suffers from stress no matter what their age or social or economic background.   

Many of life’s major events are known causes of distress such as losing a spouse, changing or losing a job, moving house, starting a family, finishing an education, getting married or being diagnosed with an illness. When you experience high levels of stress for a long period of time, it begins to have negative effects on your total health. Stress can eventually lead to serious diseases such as obesity, diabetes, depression, cancer, alopecia, heart disease and gum disease.

There are a number of essential oils with have a calming effect and are great to use for helping relieve stress and anxiety. You can either add them to a vaporizer or add a few drops to a handkerchief or a cotton ball so you can inhale them now and again.  

If you have insomnia, are waking frequently during the night or are feeling restless and tense during the day, you can choose from chamomile, marjoram, ylang ylang, sandalwood, vetiver and neroli.

If you are feeling anxious and are unable to relax, helpful essential oils include geranium, lavender, juniper, jasmine, basil, neroli, bergamot, frankincense, ylang ylang and melissa.

If your anxiety has developed into depression and you need an emotional pick-me-up, you can use vetiver, lemon, grapefruit, nutmeg, clary sage, lavender, bergamot and geranium.

For nervous tension add a few drops of any of the following oils to a carrier oil and massage into the back of your hands; sandalwood, cedarwood, clary sage, ylang ylang, cinnamon, lavender, jasmine, geranium and bergamot.

Corinna Underwood


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The information provided on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Should you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering any natural remedy.