One of the most frequent request that I get for a synergy blend of essential oils is to help with anxiety. Many of those are from mothers with anxious children. Well let’s look at what is anxiety and how can essential oils help to support the body and mind with this state of being.
In today’s fast paced, high pressure society it’s almost impossible not to feel anxious at some point in life. Anxiety becomes a problem when our response is out of proportion tot the threatening situation or it is a prolonged response or when anxiety is experienced without any objective or reason for it.
For a person with anxiety disorder the anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time. These feelings can interfere with daily activities involving his or her job, schoolwork and relationships.
Anxiety can cause problems
Anxiety can cause a lot of physical problems such as digestive problems, high blood pressure, headaches, migraines, insomnia, allergies, and tight muscles. Anxiety can be quite paralysing and debilitating and can stop executive functioning. Constant anxiety can lead to panic attacks as well which can be very overwhelming.
Well, what is anxiety?
Anxiety is worrying about the future. It is the ‘what ifs ‘that are causing this state of being. Anxiety is not an emotion; it is a state of being. It might be a number of emotions that is causing this anxious feeling. The most common emotion that causes people to feel anxious is fear. So the question is what are you afraid of? Sometimes that fear can actually be so intense that it is more terror than fear.
There are 7 primary negative emotions. These emotions are helplessness, hurt, hopelessness, worthlessness, fear, sadness and loneliness.
It is very important that we allow ourselves to recognize and become consciously aware of these emotions rather than just discard them.
Anxiety can be caused by several of these negative emotions as well as stress, thyroid problems, hormone imbalances as well as excessive alcohol, caffeine and or sugar intake. Anxiety can also be brought on by an association with something that caused a feeling of being anxious that happened in the past.
Can essential oils help at all ?
Essential oils have a dramatic effect on how we are feeling and on our limbic system because of the strong fragrances.
When we smell something it goes through our olfactory receptors which then send the sent to the olfactory bulb. From there it is send to two areas of the brain – the frontal lobe and the limbic system. Well, our limbic system controls our emotional responses. Essential oils that have sedative properties will calm down the autonomic nervous system.
My favourite essential oils to use for anxiety.
Lavender has a sedative and a tonic effect on the heart and lowers high blood pressure.
Lavender is also very good to use for nervous exhaustion and manic depression.
Lavender helps protect against neurological damage; Lavender was traditionally used as an aid for neurological issues.
Roman Chamomile contains calming properties – may ease out of control negative emotions.
Vetiver oil contains stress busting and calming properties used for relaxation and helping to alleviate anxiety, emotional stress, panic attacks and insomnia.
Frankincense oil helps reduce heart rate and balance blood pressure. It also displays anxiousness soothing and mood boosting abilities.
Juniper berry has a strengthening effect on nerves and beneficial for nervous states and anxiety.
It has a sedative action and will help individuals who struggle to fall asleep because of worries and tension
Juniper seems to clear waste from the mind as well as the body and is very helpful when feeling depleted or exhausted or emotionally drained.
Sandalwood is very grounding oil and has a calming effect on nervous tension. Sandalwood is also a confidence boosting oil.
Calming bath salts
Combine 3 cups of Epsom salt and 1 cup of baking soda. At bath time, add 1 cup of the dry ingredients and 20-30 drops of lavender oil to warm bath water.
Soak for 20 minutes
Ashwagandha – an adaptogenic herb, it has been shown to soothe anxiety symptoms by reducing the effects of stress on the body.
Magnesium – known as the relaxation mineral. Magnesium reduces tension and calms the nervous system. Take 500 mg daily or use magnesium topically.
Any of the following sedative oils will be helpful but depends on the individual and circumstances which oils to choose due to the subtle differences in their properties and effects which will make one oil more appropriate than another.