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5 Surprising Essential Oils for Stress + Anxiety

This is a guide to essential oils for stress, anxiety, sleep and relaxation. Whether you suffer from depression, anxiety or chronic stress, these calming essential oils can help you de-stress, sleep better, reduce panic attacks, and just relax. 

This is a guide to essential oils for stress, anxiety, sleep and relaxation. Whether you suffer from depression, anxiety or chronic stress, these calming essential oils can help you de-stress, sleep better, reduce panic attacks, and just relax. 

Tomorrow is National Relaxation Day! To wit, my friend Monica Richards from Essential Oil Experts has contributed this guest post on essential oils for stress and anxiety. 

As the school year approaches, I can already feel the oncoming stress of the back-to-school madness. New schedules, school-supply shopping, after-school activities, clothes shopping – yikes.

While we still have a bit of summer left, I want to get ready and help prepare my family for the craziness that September often brings.

To help me relax during these busy periods of life, I often turn to aromatherapy and different essential oils to help me unwind. Although I’ve tried several different stress reduction methods, aromatherapy has always been one of my favorite and most effective solutions yet.

It seems more and more people are turning to natural remedies for stress. While a normal amount of stress can be good, chronic stress can be a serious issue both mentally and physically.

Beyond a lovely aroma, many essential oils carry powerful relaxing, anti-anxiety and stress-reducing properties. Thanks to growing interest, scientists are beginning to understand more about their role on the physical, mental and even emotional symptoms of stress and anxiety.

While we’ve all heard of using lavender or chamomile essential oil to help reduce stress and relax, there are many more essential oil options out there for those looking to switch things up.

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Essential Oils for Stress and Relaxation

Below are some of my all-time favorite essential oils to help manage stress, calm nerves and reduce feelings of anxiety. Whether you’re at home, in the office, or running errands, these essential oils can help you keep your cool all day long.

This is a guide to essential oils for stress, anxiety, sleep and relaxation. Whether you suffer from depression, anxiety or chronic stress, these calming essential oils can help you de-stress, sleep better, reduce panic attacks, and just relax. 

Clary Sage Essential Oil for Relaxation

For ultimate relaxation, I love to use the floral scent of clary sage essential oil. In recent years, clary sage essential oil has been shown to have stress-reducing, sedative, anti-anxiety, pain-relieving, and antispasmodic properties that can help relax users both physically and mentally.

Research has shown that simple inhalation of clary sage essential oil can lower blood pressure, along with other internal markers of stress within the body. Scientists even hypothesized that clary sage essential oil may increase dopamine levels, but more research is still needed to confirm. (source)

If I know I’m going to have a potentially stressful day I will add just a drop or two of clary sage essential oil to the collar of my shirt. This helps keep the calming aroma close, while not being too overpowering for those around me.

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Cedarwood Essential Oil for Calming Nerves

Stress is often associated with a certain type of nervous energy that can be hard to get rid of. When I feel particularly stressed or anxious, I always reach for the soothing properties of cedarwood essential oil.

In aromatherapy, cedarwood essential oil is known for its sedative properties. In clinical trials, inhalation of cedarwood essential oil has been able to temporarily decrease blood pressure and heart rate and have an overall relaxing effect on the nervous system. (source)

Cedarwood essential oil has also been studied for its role on ADHD, particularly in children. Like anxiety and stress, ADHD can make it difficult to focus and concentrate. Calming essential oils may be an effective way to help manage feelings of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and stress associated with the condition.

Of the essential oils tested in the study, cedarwood essential oil was noted to significantly reduce the symptoms of ADHD and improve brain activity. (source)

Cedarwood essential oil is also a great choice for anyone who loves the outdoors, as its warm, woodsy aroma immediately evokes the idea of being out in nature, which may also help reduce stress.

Lime Essential Oil to Boost Mood

I’ve found lime essential oil to be very effective in reducing stress and boosting my mood!

Lime essential oil’s main component, limonene, is believed to help release stress and have stimulating effects on the mind.

Research has shown that massage oil infused with lime essential oil can help reduce blood pressure and promote relaxation. Plus, its bright, citrusy aroma is so refreshing. (source)

Rosemary Essential Oil for Anxiety + Headaches

For those looking to calm down, but remain focused, rosemary essential oil may be the perfect choice for you.

In a 2009 study, researchers studied the effects of inhaling lavender and rosemary essential oil on anxiety levels of nursing students who were taking a test.

Nursing students are prone to multiple stressors, and must remain calm in high-anxiety situations. While both essential oils were helpful in reducing anxiety and stress associated with the test, students reported that rosemary essential oil helped decrease test anxiety while increasing focus and mental clarity. (source)

For people that experience physical side effects caused by stress, rosemary essential oil has also been used to soothe upset stomachs, cramping, and headaches. (source)

For an easy stress-relieving essential oil remedy, add 1-3 drops of rosemary essential oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Gently rub the mixture into the affected area for soothing relief.

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Patchouli Essential Oil for Stress 

Likely once worn by one of your family members as cologne, patchouli essential oil is another highly-recommended essential oil for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

Its earthy fragrance has been studied for its sedative and relaxing properties that seem to work quickly and effectively.

Aromatherapy research has noted that inhalation of patchouli essential oil was able to decrease relative sympathetic activity by a whopping 40 percent. In the body, this system controls the ‘fight or flight’ response which is often triggered during times of high-stress or anxiety. (source)

For on-the-go relief, add 5 drops of patchouli and 5 drops of cedarwood essential oil into a small spray bottle filled with water. Gently shake to mix before using and spray the air around you for a stress-reducing spray.


A big thank you to Monica from Essential Oil Experts for providing this guest post! 

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust.

Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I've linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

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2 comments on “5 Surprising Essential Oils for Stress + Anxiety”

  1. I enjoy and appreciate your posts. I am trying to learn more about essential oils and herbs.

  2. I’m really happy to be reading this post right now! I’m just starting to learn about essential oils so this will help me as I buy my next round. I already have lime on hand so am eager to diffuse some now and see if it helps boost my mood! 😉