What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. The first day of school, going to a job interview, or giving a speech may cause most people to feel fearful and nervous.
But if your feelings of anxiety are extreme, last for longer than six months, and are interfering with your life, you may have an anxiety disorder.
According to a new WHO study:
Depression and Anxiety are significantly higher in affluent nations. Cases of major depression are on the rise throughout the world. The study concludes that depression is a severe global problem that will change from being the world’s fourth leading cause of disability worldwide to being the second leading cause of disability by 2020.
How to use Aromatherapy for Anxiety and Mental Illness?
Stress occurs as a coping mechanism for our brains and bodies.
Hormones like adrenalin and cortisol are released which are responsible for sudden changes
The fight or flight response is chemical – it involves the body's own system creating hormones.
The smell is a chemical sense because it allows us to discriminate between the different molecules we breathe in.
Essential oils are complex and made up of lots of different chemical constituents. Therefore aromatherapy can help positively affect your hormone production, brain chemistry, and stress levels. It can help to look at the chemical constituents when choosing Essential Oils to help combat depression and stress.
Aromatherapy to Help Anxiety
Aromatherapy is becoming popular in the treatment of mental health due to the ability of the essential oils to balance, relax but also because of the direct effect they can have on the emotional areas of the brain. The sense of smell is the only sense connected to the limbic area of the brain which controls emotional, physical, and psychological responses. Inhalation is, therefore, a very efficient mode of administration for affecting neurological function. Studies into aromatherapy and mental health have concluded that aromatherapy may have effects on mood, cognitive performance, and relaxation in adults.
Essential Oils for Anxiety
Essential oils have their own unique smell depending on the flower, plant, or tree from which they are taken. It has been said that smell seems ‘plugged in’ to our emotions and it is a well-known fact that aromas can influence our health: there is no doubt that when we smell an aroma it can bring about emotion within us. To get the full benefit of inhaling essential oils we need to breathe correctly. Breathing properly also carries its own benefits:
Detoxifies and releases toxins Releases tension Relaxes the mind and body and brings clarity Relieves emotional problems Relieves pain
The essential oils most consistently used for anxiety and depression are lavender, jasmine, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, bergamot, and rose (Conrad and Adams, 2012).
One study conducted an eight-year experimental study of 8058 women and explored the use of ten essential oils to ease pain, anxiety, nausea and enhance contractions during labor and childbirth (Burns et al., 2000). Overall, laboring women rated the aromatherapy as helpful, with rose and lavender essential oils as the most beneficial for anxiety. Of these rose was rated the use highly by mothers (rated helpful: 71%); followed by lavender (rated helpful: 50%) and frankincense (rated helpful: 44%).
Anxiety: Try using this Aromatherapy inhaler when you feel anxious. Inhale a few times slowly and let the aroma calm you.
Recipe: 1 7 drops Yuzu (Citrus Junos) 1 drop Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) 7 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
or a few drops into a diffuser before going to bed or
7 drops Lavender (Lavendula Augustifolia)
5 drops of Petitgrain (Citrus Aurantium)
2 drops of Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia)
mix together then put a few drops into a diffuser before going to bed
Anxiety & Tension (on-going stress)
5 drops Basil (Ocimum basilicum) 5 drops Cypress (Cupressaceae) 5 drops Neroli (Citrus Aurantium) 5ml Hypersum Oil
45ml Almond Oil
Use this as a massage oil, or add the essential oils to honey or lotion base for the bath (do not add the oil mix to the bath).
50 ml sunflower oil 3 drops geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) 3 drops sandalwood (Santalum album) 2 drops ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata)
Try Anxiety away Inhaler - Feel calm, uplighted, and happy
5 drops Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia)
5 drops Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
5 drops Lime ( Citrus aurantifolia)
Citrus Oil such as Lime, Mandarin, Sweet Orange, Tangerine oil is great for calming emotional distress and is supportive when working through anxiety. Lavender, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Geranium with lovely floral oil are balancing, uplifting, and relaxing.
Ultimately though, a healthy and balanced lifestyle is also key to relieving anxiety. Eating well, taking regular exercise, and getting adequate sleep are really important to both physical and mental well-being.