Stress is one of the body’s mechanisms meant to deal with threat; however, the problem begins when this feeling of threat stays in for longer duration. Stress can lead to both positive and negative outcomes.
When you feel stressed due to something happening around, your body takes it as a threat and responds by releasing certain chemicals into the blood. These chemicals help the body to release more energy, which is often a good thing if the reason behind the stress is physical danger. However, this extra energy and strength would work negatively if the stress is an emotional reaction to something and there is no outlet for the energy that is created.
What Are The Different Types Of Stress?
Of all forms of stress, acute stress is the most common as it is caused by the daily demands and pressures that each of us has to face.
When you experience acute stress on a frequent basis, then that becomes episodic stress. This type of stress is usually seen in people who have unrealistic and unreasonable demands on themselves. In order to achieve certain goals, they keep themselves under constant pressure attracting a lot of stress.
Chronic stress is the exact opposite of acute stress. It is neither exciting nor thrilling but dangerous and unhealthy. Chronic stress tears a person’s life and makes his mind and body vulnerable to a plethora of diseases.
Signs and symptoms of chronic stress include:
Why Sedatives And Prescription-Based Medicines Are Not Recommended For Stress Resolution?
In most cases, prescription based sedatives can deal with all kinds of stress; however, the problem with the use of sedatives is that they create dullness in the brain, which may ultimately lead to depression. Depression in itself is a problem grave enough to handle. Moreover, when you are on drugs, you fail to determine the real cause of your stress and take the necessary steps to deal with it.
Why Essential Oils Can Be A Great Home Remedy For Stress?
Essential oils are one of the safer ways to deal with stress. These natural substances not only help you obtain immediate relief but at the same time eliminate the deep-rooted cause of your stress with no side effects at all. They are easy, convenient and quick to use. You can diffuse them in your work place or home, wear them the whole day or keep them in your pockets. In addition, essential oils can be used in massage therapies to enhance the effect of meditation.
Therapeutic grade essential oils can penetrate the cell membranes almost immediately, cross the brain-blood barrier and then reach the brain’s emotional center. So, it is just a matter of minutes before their effect can be seen on the body and mind. Just take care that you buy pure therapeutic grade essential oils.
Having said that, here are some of the best essential oils I would recommend for quick relief in situations of stress and tension.
Best 7 Essential Oils for Stress
1. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is considered to be the most common and effective oil for stress relief because of its calming and relaxing properties. It helps in restoring the nervous system and reduces irritability, sleep problems, nervous tension and the frequency of panic attacks.
2. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil is the second most effective oil for relieving anxiety and depression after lavender. One of the major benefits of this oil is that, it is very helpful and effective for those who are emotional in nature. It helps in situations of shock, panic attacks and grief. According to a study conducted on pregnant women, substantial relief in stress and anxiety can be achieved after a 10-minute warm water footbath in the essential oil of Rosemary.
Vetiver essential oil has grounding, tranquil and reassuring effects. It is used in conditions of trauma helping patients to restore their sense of self-awareness and feel calm and stabilized. While being used as a nervous system tonic, Vetiver is a wonderful cure for hypersensitivity, jitteriness and panic attacks.
4. Ylang Ylang
Due to its calming and uplifting properties, ylang ylang essential oil can treat stress, depression and anxiety. It helps to overcome fearfulness and negativity and instills courage and optimism. According to a study, ylang when mixed with lavender and bergamot reduces the psychological stress, serum cotisol levels and blood pressure. Use this combination once per day for 4 weeks.
Bergamot is calming oil that has a distinct aroma and taste. While being helpful at treating depression and insomnia, Bergamot is most effective at reducing the stress. An interesting study conducted on men and women above 25 years old concluded that the blend of lavender and bergamot can reduce stress, depression and anxiety. The blend of lavender and bergamot can reduce blood pressure and pulse rate keeping you more calm and relaxed. However, it is important to note that Bergamot is photosensitizing, i.e. may react to the skin when exposed to UVA light. I would recommend not using this oil within 12 hours of the exposure to the sun.
The calming property of chamomile essential oil promotes inner harmony and reduces anxiety, irritability and worry. In addition, Chamomile is considered to be a very helpful antidepressant and is safe to use, except in cases where there is an established allergy to ragweed.
Rose is the queen of essential oil when it comes to dealing with all types of stress-related issues including anxiety and depression, because of its tranquil, grounding and calming impact. When used in aromatherapy, it helps in deep meditation and relaxes the mind. For best results, mix rose with lavender and bergamot in the ratio of 1:1:1.
9 Essential Oil Recipes For Quick Relief In Stress
Stress and anxiety related issues can easily be relieved by the use of essential oils via topical application, inhalation or diffusion. For best results, my recommendation would be to apply these oils topically using a carrier oil like sweet almond oil or jojoba oil. Here are some of the essential oil recipes for stress that I have personally tried and tested.
Recipe 1 – For insomnia related to stress
- In cases of insomnia related to stress, mix 7 drops of Clary sage oil, 4 drops of lemon oil, 6 drops of lavender oil in 1 fl. oz. (30ml) of almond oil. Massage 3-4 drops of the blend on your temples and back of neck. You can also use it in bath by adding 2 drops of vetiver and 4 drops of the essential oil of sandalwood to the bath water.
- To release your work-related stress, add 4 drops of ylang ylang and 2 drops of valerian essential oil to your bath. You can also diffuse the blend near your bed.
- For mental stress, use 2 drops of lavender together with 4 drops of peppermint essential oils in a diffuser. Alternatively, you can take 2 drops of sweet orange oil and 3 drops of roman chamomile.
- For any kind of emotional stress, add 4 drops of essential oil of lavender and 3 drop of german chamomile to your bath water.
Recipe 2 – Immediate stress relief due to migraines and headaches
- 3 drops Chamomile
- 15 drops Bergamot
- 8 drops Orange
- 8 drops Lavender
- 5 drops Geranium
Directions for use:
Pour 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt in a dark glass bottle. Then add the above-mentioned essential oils to it. Now take three deep breaths of the aroma. Repeat this up to five times a day for stress relief caused by headaches and migraines.
Recipe 3 – Blends for emotional stress relief
- Combine 2 drops of lemon, 4 drops of roman chamomile, 3 drops of lavender, and 2 drops of geranium essential oils and add the mix to your diffuser.
- Alternatively, combine 2 drops of orange, 2 drops of cedarwood, 4 drops of lavender and 2 drop of vetiver essential oils and use in your diffuser.
Recipe 4 – Beating stress due to the daily hassle / being too busy
- 4 drops of Bergamot
- 10 drops of Patchouli
- 8 drops of Lavender
- 6 drops of Cedarwood
- 12 drops Ylang Ylang
Combine all the oils in a dark glass dropper bottle or roll-on vial (dark glass protects essential oils from UV light). Dilute the above mix in 2 fl. oz. (60ml) Jojoba oil. I often use this blend as a moisturizer for my hands and body.
How to use the above blend:
- Rub few drops of the above blend between your palms and then breathe in the scent for a calming effect in anxious or stressful situations.
- Just add few drops of the mix to your bath water for a soothing and stress-relieving experience.
Recipe 5 – Calming and relaxing blend due to feeling overwhelmed
Directions for use:
Add the above oils to a 1 fl. oz. (30ml) dark glass container and mix well. Now gently massage over the temples and reflexology points in the feet.
You can also use this blend in a diffuser. Simply add 3 drop of lavender and 5 drops of roman chamomile to your diffuser.
Recipe 6 – Relaxing bath recipe due to stress in the workplace
- 8 drops of Cedarwood
- 12 drops of Lavender
- 15 drops of Frankincense essential oil
- 60 ml of carrier oil like Sweet almond or Jojoba oil
Combine all the ingredients in a dark glass bottle or plastic bottle. Store the blend in a cool, dry place. You can use this blend as your aromatherapy bath oil by adding 7-8 drops of this blend into your bath water.
Recipe 7 – Recipe to ease body tension and muscle aches
- 2 drop Ylang Ylang Oil
- 16 drops Lavender Oil
- 4 drops of Clary Sage Oil
- 3 drop Vetiver Oil
- 12 drops Marjoram Oil
Directions for use:
Combine all the ingredients in a 2fl. oz. (60ml) dark glass bottle and top up with Jojoba oil. Store the blend in a dark and cool place.
Add 5-6 drops of the above blend to your bath water for immediate relief of body tension and muscle aches due to stress.
Recipe 8 – Bath salt recipe to relieve stress due to period pain and menstrual tension
- 3 drops of Lavender
- 6 drops of Bergamot
- 4 drops Neroli
- 6 drops of Sweet Orange
- 5 drops of Rose essential oil
- ½ cup Baking soda
- 2 cups Epsom salt (use a blender to get a fine powder)
How to use:
Mix the baking soda and salt in a glass bowl, add the essential oils and stir the mixture thoroughly.
Store in a dark glass jar and let it settle for 24 hours before use. Add ½ of the above mix to your warm bath water and indulge yourself for 20-30 minutes. This bath salt recipe can be used for two baths.
Recipe 9 – Different blends for tranquil relaxation and stimulate mental clarity
- 15 drops Vetiver
- 25 drops Lavender
- 20 drops Roman Chamomile
- 20 drops Frankincense
- 25 drops Bergamot
- 15 drops Geranium
- 15 drops Ylang Ylang
- 25 drops Grapefruit
- 20 drop Jasmine
How to Use These Oil Blends for Stress Relief?
Select any one of the above-mentioned blends and use them as follows:
Add your preferred blend of essential oils to a 5ml dark colored bottle and mix well by rolling the bottle between your hands. If you are using a larger size bottle, you can increase the quantities of essential oils in the same ratio. Add 5-6 drops of the blend to your diffuser.
Add 18 drops of your favorite blend to the bathtub and soak yourself for up to 20 minutes.
You can use any of the above blends as a massage oil. Simply take 4-5 drops, add to 1tsp of almond oil and massage gently on the temples, back of neck and reflexology points under the foot.
Few Precautions To Take
- Never apply undiluted essential oil to the skin or ingest them without medical supervision or proper training.
- It will take some time and experimentation to figure out the essential oil blend that your body responds best to. So, keep testing different blends as mentioned in this article until you find the blend best suited for your physical and emotional needs.
- Always conduct a test patch before applying any essential oils to your skin as they can sometimes cause skin irritation.
- Take necessary precaution if used on children and use higher dilution rates.
- It is best for pregnant ladies to avoid the use of essential oils unless cleared by your doctor.
- Consult a specialist before using essential oils if you have a pre-existing medical condition.