In the fast-paced world we live in, it’s difficult to find the time and energy to take care of our mental and emotional well-being. With so many other things demanding our focus and attention, it’s no wonder over 4 million Americans have anxiety and other stress-related conditions that affect their ability to wind down after an emotionally charged day. (source)
Calming essential oils can be an absolute godsend when it comes to creating a relaxing space both mentally and physically. They can evoke positivity and relaxation, can staunch persistent circulating thoughts, and help relieve tension. (source)
I think it goes without saying that having a few good essential oils that promote calmness on hand can be a huge step to reclaiming our mental well-being.
Calming Essential Oils for Relaxation
No matter what is causing your emotional state of mind, calming essential oils are known to be potent allies for those who need help coping with their situation.
When we smell essential oils, their volatile constituents stimulate the olfactory nerve which sends signals to the brain including the limbic system and amygdala, which are specific areas of the brain in charge of mood, memory, emotions, and the autonomic nervous system which can trigger our fight or flight response, rate of breath, heart rate, and blood pressure. (source)
In essence, our sense of smell has a direct and profound impact on how we deal with stress and anxiety.
Smelling a calming scent like lavender essential oil can quickly help restore a state of emotional stability much like anti-anxiety medicines. (source)
Many other essential oils, like the ones listed below, can help with a multitude of emotional states that inhibit our ability to experience peace and calm. You need only select which one fits your needs.
I have listed each essential oil’s specific emotional affinity to help you choose which oils are most appropriate for your current state of mind so that you can experience some measure of relief.
Every essential oil in this list is known for its ability to ease emotional turmoil and instill a sense of calm and relaxation.
As always, do your research before using any essential oil as some can interact with medications and medical treatments. Others can not be used for children, while pregnant, or while breastfeeding.
Having said that, let’s get into the oils!
The most calming and relaxing essential oils include:
- Bergamot – encourages the ability to “let go” (must be furocoumarin-free to use topically)
- Cardamom – helps shed self-pity
- Cedarwood atlas – mitigates conceited feelings (overly proud and vain)
- Clary sage – for feelings of intolerance
- Frankincense carteri – for self-denial and feelings of worthlessness
- Geranium – alleviates the exhaustion associated with wanting to please everyone
- German chamomile – for dissociation and general feelings of disconnect
- Grapefruit – for feelings of distress
- Lavender – for anxiety, stress, and feelings of criticism and abandonment
- Lemon – for feelings of sadness, regret, feeling stuck or suffocated, loneliness, and frustration
- Mandarin – helps with nervousness and tension
- Neroli – uplifts a depressive mood and alleviates feelings of anxiety
- Palmarosa – relieves stress and nervous exhaustion
- Patchouli – for when you feel utterly shut down
- Petitgrain – for nervous stress and exhaustion
- Roman chamomile – for feelings of unwelcome
- Rose otto – excellent for stress relief and calming the nerves
- Sandalwood – for feelings of fear, dread, and general lack of faith and motivation
- Spikenard – for dealing with feelings involving an estranged relationship
- Sweet orange – for feelings of ridicule
- Vetiver – for an over-active and racing mind (excellent for use before bed)
- Ylang ylang – for when you feel drained mentally and physically
How to Use Relaxing Essential Oils
Once you have selected the oils that suit your needs, it’s time to use them!
You can either add a few drops to a diffuser (a maximum of 10-12 drops total) and diffuse your oils 2-3 times daily or you can add them to a spray bottle to create a calming room spray.
I generally like to make roll-on blends since the scent lasts longer and I can apply them directly.
You can also add the oils to some Epsom salts and make an infused salt for a relaxing bath.
However you plan to use them, make sure you give yourself time and space so they can work their magic. It’s okay to ask others to watch the kids for an hour while you focus on yourself. Make the time you need in order to achieve this.
Essential Oils Recipes That Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Here are a few of my favorite blends that instill calm and well-being:
Calming Deep-Sleep Roll-On
This blend is perfect for use right before going to sleep. It helps calm the emotions and encourages restful sleep without those racing thoughts that keep you awake late into the night.
This recipe is a good dupe for YL’s Tranquil blend.
For this recipe, you will need:
- One 10ml roll-on bottle
- 3 drops cedarwood essential oil
- 3 drops vetiver essential oil (can sub with roman chamomile)
- 4 drops lavender essential oil
- Carrier oil of choice (like sweet almond, grapeseed, jojoba, etc.)
Add all of the ingredients to the roll-on and cap closed. Roll between the palms to mix.
This recipe makes a 5% dilution.
Dab a small amount on the sides of the throat, temples, and wrists before bed. Deeply inhale its scent through the nose for best result.
Calming Bath Salt
This blend has a really cheerful smell that’s sure to dispel negativity and stress. Make sure to light a few candles, pour yourself your favorite drink, and put on some enjoyable music.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 cup of Epsom salt
- 2 TB of carrier oil
- 2 drops cardamom essential oil
- 4 drops sweet orange essential oil
- 4 drops mandarin essential oil
Mix all of the ingredients together and slowly add it the running bath water as you fill the tub.
Calming Diffuser Blend
This blend is perfect to use at your desk for killing stress while at work (if your work allows the use of diffusers).
To make it, you will need:
- A diffuser (this one is one of the best essential oil diffusers)
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- 3 drops bergamot essential oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
Add some water to your diffuser and the essential oils. Diffuse 2-3 times daily for stress relief and relaxation.
What have been your favorite blends for peace and calm? Please share in the comments below!
You may also enjoy reading:
Essential Oils for Anxiety – Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
Essential Oils for Stress
Essential Oil Quick Usage Guide – Anxiety
How to Make an Anti-anxiety Room and Body Spray
Calming Room and Body Spray Recipe
Mein, Carolyn L. Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils. VisionWare Press, 2017.
Essential Science Pub. “Essential Oils Desk Reference.” (2004).
Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Revised and Expanded: Over 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty, and Safe Home and Work Environments. New World Library, 2016.
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