Why so anxious? Why you no take a chill pill?!
We are sure you keep wondering an answer to this question day in and day out and nothing, literally nothing, has given you a satisfying response. But, we bet, you haven’t yet explored the whole world of natural healing yet.
Would you want to know what NY times has to say about your anxious behaviour? Well, here it goes. One in every five Americans has an anxiety disorder. That means over 40 million adults or 18% of the population of USA. Woah! And that’s not it. Americans spend over $2 billion in a year over medications that might help them calm. Now, as scary as these numbers might sound, there are things that you need to know about being anxious, how you can control it and why it is so important to never let anxiety take over.
What is anxiety?
Studies have shown the college students are the most anxious and stressed segment in the American population. And do you know why? They are under pressure all the time. Be it the major they have to choose, their overall performance, their personal and sexual life, the fear of performance and what not.
Thus, anxiety, in simple words, is a state of mind that causes fear, worrying, fatigue, nervousness, apprehension, and tension. One can experience multiple disorders at the same time and not understand how to feel and behave, despite being in a room full of their loved ones. Anxiety can be unsettling and lead to insomnia or oversleeping, diet loss or overeating and similar extreme situations.
While mild anxiety can be handled easily and is common is today’s life, severe anxiety can be dangerous and may have a serious impact on one’s personal, professional, and social life.
Mild Anxiety: This state is referred to as a general state of fear that one may experience before important events in one’s life like before a much awaited interview, before asking out the girl you really like, before an examination, a public recital or maybe during your own wedding.
These feelings are absolutely normal and healthy for one to experience for they start accepting change. Mild anxiety could feel like a pit in your stomach until the matter gets resolved. It could last for a few hours until the end of the situation.
Severe Anxiety: A not-so-desired state of one’s mental well being, the state of severe anxiety invites problems that need special attention and care. This state of mind is often linked with one’s personal life issues, OCD – obsessive compulsive disorder, a difficult situation one has recently experienced or is about to experience, and more.
Severe anxiety feels downright terrifying. It could feel like the most frightening thing in the world and make you feel like you are on the verge of an apocalypse. Severe anxiety invites panic attacks and leads to more difficult health and mental issues if the anxiety isn’t dealt with at the right time.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Symptoms of anxiety vary from people to people and the types of anxieties they suffer from. From the sudden surge of intense fear that leads to trembling, shaking, sweating, increased heart beat, choking and more to the feeling of a heart attack almost as if it is going to kill you.
For you to understand better, we have divided the symptoms of anxiety in three different parts – physical, psychological, and behavioral.
Physical symptoms of anxiety: Accelerated heart rate, sweating, voice trembling, choking or breathlessness, chest pain, abdominal distress, nausea, the urge to cry, numbness, hot flashes or chills, the urge to detach yourself from the surrounding.
Psychological symptoms of anxiety: Overreacting on minor situations, raising your pitch while making a conversation to put your point across, becoming unfocused and forgetful, experiencing the feeling of getting overpowered by your fear.
Behavioral symptoms of anxiety: Lacking response or reactions to stimulations in the environment like responding to a joke, avoiding or ignoring people, places, things or experience like lift, friends, colleagues, the urge to run away and not respond to conversations.
Can anxiety be controlled, treated and cured permanently?
Well, the answer is both yes and no! While it is possible to control, treat, and cure anxiety — especially in the mild cases — a permanent cure to anxiety lies in your current lifestyle and how many changes can you welcome in it.
Anxiety is a normal response to a situation that one find themselves uncomfortable in. And it forms an integral part of one’s personality. Whether it is about driving at a speed that comes across as too high for you or other situations like the fear of a jet plane taking off while you are sitting by the window seat — slightest of matters and pre-build notions or fears can trigger anxiety. To treat them all is close to impossible, however, bringing in the necessary changes to improve and enhance the way you look at these events is what would let you control your fear.
Deliberately letting yourself go through a situation that triggers anxiety is both a boon or a bane – but it is so because it is a matter of perspective. Are you looking at the situation in a way where it would help you fight the fear or are you already scared to face it?
If you exercise well, eat right, lead a healthy lifestyle, and avoid caffeine, you will notice your anxiety problems would start vanishing. However, this might not be in the case of a person who suffers from severe anxiety or anxiety disorders. They need to seek medical help and heal themselves with the help of nature as well.
For those with the problems of mild anxiety, the ones who have been able to control their fears, and those with severe anxiety who are willing to improve upon themselves, we have a natural healing solution for you — the best essential oils for anxiety.
Not only are these age old essential oil therapies for anxiety extremely useful but they are also medically recommended.
Note: Please note that only essential oils might not lead to a permanent cure. They are to be used along with the treatment that you are undergoing. However, they definitely can enhance your mood, uplift you for as long as you use them and improve the effect of your current treatment.
What are the best essential oils for anxiety?
1. Lavender essential oil for anxiety
Scientifically, lavender essential oil is one of the most popular anti-anxiety natural agent. And the credit goes to its mesmerizing aroma, its potent nature as a calming agent and its medicinal effects on the both animal and human body.
Studies have shown that lavender works influentially on those suffering from anxiety, stress, and depression, irrespective of whether it has been used topically on the skin or ingested. Moreover, research papers state that there is growing evidence that suggests lavender oil as a powerful agent against anxiety, stress, and other neurological disorders.
The biochemicals found in lavender oil such as linalool and linalyl acetate are considered as an effective remedy against anxiety. These enzymes are ingested in the form of capsules. These biochemicals help balance the neurotransmitter levels in one’s brain, calms the over-excited nerve cells, reduces sleep disturbances and curbs down anxiety.
Read More: How to Use Lavender Oil For Sleep?
2. Ylang Ylang essential oil for anxiety
Number two on our list of best essential oils for anxiety is the oil of ylang ylang. This popular herbal extract promotes courage, balance in life, soothes fear, drives one towards optimism, restores equilibrium, and takes care of insomnia.
The oil has been used to treat headaches, anxiety, and depression naturally for centuries in Asian countries. It has an uplifting and soothing aroma.
Note: Ylang Ylang has a strong aroma that can tease you instead of curing you if used in too high an amount. Do not ingest ylang ylang oil. It is recommended to never use ylang ylang oil without diluting it in a carrier oil. It can be a strong irritant to the skin.
3. Chamomile essential oil for anxiety
Another popular calming agent is the oil of chamomile. It is also known as a symbol of inner harmony. The oil suppresses production of hormones in the brain that trigger overthinking, fear, worry, irritability and thus, anxiety. Don’t believe us? Sip chamomile tea the next time you are on your periods and see the abdominal torture go away!
School of Medicine in the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study on the essential oil of chamomile and found that it can be clinically used as an anxiolytic agent. The oil can be consumed in the form of capsules or by diffusing it in the air, based on your levels of anxiety.
Note: Chamomile oil is not recommended for those who are allergic to ragweed.
4. Jasmine essential oil for anxiety
The healing properties of the jasmine essential oil can be compared with a calming drug valium. Just like valium, jasmine essential oils soothes the nerves and relaxes one’s mind and body. In fact, for centuries jasmine has been used to calm depression, anxiety, and stress. This oil is also revered for its magical properties that help one overcome lethargy and low energy levels, stimulate the brain and its uplifting aroma improves the mood.
5. Frankincense essential oil for anxiety
Amongst all the other essential oils in the world, Frankincense oil is particular helps in reducing fear, calms down the breath, and alleviates nervous tension. Just sniffing a few drops of frankincense essential oil during your anxious moments could calm you down and make your heart run at a normal pace than thumping out loud. It has a calming and soothing aroma that just mellows you down just right in your uber-excited times.
6. Bergamot essential oil for anxiety
Bring your hypothalamus gland to homeostasis with this wondrous citrusy oil. The state of homeostasis helps the body calm down and relieves one of anxiety, stress or depression. A study conducted on elementary school teachers who worked under stress showed interesting results on the use of bergamot oil. Those who practices a weekly inhalation of the oil for 10 minutes has significantly reduced heart rate and blood pressure.
The oil can be applied on the neck, around the ears, and on your feet. Interestingly, it is a common ingredient found in the earl grey tea too. The oil would uplift you instantly, clear the fog off your mind and help you reduce agitation.
Note: The essential oil of bergamot is photosensitive which means that if it has been applied on the skin and you step out in the sun, you could suffer from sunburn and rashes. It is advised that you use it only at night and avoid sun exposure for about 12 hours.
7. Clary sage essential oil for anxiety
A study conducted in the year 2010 by the Department of Basic Nursing Science, Korea said that clary sage essential oil is an excellent antidepressant, especially after highly stressful situations. They also claimed that clary sage oil might even be better than the highly revered lavender essential oil, especially in women.
It is rich biochemicals like the lavender oil — linalool and linalyl acetate. As mentioned earlier, these compounds help calm and relax the entire nervous system.
Recommended Read: Why Do You Need Ashwagandha And Its Stress Alleviating Properties
Steps & remedies to use essential oils for treating anxiety:
Typically, there are three ways of using essential oils for anxiety treatment – topically, orally, and by aromatherapy.
Topical application of essential oils for anxiety: Topical application of the oil on the skin helps it penetrate quickly. These oils are highly effective and start showing results quickly. They can be applied on your forehead, neck, temples, behind the ears, behind the neck, wrists, and on your feet.
One must always be cautious about using essential oils topically, though. These oils can leave a rash on the skin or start to irritate sensitive skin types. It is recommended that you mix the essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, or olive oil for best results.
Oral application of essential oils for anxiety: Essential oils can be ingested in the form of capsules or diluted in water or tea. However, it is important to ensure that the oils are safe for us and pure. Otherwise, they might have body unfriendly chemicals that can cause serious side effects. The FDA (food and drug administration) has approved a list of essential oils as GRAS — generally recognized as safe — that are safe for human consumption.
To consume the oils, you can either add a drop of it in a glass of water with honey. You could add them to your green or black tea as well. Alternatively, you can pour a drop of two underneath your tongue for the blood capillaries to absorb their essence quickly.
Aromatherapy for anxiety: Aromatherapy, in general, is good for everything. But it gets even better for anxiety. The oils stimulate the hormonal glands and trigger emotional responses that help in naturally uplifting one’s mood and alleviating tension. They also help in enhancing the heart rate, improve the breathing patterns, regulate the flow of good hormones and calm the blood pressure down.
To take essential oils via aromatherapy one can directly inhale them or use a vaporizer, humidifier, or hot water vapor to diffuse them in the air.
Precautions to be taken while using essential oils for anxiety treatment:
Essential oils are no child’s play. As effective as they are, they can turn disadvantageous if not used right or too much in quantity. Hence, it is important for you to take the following precautions:
- Not all essential oils would suit you. Pick the oil that would suit you based on the things that you are allergic to and health problems such as low blood pressure or sugar.
- Children below the age of 6 should not be exposed to essential oil therapies and treatments.
- Pregnant woman or a nursing mother is not allowed to use any essential oil.
- While choosing an essential oil it is important to pick the purest of all.
- Always dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil before topical application to avoid possible allergic skin reactions.
- If you are a first time essential oil user then start with a patch test.
- Whether you are ingesting the oil or applying it topically, the quantity you use should be minimal.
- Always introduce the oils to your body, drop by drop. Each of us might have a different threshold for these oils and it is better to identify the same at the start.
From where can you buy essential oils?
You should buy essential oils that are 100% pure in order to treat yourself. Therefore, we recommend that your buy therapeutic grade essential oils only. You can easily buy these oils from departmental stores around you or order them online on amazon.com or walmart.com.
We hope you found what you were looking for. We request you to visit a psychologist before you pick up a treatment for yourself. While essential oils when used in the right amounts, as generally harmless, but anxiety is not. Hence, it is important to find out the reasons that trigger such a behavior in you, and the products or experiences you need to avoid in order to lead a healthy and comfortable life.
If you were planning to use either of these remedies on your anxious child, we recommend you consult a pediatrician or you medical practitioner before doing so. Children below the age of 6 should not be exposed to essential oils.
We urge you to leave your thoughts in the comments below and share with us your secrets on how you handle anxiety, naturally.
Further Read: What Are Essential Oils & Why Do You Need Them?