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Enjoy a Stress-Free Life with Essential Oils

Essential Oils for Stress Relief

In this article, you will learn about:

  1. The Impact of Stress on the Body
  2. Top 10 Essential Oils for Stress Relief
  3. Essential Oil Stress Relieving Blend

How do you like to relax at the end of the day? A good book, your feet kicked up, a nice bath? In real life, though, most of us don't have time for luxuries – that's why we're stressed! Essential oils provide a quick and easy way to reduce stress no matter how busy we find ourselves.

The Impact of Stress on the Body

Allowing stress to take over our lives could be the biggest mistake of the 21st century. Since stress is a prominent cause of inflammatory disease, moving toward a stress free life is a core recommendation for the prevention of most diseases.

High blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease all seem to be increasing in prevalence as we become more and more stressed. Reduce stress, reduce risk of illness. (1)

Our sources of stress may vary – what sends me over the edge might not be a problem for you. Identifying trigger points and structuring our lives to be abundant and stress free should be an ongoing goal.

A group of nurses, working with and evaluated by Vanderbilt Medical University, took this to heart in their ER environment. Of their essential oil diffusion, they said that they “recognized an opportunity to positively impact our coworkers,” and that they did!

Before the oils were used in the ER, staff reported an almost complete elimination of feelings of stress and overwhelm while energy and feelings of empowerment shot through the roof! (2)

Essential oils are too easy to use to miss out on their stress-relieving abilities. Before stress drags you down another day, use the tools available to you to reduce stress and pursue the Abundant Life!

Top 10 Essential Oils for Stress Relief

1. Orange

In a clinical study on the effects of both orange and rose oil, simply smelling the oils triggered the brain for relaxation. (3) As a bright and uplifting oil, it stands alone nicely and blends well with other oils. If you had to choose just one stress relieving oil, sweet orange is the effective and versatile choice.

2. Lemon

Lemon essential oil is an excellent choice for stress relief. In a 2014 evaluation of the oils cancer patients used to relieve stress, lemon was among one of the most frequently chosen. (4)

3. Bergamot

Citrus oils are definitely go-to oils for many things, stress relief included. Another on the list is bergamot, with a range of effects for stress relief:

“…improving mood and mild symptoms of stress-induced disorders and facilitating sleep induction. Aromatherapy massage has been shown to relieve symptoms of anxiety in patients with cancer.” (5)

4. Neroli

Staying within the citrus varieties but moving toward florals, neroli essential oil is derived from the blossom of orange trees and just as powerful for stress relief. While it specifically thrives in cases where hormones trigger stress and anxiety, neroli is generally calming and relaxing, as well. (6)

5. Rose

Noted earlier for its ability to affect the brain directly, rose essential oil appears time and again in studies demonstrating the ability that essential oils have to trigger relaxation and relieve anxiety. (7)

6. Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang has demonstrated sedative and stress relieving effects that have peripheral benefits. One study carried these effects out to a reduction of high blood pressure. (8) Traditional use employs ylang ylang as an aphrodisiac. The direct connection between stress and these conditions is no coincidence. Remember: reduce stress, reduce illness!

7. Geranium

When better to test stress and anxiety reduction than in one of the most stressful times in life – early labor! From simple inhalation techniques, “The mean anxiety score decreased significantly after inhalation of the aroma of geranium essential oil.” (9) Include geranium in stress relief blends to take the edge off of stressful anxiety.

8. Lavender

Sleep issues can rob our bodies of the ability to heal and shed the stress of the day. Lavender as both an herb and an oil has long been used for sleep improvement. Again testing around birth as a stressful time, researchers in 2015 evaluated lavender oil for its ability to improve sleep quality during the sleepless, stressful, restless postpartum period. After 8 weeks of aromatherapy use, sleep quality and restfulness was improved, taking one major component out of the stress equation. (10)

9. Chamomile

With a calming chamomile tea in hand to relax, you've inhaled some of the essential oil component as you settled into its stress relieving benefits. (11) Using the essential oil directly is just another way to make the most of the tools for health that have been tucked throughout nature.

10. Spikenard

Less common than some of the other oils on the list, spikenard is probably more familiar to you from its mentions in the Bible. Today, we refer to spikenard as a strongly scented essential oil derived from a plant in the Valerian family – valerian, of course, is known as an herbal sedative. Spikenard essential oil is also used as a relaxing oil, with good results on in vitro tests on its sedative effects. (12)

Essential Oil Stress Relieving Blend

Diffusion and inhalation are excellent ways to maximize stress relieving benefits. As a Yale Scientific article noted, “Indeed, the olfactory system is the only sensory system that involves the amygdala and the limbic system in its primary processing pathway.” (13) The limbic system is part of the brain that has some control of mood, memory, and emotions.

The direct connection between scent and the limbic system is likely why scent triggers memory, as well as why certain scents have such powerful effects.

Experiment with any of these 10 stress-relieving oils. Here are a few you can begin with if you aren't sure where to start. The bright scent of citrus and soft tones of floral combine to ease stress, calm the mind, and energize you for that next task!

  • 2 drops bergamot
  • 2 drops lemon
  • 1 drop geranium

Add to a diffuser or personal inhaler and enjoy!




This post currently has 17 comments.

  1. Chrissey
    July 24, 2016

    Are there any essential oils that could help with migraine headaches?

    • Dr. Z
      July 25, 2016

      Yeah, peppermint can do wonders for headaches. Try applying (diluted with a carrier oil) on the back of your neck or behind your ears. Keep us posted!

      • Gigles
        September 10, 2016

        I also put peppermint on my temples for migranes, as well as back of the neck, around jaw line and over eye brows. This has helped many people to find relief. Beware not to get it to close to eyes, it will irritate them.

        • Dr. Z
          September 11, 2016

          Yes, good point!

          If peppermint gets into the eyes, use some olive or coconut oil to “wash” it off!!

  2. Wendy Fletcher
    April 23, 2016

    Thanks for including what is consumable and what is not.

  3. Janette
    February 29, 2016

    Most oils give me a headache. Why is that?

    • Dr. Z
      February 29, 2016

      Hi Janette,

      I have only heard of this when someone is exposed to synthetic or adulterated oils. Not to say that it’s impossible for something to have an adverse reaction like this to therapeutic grade EOs, but it’s rare.

    • Donna
      March 1, 2016

      What Dr. Z says is correct, alternately it could be that how you’re using them doesn’t follow the safe use standards. With that, over time you would become ultra sensitive to EOs. Most likely it’s the that your oils are not quality oils in combination with above.

  4. Connie
    February 28, 2016

    Almost all of the links within this article take you to a page that is not there: 404 We are sorry, the page you are looking for does not exist.

  5. MaryMary
    February 28, 2016

    Which oil would be the best for me to handle the stress caused by my husband yelling and fussing at me all the time? Thanks.

    • Dr. Z
      February 28, 2016

      Try aromatherapy throughout the house. Especially the citrus oils. You may find that his attitude may change for the better. Praying for peace… šŸ™‚

  6. DdDeeborah Barnes
    February 27, 2016

    Please forgive my PC keys are sticking and I have many errors myself Haha!

    • donnie
      October 4, 2016

      hello DR.Z…my mom is all most blind with cateracs and type 2 diabetes..i want to help her with some bark cinnamon oil. i need a way she can do this herself, she lives alone…any help would be great…thanks,,, i enjoyed your detox interview.

      • Dr. Z
        October 5, 2016

        Hi Donnie,

        The easiest way is to incorporate 1 drop of cinnamon oil in her food every day. Putting a drop or two in a capsule may be challenging if her sight is failing.


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