Essential Oils For Anxiety – Top Picks And How To Use Them


Using essential oils for anxiety is a great way to get rid of nervousness, to calm your mind, and to boost your energy levels. Essential oils can have a positive effect on your mind and can provide relief for restlessness, stress, agitation, fatigue, irritability, panic attacks, and irrational fears. They can also help you to regain focus, beat insomnia, and relax your tensed muscles.

Most people experience anxiety throughout their life. In fact, anxiety is a normal response to stress. Nevertheless, that doesn’t make anxiety less crippling or less problematic. Whether you experience anxiety occasionally or on a daily basis, you know how hard it can be to manage with the symptoms.

With that said, let’s see how essential oils can help you cope with anxiety.

Can Essential Oils Provide Anxiety Relief?

Essential oils are not a cure for anxiety but they can positively influence the mind and trigger a mood change. Before turning to pharmaceuticals, you can try using essential oils paired with stress-relief techniques to make yourself feel better and more prepared for the stressful events in your life. However, if you experience chronic anxiety that interferes with your life and daily activities, it is best to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional who can help you develop a management plan or even prescribe medication. It is important to follow a professional’s advice if you are diagnosed with chronic anxiety. Essential oils can still be used in this case but only as a complementary treatment.

Top 13 Essential Oils For Anxiety

Another important thing to remember before using essential oils for anxiety is that they don’t work the same for every individual so you have to find the one or the ones that work best for you and the anxiety symptoms you’re experiencing. Take them one at a time and see if they have a positive impact or not. Asses how they make you feel immediately after using them but also throughout the day and alternate those until you find the ones that you love.

1.      Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is the most loved and used essential oil, not only for its wonderful scent but also for the wide range of benefits it provides. This particular oil is commonly used for treating anxiety symptoms thanks to its naturally calming properties. That’s why many spa centers and even therapy offices diffuse this oil daily. Lavender essential oil is also highly effective for people who are sleep deprived or those who experience sleep disruptions.

2.      Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile essential oil can provide anxiety relief but it is also a great remedy for headaches and migraines.

3.      Rose Essential Oil

Rose essential oil promotes calmness, minimizes anxiety symptoms, and reduces tension. Rose oil is not only recommended for anxiety but also for people diagnosed with depression and for those who are grieving.  

4.      Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine essential oil has been used for hundreds of years to help with stress and anxiety management. The jasmine scent has a calming effect on the nervous system and can stimulate the brain to boost energy levels and better someone’s mood.

5.      Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylan Ylang is a tropical scent that can boost emotional wellbeing. In fact, Ylang Ylang essential oil is considered one of the best essential oils for anxiety symptoms because it acts similarly to a sedative. It can also reduce blood pressure and induce relaxation.

6.      Frankincense Essential Oil

The rich and warm aroma of frankincense oil can relax both your body and mind. Moreover, this essential oil can increase the oxygen supply to the brain by stimulating the limbic system. Consequently, your mood is lifted and your emotions regulated.

7.      Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium essential oil has a similar scent to rose essential oil and is just as efficient in treating anxiety symptoms. However, while rose essential oil can reduce tension and promote calmness, geranium essential oil is more effective in decreasing the bad thoughts people often have during anxiety attacks.

8.      Sweet Basil Essential Oil

Essential oils from the herbaceous aroma family are renowned for their therapeutic properties. Basil is no exception. Actually, sweet basil essential oil contains phenol compounds that help relieve anxiety. These compounds can calm the mind and relieve stress, alleviating anxiety symptoms less severe or making them disappear completely.

9.      Bergamot Essential Oil

Citrus scents are invigorating and known for their ability to better someone’s mood. While most of them are also energizing, bergamot has quite the opposite effect on the mind; it is calming, relaxing, and good to use during anxious days. It’s important to note that bergamot essential oil can cause photosensitivity so it is best to avoid using it before heading out, especially during sunny days since it can increase sun sensitivity.

10.      Vetiver Essential Oil

Vetiver is not as known as other essential oils but that doesn’t mean it’s not just as effective. With a sweet and earthy scent, vetiver essential oil has been used for centuries in India and neighboring countries for aromatherapy purposes. The essential oil has calming properties similar to diazepam, a drug frequently used for treating anxiety.

11.      Clary Sage Essential Oil

Although similar to the herb most of us use for cooking, clary sage has therapeutic properties that regular sage doesn’t. The scent of clary sage essential oil is herbal and woody. This essential oil is used predominantly for its calming properties. It is believed that clary sage essential oil can lower the stress hormone, cortisol. High cortisol levels can lead to severe anxiety attacks and depressive episodes so using clary sage oil is a great way to keep cortisol and, consequently, anxiety and depression under control.

12.      Patchouli Essential Oil

In aromatherapy, patchouli essential oil is one of the go-to essential oils for relieving stress, alleviating anxiety symptoms, and lessening depression symptoms. Since patchouli has a musky scent, it is oftentimes combined with floral essential oils, typically lavender, to make its aroma less strong but also to maximize its effects.

13.      Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram is another herb that can relieve anxiety symptoms. The calming properties of this essential oil help lessen anxiety and treat headaches.

How To Use Essential Oils For Anxiety Relief

The key to maximizing the positive effects of these oils is to learn how to use essential oils for anxiety properly. The easiest method is definitely diffusing one of the pure essential oils we listed above. However, there are other methods that can be more effective for you. From trying a blend that’s created for anxiety and stress relief to making your own blend and from incorporating essential oils into your de-stressing routine to relaxing massages, there are numerous ways to make use of essential oils at any time of the day, any day.

Diffuse Pure Essential Oils And Blends

Diffusing essential oils is the fastest and easiest method to relieve anxiety symptoms with essential oils. The pure essential oils listed above are all great for anxiety relief but it is important to find the scent that provides you with the most benefits. As previously stated, you have to test out different scents until you find your favorite one.

Since anxiety symptoms can differ from person to person, we recommend starting with the essential oils that offer relief for your specific symptoms. And, if a single essential oil cannot provide relief for all your anxiety symptoms, you can always rely on essential oil blends.

Whether you make your own blend by combining your favorite essential oils for anxiety or you use a pre-made blend, such as our Renewed Calm Blend or Mindful Meditation Blend, filling the room with the scent of these blends created for relaxation and anxiety relief can help you achieve a state of calmness faster. Blends that contain essential oils with anti-anxiety and calming properties can regulate your emotions sooner than single note essential oils.

You can use a nebulizer if you want the scent to spread across your entire house or a diffuser if you want to keep the scent in one room. However, it is important to know that diffusers (electric and non-electric) and nebulizers are both great for diffusing essential oils; they just work differently. The first device uses water to vaporize oils while the former doesn’t.

Aromatherapy On The Go

When you’re at home, you can use your essential oils as you please. However, when you are at work or when you’re traveling, you cannot benefit from the therapeutic properties of essential oils the same way. Diffusion is definitely out of the question while traveling but it can also be forbidden in your office since some scents can cause allergic reactions that may put your coworkers in danger.

That doesn’t mean the use of essential oils for anxiety is limited to your home; it just means you have to use a different method for inhaling them. For example, you can place a few drops of essential oils on a cotton pad and inhale the scent during the day every time you feel the anxiety building up.

You can also use essential oils in your car on your way to work or on your way to an important meeting that causes you a lot of stress. Essential oil car diffusers are very useful for this purpose.

Work Essential Oils Into Your Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises are recommended during anxiety and panic attacks but also during stressful days when you know your anxiety reached severe levels.

When we get anxious, many things that happen in our bodies in a short period of time. Cortisol levels go up, our heart rate increases, and our breath gets shallow. Deep breathing tricks our brain into believing that everything is fine, thus the heart rate and cortisol levels go back to normal in most instances.

Pair breathing exercises with essential oils to maximize their effects. Our favorite essential oil to use for deep breathing is lavender.

Incorporate Calming And Relaxing Essential Oils Into A Self-Massage

The benefits of a relaxing massage on our nerves, stress, and anxiety levels cannot be denied. Neither can the benefits of essential oils. Naturally, when you combine the two, you get to experience calmness and relaxation faster. However, we know that you cannot go to a professional massage session every day. But you can definitely use essential oils for a self-massage in the comfort of your own home.

Therapeutic massages can relieve the effects of chronic anxiety and chronic stress. And, when paired with the healing properties of essential oils, they create the perfect solution for an overactive mind. When applied directly to the skin, essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream and they travel fast to the area of the body that needs healing. This is why aromatic massages are so great for anxiety relief.

Don’t apply essential oils to the skin without diluting them first! Essential oils are potent substances that can cause skin irritation and burns if not diluted with a carrier oil first. Also, it is recommended to do a patch test before applying the oil mixture to the skin to be sure you are not allergic to the essential oil you want to use. If during the patch test you notice skin irritation or feel a burning or itching sensation, don’t use the essential oil.

Topical Application Of Essential Oils For Anxiety Relief

The last method we’re going to talk about today is topical application. This method is similar to an aromatic massage but, instead of using the essential oils to massage large areas of your body, you massage the mixture of essential oil and carrier oil in specific areas of the body, typically areas that are more prone to muscle tension, pain or aches. You can apply the mixture onto your wrists, at the back of your neck, on your feet or along your spine.

Topical application will soothe the skin, relax the muscles, reduce pain, alleviate aches, and, of course, get rid of anxiety symptoms. Don’t forget to use a carrier oil to dilute your essential oil first. To make things easier for you, you can combine the oils in a glass rollerball bottle and apply the blend with the rollerball.