8 Best Essential Oils to Relieve Stress & Feel Better

Essential oils have recently made their way into mainstream medicine as an alternative to traditional healing. However, they’ve actually been used for thousands of years, including to relieve stress & feel better.

There are many ways to use essential oils to promote well-being. Aromatherapy is a popular option, especially when combined with water and diffused in the air around you.

Research has found aromatherapy to be very beneficial for stress relief, with one study on adolescence concluding:

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“Aroma inhalation could be a very effective stress management method for high school students. Therefore, it is recommended that this program be used in clinical practice as an effective nursing intervention for high school students.”

In regards to aromatherapy, when the smell of the essential oil is inhaled, molecules enter the nasal cavities and can trigger a mental response in the limbic system of the brain. Such stimulants regulate stress or calming responses.

Check out this other interesting study on Aromatherapy for Stress Reduction.

Another way to use essential oils is through oral application. However, it is also a controversial approach, as many oils on the market aren’t 100 percent volatile oils. This means that they are blended with synthetics that cannot be ingested safely.

Here is the current list of essential oils the FDA approves safe for oral consumption. You should always speak with your doctor, though. This will help you to ensure you are using a reputable brand that is distilled from the flower, root, leaf, or rind of an aromatic plant.

Some brands mix essential oils with less expensive nut and seed oils. Others completely fake it with synthetics that only smell like the plant.

A popular way to ingest essential oils is to add a drop of oil to a glass of water, or on a teaspoon of honey.

You can also use them topically by placing essential oils on your skin, hair, mouth, teeth, nails, on the soles of your feet, etc.

So now that you know how to use essential oils, let’s dig into the ones that you can use to relieve stress & feel better.

1. Lavender

One of the most common essential oils, lavender is known for its calming and relaxing benefits. Research has found it to alleviate insomnia, irritability, panic attacks, and general nervous tension.

According to one study, “lavender aromatherapy in volunteers provided a significant decrease in the stress levels.”

Check out how lavender is also great for hair growth.

2. Frankincense

Frankincense is known to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and fight chronic stress and anxiety. According to a 2008 study, a compound found in frankincense oil has properties capable of reducing anxiety, anger, and stress.

Along with using essential oils like frankincense, you can also use these 5 Workouts to Help You Combat Stress.

3. Vetiver 

Vetiver essential oil is a great remedy for reducing jitteriness and hypersensitivity, and it has been found to alleviate symptoms of panic attack and shock.

One study found that, when vetiver oil was given to rats, it significantly lowered stress levels to the same degree of Diazepam, a medication that treats anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures and other medical conditions.

4. Ylang Ylang 

Ylang ylang is known for its calming properties and uplifting effects, and it’s also known for soothing fearfulness, calming heart agitation and nervous palpitations. It may even help with insomnia.

One study found that using ylang ylang essential oil reduces “psychological stress responses and serum cortisol levels, as well as the blood pressure of clients with essential hypertension.”

What you eat can have an effect on your stress levels as well. Take a look at these 10 Stress-Relieving Superfoods.

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