The body is an exceptionally perfect machine that responds in relation to the emotional state of the person inhabiting it. This can be either to enhance the body or or degenerate it.
When you feel anxious or stressed your body signals this to you in the form of physiological symptoms such as digestive issues or irritability. This internal in-balance is a sign that something is not right and its then up to you, once you understand what has triggered this in-balance, as what you do about it.
Anxiety is something that most of you have experienced at some point or another in your life. It is a fear of the unknown or of what you cannot control. You often feel like the sky is about to fall in on you and if you stay focused too long on this fear, the sensation of anxiety will increase and eventually take over.
Both adults and children experience anxiety from time to time, however, when anxiety starts to affect you on a day to day basis and interferes with your normal daily life then it’s essential to get to the root of the problem before it gets out of hand.
Natural remedies for anxiety are extremely effective and do not cause unwanted side effects, which we will explore a bit later on.
There are a number of different anxiety orders such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.
Anxiety is actually a normal response commonly known as the ‘fight or flight’ reaction, however, where it becomes problematic is when it’s constant and when it should not apply to normal circumstances or for illogical reasons. At this point it is becomes an anxiety disorder.
There are several stressors which can trigger anxiety and its symptoms such as:
- Work stress – feeling overwhelmed or overworked
- Relationship stress – Unhappy at home or in your marriage
- Stress of being a parent
- Stress from feeling trapped or unfulfilled
- Traumatic life experiences (PSD)
- Stressful childhood
- Excessive alcohol or substance use
- Caffeine or sugar
- Hormone Imbalance
- Thyroid problems
- Family history of anxiety
- Financial stress
- Being overly shy or introverted
Anxiety can become a serious condition leading to long term chronic stress and a rapid decline in health. 40 – 60% of people with anxiety also show signs of depression making it much harder to treat at this stage.
For this reason it is vital to address anxiety early on, preferably with natural remedies to help manage the anxiety and stop it before it becomes a disabling condition and takes over your life.
Generally speaking you are feeling anxious if you are overly tense or worried. However, there are many other psychological and physiological symptoms to look out for such as:
- Heart palpitations or chest tightness
- Muscle tension
- High blood pressure
- Feelings of danger or panic
- Difficulty focusing or on thinking about anything else
- Digestive issues – gas, constipation, diarrhea
- Panic attacks
- Obsessive compulsive behaviours
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability or mood swings
- Sweating or rapid breathing
- Inability or lack of wanting to socialize
Conventional treatment for anxiety and depression typically combine psychotropic drugs and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
The problem with these types of over the counter medicines is that they can, and do, cause many unpleasant side effects including drowsiness, nausea, diarrhoea, headaches, sexual problems, agitation, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia and blurred vision, sweating, loss of appetite, constipation, weight loss and dry mouth amongst others. This is why natural remedies for anxiety are preferred.
The most effective natural remedies to reduce anxiety are:
- Diet – Eating a well balanced diet – This includes avoiding sugar & processed foods and limiting alcohol. Anti-inflammatory foods like organic meat, leafy greens, healthy fats, legumes and nuts can help balance your mood and stress responses.
- Lifestyle – Exercise, rest, meditation, cognitive behavioural therapy
- **Supplements – GABA amino acid (calms anxiety and relieves insomnia), Valerian root (increases your brains GABA levels and relieves anxiety) Magnesium (helps calm the nervous system) Vitamin B (stabalizes mood and helps combat stress) and Kava root (stimulates dopamine)
- Essential Oils – Lavender, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Frankincense, Peppermint, Vetiver and Wild Orange.
**If you are taking any prescription medications and choose to use any of the natural supplements mentioned above, please do so under the guidance of your healthcare professional to avoid any dangerous interactions.
Top Essential oils for anxiety and calm
Essential oils each have a different chemical constituents or a combination of, and therefore will affect you in different ways depending on your own personal experiences and your symptoms or emotions at the time, as well the actual essential oil itself.
As essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds and they are particularly effective when used for emotional therapy as they enter our body very quickly once inhaled. This can be done straight from the bottle, applying and breathing from your palms or by using an essential oils diffusor.
Read ‘How to use essential oils‘ to learn more.
The aroma from an essential oil sends chemical messages to your limbic system via your olfactory nerve when inhaled. This happens once inhaled via your nose as well as entering your bloodstream via the blood vessels in your lungs and subsequently carried the brain.
The limbic system is where your emotional reactions and memories are controlled. These messages, sent to your brain can control and alter your emotional response to a given situation or of a feeling such as anxiety.
Here are 10 of the best essential oils for anxiety with some of the most powerful emotional effects:
Lavender essential oil is considered one of the most popular essential oils with the most amount of uses and benefits. The effects of lavender are calming, soothing and relaxing. It is considered to be a nervous system relaxant and helps with sleep, tension, restlessness and irritability.
Numerous clinical trials have shown that lavender can reduce stress and tension. This study shows that lavender oil’s effects on anxiety were equal to those of the prescription drug lorazepam.
2. Roman Chamomile
Roman Chamomile offers soothing and calming benefits. It helps harmonize the mind and body and can reduce worry and over thinking. This study showed that chamomile essential oil may provide clinically meaningful antidepressant activity.
Bergamot oil is often used for depression by providing energy as well as improving relaxation, helping with insomnia and reducing agitation. It can also help with stress induced loss of appetite. It has neuroprotective, sedative and uplifting properties.
Vetiver has a grounding effect and helps with anxious, unnerved, or stressed feelings. It is used as a nervous system tonic and can help with trauma, insomnia and calmness. This study shows how using vetiver can help in lowering anxiety.
5. Clary Sage
Clary sage is soothing, relaxing and grounding. It is also known to bring relief to women during their menstrual cycle and can help with PMS and stress relief.
This essential oil is known as a natural anti depressant and for its sedative properties. It helps with focus and minimizes distractions as well as easing irritability, impatience and restlessness and is a great oil to use for meditation.
7. Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang can help with symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can help nervous palpitations and irritability and can also aid insomniacs due to its moderate sedative effects. It can help enhance your mood and encourages optimistic and positive feelings. This article discusses how use of this essential oil can also decrease blood pressure and heart rate which relates to high levels of stress.
8. Wild Orange
This essential oil is both uplifting and energizing. According to research it can also ease anxiety, lower hypertension, chronic fatigue and improve low libido.
Rose essential oil can help with panic attacks, grieving and shock. It is emotionally uplifting and promotes feelings of relaxation. It can also balance hormones thus reducing anxiety.
Peppermint can be useful for calming nerves and easing tension caused by stress, easing nervousness, promoting mental clarity and alleviating feelings of mental fatigue. It is energizing and uplifting and can help fight feelings of lethargy.
Emotional Healing for Anxiety
Its important for you to learn to trust, in the things you cannot see, hear or control. With trust, you can learn to control both your anxiety triggers and your subsequent reaction. You must work on trusting the flow and process of life in order to feel safe and for your anxiety to subside.
Healing affirmation – I love and approve of myself and I trust the process of life. I am safe.
*If you are experiencing severe symptoms of depression or anxiety, please refer to a trusted physician, naturopath, or mental health provider, and express your interest in an aromatherapy regime.